Saturday, July 13, 2013

The GOP’s "Principled" Suicide

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker floats back and forth between la la land apologies for the Republican Party to clear eyed recognition that the GOP is drifting further and further into extremism and likely long term political death.  In a column in the Washington Post she is back in reality based mode and lambasts the GOP controlled House of Representatives for passing a farm bill devoid of any provisions for food stamps.  Here are highlights:

Republicans seem to be adopting the self-immolation tactics of principled martyrs.  Of course, principled or not, you’re still dead in the end.

At this stage in the second term of the president they couldn’t defeat, Republicans seem more like stubborn children refusing to come out of their rooms for supper, even though the alternative is going to bed hungry.

This simile is unavoidable in light of the House’s passage of a farm bill without any provision for food stamps — the first in 40 years. The move prompted fantastic outrage from Democrats, notably Rep. Corrine Brown (Fla.), who shrieked: “Mitt Romney was right: You all do not care about the 47 percent. Shame on you!”

Republicans argued that they’d prefer to deal with agricultural issues in one bill without the leverage of a welfare program.

These two programs historically were tied together in the spirit of — watch out now — compromise. And, though food stamps certainly will be funded, probably at current levels, through some other vehicle, Republicans managed to create yet another partisan problem where none existed and opened themselves up for gratuitous criticism.   Was this really the right fight at the right time?

The wrong time would be in the midst of the politically life-altering debate on immigration reform. Again, congressional Republicans want to parse reform in pieces, excluding the 11 million or so immigrants here illegally, instead of dealing with reform comprehensively, as the Senate has done — and as most Americans think necessary.

90 percent of life is picking your battles, and congressional Republicans keep picking the wrong ones. This is not true of all. Former Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has joined Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.) to push comprehensive immigration reform.

Republicans are not shooting straight when they insist that the Senate bill’s path to citizenship is de facto amnesty. As paths go, it’s a 13-year pilgrimage along a precipice lined with bramble bushes — taxes, fines and various burning hoops through which one must leap in order to stand in line. Hardly rose-petal strewn.

Republican intransigence is further compounded by the echo chamber of the Tinker Bell Coalition — the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol and National Review’s Rich Lowry, who recently co-authored an editorial urging Republicans to drive a stake through the heart of immigration reform.
These are the same two who thought Sarah Palin would be the perfect running mate for John McCain.
. . . fairy dust has a way of contaminating the Republican Way of Thinking. Before you can govern, you have to win. And before you can win, you have to offer something people want to buy.

What Republicans are selling appeals to an ever-diminishing market that doesn’t even include their erstwhile allies in business and industry. And their self-immolation may prove to have been nothing more than a bonfire of vanities.

Ouch!!!  She's right, of course.  Increasingly the House GOP cares nothing for what a majority of Americans want or think.  It's all about pleasing the spittle flecked Christofascists and the knuckle dragging Neanderthals of the Tea Party.

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