Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The GOP as a Cult

In a recent article in truthOut ( a recent defector (retiree) from the ranks of the GOP Mike Lofgren, a former professional republican staff member wrote:
" A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress's generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner. A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media.
Mr. Lofgren includes in his article a quote from John P. Judis, an editor at the New Republic, “Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority. It is the party of Watergate and Iran-Contra, but also of the government shutdown in 1995 and the impeachment trial of 1999. If there is an earlier American precedent for today's Republican Party, it is the antebellum Southern Democrats of John Calhoun who threatened to nullify, or disregard, federal legislation they objected to and who later led the fight to secede from the union over slavery."
It seems to me that anyone with even a shred of objectivity left cannot but be dismayed watching the cast of characters who currently pose as actual or potential leaders in the GOP, including most especially the people acting as candidates for the highest office in the Land.  It seems equally clear that republicans in general now are more than simply opposed to Obama policies and program proposals. They oppose almost as a religious experience.  They oppose as the Islamic extremist with dynamite strapped to his middle opposes as he detonates himself in a marketplace of innocent people. They seem no longer to care what results from their opposition.  And that makes them truly dangerous to the future of our republic.
When I observed that New Yorkers, seeking to replace the idiotic Anthony  Weiner as their Congressman, voted for a conservative republican instead of his democratic challenger, I gasped. What could they be thinking, I wondered? You are voting to install yet another person to oppose any ideas of our president to minimize the economic damage done to our country by, guess who, conservative republicans? Really . . . you really imagine that you are sending a smart message to our president? A message to be sure, but the message is, “well we’re just a bunch of ignorant, low-information voters who are unhappy, so we’re installing another of the idiots who got us into this mess . . . as a way of telling you we want someone to get us out of this mess . . . that we’re helping to keep us in . . .” Yeah, that’ll surely work to invigorate the president.  Nothing like making his work harder as a way of hoping he can work smarter.
So this coming election in 2012 may well settle both our economic future, and our future as a democratic society.   It is hard to be hopeful, when visions of America as Iran keep appearing in the rear view mirror.
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