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.
7 thoughts on “Dr. Faustus, I Presume?”
The GOP actions, and non-action, over the past few years have taken away my preference of voting for the person, their past accomplishments and their campaign promises. I now vote straight Democratic party line. This doesn’t always work out well either. A few years ago Kathy Barton was elected County Surveyor; when asked after the election how she intended to improve conditions in that office, her response was that she knew nothing about surveying. She would trust the current employees to carry out those responsibilities while she concentrated on improving social conditions in the city. Politicians certainly do make strange bed fellows – we must include both parties is this statement. Sadly; in today’s politics, trusting the GOP candidates who appear to be somewhat aware of conditions doesn’t always work out. Sooner or later we become aware of the Tea Party member in the wood pile.
She’s still getting “further right” challengers in the primaries (and in today’s Indiana there’s likely no limit as to just how far right you can be and still not be criticized for going over the cliff). Awfully hard to be a Republican in Indiana these days.
I would not have an issue with one more investigation of Benghazi if and only if the whole premise of our foreign policy was investigated. Sadly, for all the Political and Media hype the only thing “exceptional” thing about America is the violence we have visited on the Planet. Simply stated the USA has been in more Wars, invasion, coups than any other Nation on the Planet since World War 2. If a country has an election and we do not like the result – time for Coup.
Libya was just one more example. Arab Spring and USA-NATO rain bombs down on Libya. Was the US conducting a “fast and furious” operation in Benghazi and shipping arms to the rebels in Syria as some news outlets have said??
I do not expect any politician to question our violent foreign policy as whole, Susan Brooks will certainly not question it.
Character assessment question:
Question: Who are you?
Answer: Who do you want me to be?
And Jackie Walorski has moderated her views. Who’d have thunk it?
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