Saturday, October 10, 2015

The GOP's Dark Suicide Pact

The descent of the Republican Party into total insanity is now nearly complete.  When extremists and con men like Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan are "too moderate" for the  spittle flecked, knuckle dragging party base, you know that things may beyond the point of no return.  A piece in Salon looks at the sad state of affairs, much of which was engineered by the GOP establishment that put short term electoral success ahead of any remote long term strategy or comprehension of the damage that would be done by the Frankenstein monster they created, i.e., the Chistofascists/Tea Party dominated party base.  One irony to me is that the Christofascists blame gays for the fall of the Roman Empire, but in reality it was ignorance embracing, incurious people like them who killed Rome and ushered in the Dark Ages.  Here are column highlights:

It is time once again to ponder the question of whether the Republican Party can be saved from itself – and if so, what exactly there is to save and why anyone should care. The GOP’s current struggle to find someone, or indeed anyone, who is willing to serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives, the position once held by Henry Clay and Sam Rayburn and Tip O’Neill – the president’s most important counterbalance and negotiating partner, and traditionally the second most powerful job in Washington – is of course a tragic and/or hilarious symptom of much deeper dysfunction.

How large are Heaven and Hell, measured in cubits and ells? Not large enough, it appears, to encompass the pride and arrogance of the House Freedom Caucus, the group of 40-odd far-right Jacobins who first sabotaged Boehner’s speakership and then torpedoed the candidacy of his chosen replacement, Kevin McCarthy.

In the great tradition of doomed revolutionaries, the Freedom Caucus prefers death, or at least political annihilation – which will be theirs one day, and sooner than they think – to the dishonor of compromise.

They could just as well be called the Suicide Caucus – or the Satanic Caucus, in the grandiose spirit of Milton’s fallen angel, who fights on with no hope of victory: . . .

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, the Republicans were boring and small-minded but not especially crazy. They pursued a disastrous foreign-policy agenda during the Cold War, but they were not alone in that, and one could argue that marked the first stages of betraying the tradition of Edmund Burke-style conservatism. On fiscal and social issues, they stood with country-club middle management and small-town Presbyterians and the affluent families who owned the third-largest bank in Indiana or a chain of hardware stores in and around San Diego.

I believe that the Republicans have brought their gruesome predicament upon themselves and that they richly deserve their fate, although they have certainly been nudged toward the precipice by Democratic cowardice and incompetence. 

Whoever the GOP shoves to the podium, whether it’s Ryan or Darrell Issa or Jason Chaffetz or someone even dumber than them, will either have to default on the national debt in November and shut down the government in December or face yet another enraged right-wing revolt. Either way, this Congress (and most likely the next one too, regardless of who is elected president) is a lost cause, and the future viability of bipartisan politics is very much in doubt.

That big Republican victory in the 2014 midterms was a masterfully engineered work of fiction – an artifact of voter suppression, voter apathy and the intensive gerrymandering imposed by GOP-dominated state legislatures after the 2010 census. Republican candidates won barely 51 percent of the vote, but thanks to the imaginative redistricting plans imposed in numerous states, that modest margin was dramatically over represented in the final result. 

Now the Republicans in Congress, along with the “mainstream” or “establishment” Republican presidential candidates, are discovering what should have been obvious all along: The Frankenstein voter base they bred and nurtured with so much money and so much cunning does not like them or trust them. The fanatics of the Satanic Suicide Caucus and their supporters do not want the current Republican leadership to govern anything, or even try to.

When they [the GOP base] repeat its catchphrases about fiscal responsibility and social order in their metallic parasite voices, what they really mean is fiscal holocaust, social anarchy and class war against poor women, black people and immigrants. They dream of conquest, but whatever they can’t conquer – starting with their own political party – they will happily destroy.

No comments: