The term, “Faustian bargain” refers to the deal struck between Goethe’s Dr. Faust and the devil: the devil will do everything that Faust wants while he is alive, and in exchange Faust will serve the devil in Hell. (See also: selling one’s soul.)
Since the GOP’s capture by its extreme fringe, moderate Republicans have had to decide whether to leave office (Olympia Snowe), leave the party (Charlie Crist et al), stay and argue for moderate policies and risk losing to a True Believer (Dick Lugar et al) or accept the Faustian bargain by falling in line with the Tea Party agenda.
Indiana Representative Susan Brooks has fallen in line.
I knew Susan for over 25 years as an intelligent and reasonable individual. Then she ran for Congress, portraying herself as a far-Right conservative. Those of us who knew the more moderate incarnation chalked that up to a primary in which the candidates were trying to out-conservative each other, and assumed that once elected, she would be the moderately conservative person we’d known, but the new, partisan Susan Brooks has proved more durable–and disappointing.
In Congress, her party-line voting record has been so extreme, it’s earned her a 92% approval from Concerned Women for America–and you can’t get much crazier than CWA.
Now, she’s joined the “Select Committee” that will be investigating Benghazi for the 14th time.
The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen–a frequent critic of the Obama Administration–noted his bemusement over the GOP’s obsession with Benghazi.
I recognize it as a transparent Republican attempt to provide the party’s base with grist for its fantasy mill. Is it possible the Obama administration fudged the nature of the attack, refusing to apply the term “terrorist”? Yes, of course. Did the White House spinmeisters put their hands all over it? Could be. But is any of this so momentous that it has required 13 public hearings and now a select House committee that will delve and delve feverishly — for what?
Sometimes you have to choose: sell your soul to appease a rabid base, or refuse to play that game.
Congresswoman Brooks has clearly made her choice.