Sunday, August 04, 2013

The New GOP "Mavericks" - A Threat to America

The GOP always claims that it is the "liberals, communists, and of course, Democrats" who pose a grave threat to America.  In a column which will not sit well with the unwashed Neanderthals of the Tea Party and Christofascists elements of the GOP base, Kathleen Parker suggests that it is instead the new GOP "mavericks" - e.g., Senators. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul - who are the threats to the nation.  One can only assume that Parker did not drink her allotment of Kool-Aid this past week and hence a column that focuses on reality.  Here are some highlights:

Congress went home without doing much of anything. As everyone knows, Republicans are to blame. They are the obstructionists, the just-say-no enemies of women, immigrants, health care for the poor, shoes for the born and equality for gay whales, to mention a few.

This is not to say that the GOP is problem-free. Far from it. The tea party/libertarian express poses a serious threat to the party and, therefore, the nation.

McCain is the GOP grandpa swatting at ankle-biting upstarts such as fellow Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.  They are the new, out-of-the-box mavericks. And the squabbles that threaten to shut down the government come Oct. 1 may be part of a larger generational struggle to redefine the party. Suicide isn’t as catchy as “Winning!” — but, as Rush Limbaugh has suggested, at least it’s a stand.

Cruz and Paul, whom McCain once called “wacko birds,” have threatened to shut down the government unless Obamacare is defunded.

Obviously, Obama won’t sign off on a budget that defunds his chief achievement. But the alternative of Republicans reforming Obamacare isn’t appealing because they don’t want to help save it. The threatened shutdown, however, is more tilting at windmills than slingshots against giants.

Either Cruz and Paul have sincerely deluded themselves about the political consequences of a shutdown or, plausibly, they don’t really think they can cause a shutdown and would never have to suffer the consequences. Meanwhile, they score political points with the base by blaming the GOP “sellouts” when the establishment adults keep the trains running on time.

Even if these newbie mavericks were successful in their defunding effort, it would only be a temporary “win,” since funding comes up annually. Moreover, such a temporary victory would give Democrats a far-reaching advantage. Thereafter, responsibility for any dissatisfaction with the health care system would shift to the GOP.

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