Sep 17, 2010

Tea Parties + Republican Morass = More Disfunctional Politics

It seems that the tea parties have some success in the Republican primaries this year, producing nominees that are way out of where most Americans are politically. The teabaggers may represent a growing movement but I think such reactionary and rather extreme groups don't have much lasting effect once crises subside. Unfortunately, the Republican Party is being pulled further to ultra-conservatism and to a political base that's small and shrinking.

Irresponsible leadership, careless rhetoric, and promoting crazy ideas eventually comes back to bite you. The GOP will not compete for control of the Senate this year because of the teabaggers. Moderate Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) said today that if the moderates are endangered in the GOP, the party cannot be a majority party. In the northeast, ME has the only Rep Senators, while in the House there are zero from New England, and only 2 if NY is included. This may change in this election and the next, but this region--and for that matter most of the country--is not moving in the GOP's direction.

Think of the major policies, ideological stances, and the candidates on the Republican side. Do you see the majority of Americans being attracted to them in the future? I want a modern Republican party, one that promotes science, is tolerant & cosmopolitan. If it promoted fiscal responsibility in an honest way, it could be helpful. Please, don't tell me about Repubs being for fiscal responsibility since Nixon..  All have been big spenders and deficit peacocks... all show but no substance.

The budget cannot be balanced by cuts alone. Revenue is needed too. And, giving a trillion dollar tax cut to the rich isn't right and won't help either.  As long as the GOP runs on an anti-government platform, it should remain out of government. In a free and advanced country, the government is of-by-for the people. The "for" means the government serves the interests of the people not the elite's.

Did you hear about a country that 1 in 7 people live in poverty? Where the middle class wages have remained stagnant (adjusted for inflation) since 1973? Where almost 50 million people are still without or limited health care?... That's 1 in 6 with no health care insurance. Where infant mortality in some states is much higher than Cuba's and Iran's? Where the gap between the rich & every one else has increased and now it's bigger than the so-called Gilded Age?

Ah, freedom! It's a nice thing to have. But, it has to be connected to meaningful choices and opportunities.

Now let's observe how the Dems will screw this up once again. They should take the fight to the Republicans. Despite the former being played like a rag doll by the GOP during the first year of the Obama administration, they have to remind the voters who's responsible for this mess, that a wrecked economy can't be fixed in 18 months, and that this ultra-nutty GOP cannot be trusted with the keys to the government.