From the New York Times, we learn about the next crop of Republicans likely to become U.S. Representatives:
One nominee proposed reclassifying single parenthood as child abuse. Another suggested that four “blood moons” would herald “world-changing, shaking-type events” and said Islam was not a religion but a “complete geopolitical structure” unworthy of tax exemption. Still another labeled Hillary Rodham Clinton “the Antichrist.”
Congressional Republicans successfully ended their primary season with minimal damage, but in at least a dozen safe or largely safe Republican House districts where more mild-mannered Republicans are exiting, their likely replacements will pull the party to the right, a move likely to increase division in an already polarized Congress.
For the past several years, my husband has insisted that the GOP–to which we both belonged for many, many years–could not possibly become any more radical, could not continue to nominate and elect people ranging from ignorant to bat-shit crazy, without paying a price at the polls, and ultimately returning to the sane, center-right positions it used to hold.
All of the indicators are that the electorate is losing patience with these people, although–thanks to gerrymandering and “sorting”– change is coming very, very slowly. But progressives and Democrats who anticipate winning more elections once the “angry old white guy who watches Fox” demographic fades gloat at their peril.
The fact is, America needs two responsible, grown-up political parties, and when one of our major parties goes off the rails, there’s no one to keep the other party focused and reasonable. Unless the American public sends a compelling message soon to the travesty that is the current GOP, our government will continue to be dysfunctional, utterly incapable of confronting and solving the problems we face.
We need that message sooner rather than later.
7 thoughts on “How Long Can This Go On?”
The very recent decision by the SCOUS is strong indication of the continued atrophy of this nation. I fail to see a sustained trend to make me believe otherwise. The demonstration in support of climate change was encouraging but so was the March on Washington more than 40 yrs ago. They take videos, employ crowd control, make a few promises to change and then continue business as usual. What happened to Rodney King was much less than what happened to Michael Brown. It’s nothing compared to what would happen, regardless of which party is in power, should the people make a concerted stand for reform. Peoria didn’t get a MRAP for nothing. The bell tolls for thee.
Does anyone out there really believe the Democratic party is going to accomplish anything in these elections? I have lost faith that the voters are going to take action; the millions and millions of dollars being poured into the GOP candidate’s coffers will buy what is left of this country that the 1% doesn’t already own. I was gone for 2 hours yesterday morning; returned to find 24 new E-mails, all begging for money. I have just been deleting them for weeks; will vote the straight Democratic ticket but know I (we) cannot match or surpass what the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, NRA, Wall Street, etc. are shoveling into maintaining the House and taking over the Senate. WE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BUY OUR LEADERS TO PROTECT US AND THIS COUNTRY!
Does anyone out there believe it is not a deliberate act, probably bought and paid for by the above named, that security failed at the White House last week? Our first biracial President happens to be in office when the intruder made his way all the way into the white house and almost to the Obama living quarters?
I have to think it will get worse before it gets better. When the ultra-right finally has control of the country and begin their dismantling of the government, only then will people realize that they really have no idea what they’re doing. The new Dark Ages will follow and eventually a new coalition will be formed to lead the country.
The Republican Party (and their voters) are so blinded by their hatred of “That Black Guy” who is sitting in THEIR Whitehouse, that little factual input will have any effect. They will vote “R” because they hate Obama. Simple. (Stupid but simple)
In simplified terms, party politics used to be the relative prioritization of business as the means for the majority of us to achieve financial security, and social issues that addressed those who were restricted from access, or had failed, to achieve it. Both necessary, neither sufficient. While access dealt with those at the beginning of their life’s journey and failure those at the end, both stemmed from the same cause, structural inequality.
Things like national security and global diplomacy choices were more closely attached to the individual than party.
The original party foci have now been sharpened by extremism, to oligarchy vs democracy. What has the majority say between business and social issues, money or voters. Or, put another way, the degree to which we allow money to influence votes through media.
Those who favor oligarchy don’t see its major flaw. Money has no motivation to deal with social issues. Only the financially secure count in an oligarchy. The country becomes a business and social issues become externalities. Structural inequality becomes permanent. We, the people are displaced by a permanent aristocracy and social progress is halted.
Under these conditions politics becomes a popularity contest, like celebrity. Substance is displaced by image.
Two examples. Sarah Palin and Rush (or is it “Rich”) Limbaugh. In a democracy they would be as irrelevant as Donald Duck. In an oligarchy they are high return investments.
The pool of those who can benefit from buying votes has passed critical mass. Does that mean that oligarchy is inevitable?
I don’t know. I just don’t know.
A real telling sign will be to see what happens to Governor Brownback in Kansas.
He achieved the neo-Republican dream of a state with more guns along with less reproductive rights, kess government assistance, less government jobs and less taxes (especially for the “makers”), all based on the Gospel according to Saint Arthur Laffer and invoking the name of the deity Reagan. The results are there for all Kansans to see. The question is what they will do.
Even if he is defeated, it may not be enough. We have a long way to go to having two parties that eschew the extremes and argue policy from opposite sides of the center. By this I mean that both parties need to move to the “left”, but the rejection by the Republican Party of people who think Barry Goldwater was a “commie pinko” will be the biggest move.
Democrats went on a frenzy following the assassination of President Kennedy. Proportion was restored when Cape Kennedy was returned to its previous name of Cape Canaveral.
Republicans went on a frenzy following President Reagan’s two terms in office. Being jealous of the extreme popularity of FDR and JFK, they named everything possible after the very popular Republican president. I have long thought that we will know the day when sanity has been restored. It is the day that we once again fly into National Airport in Washington, DC.
Another perhaps relevant thought of traditional Republican and Democrat philosophies.
Republicans bet that capitalists are the soul of our economic success and Democrats bet on consumers as that force. The new republican oligarchs bet that consumers don’t even have a role except as a commodity bought and sold in the media market.
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