Friday, May 4, 2012

The party of insanity

Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein have written an Op/Ed in the WaPo that everyone is talking about.
 We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.
What's remarkable is that the authors are both Republicans.

Here's a case in point. Ric Grenell, a frighteningly neoconservative foreign policy spokesman, was hounded from the Romney campaign for the simple reason that he's a gay man who supports marriage equality. He was driven out by baying voices of the far right anti-gay groups (let's not give them the figleaf of simply being anti-marriage, they are unrepentantly anti gay, which is why so many of them have earned the designation of "hate groups"). As Andrew Sullivan writes,
If opposition to marriage equality is a litmus test for gay inclusion in the Romney campaign and administration, then there will be scarcely a single openly gay person willing to sign up to play any part in it. It has come to this. The GOP will have no gays within it unless they are prepared openly to oppose their own core rights and dignity. Romney has gone from promising to be more pro-gay in the Senate than Ted Kennedy than hanging a lone gay spokesman out to dry and pledging to write into the very constitution that gays are second class citizens.
If you're gay, or your friend, son, daughter, brother, sister, aunt or uncle is gay, you just learned something about what the GOP now is. Do not forget it.
He goes on
I mean: what do Republicans call a gay man with neoconservative passion, a committed relationship and personal courage?

A faggot.
And continuing the examples: The Heartland Institute, a conservative "think tank" opposing the concept of climate change, has put up a bunch of billboards with pictures of mass murderers. From the Guardian, a quote from Heartland:
Still believing in man-made global warming – after all the scientific discoveries and revelations that point against this theory – is more than a little nutty. In fact, some really crazy people use it to justify immoral and frightening behavior.
Of course this is nonsense, as mainstream science overwhelmingly agrees that climate change is happening, just like it agrees that evolution happens, and that gays are simply normal human variants.  It is also the most depraved cultural dog whistle, by trying to discredit them because of the Unabomber. Not to mention it's trying to deflect attention from the recent release of Heartland Institute documents exposing their cynical strategies.

Andrew Sullivan again
Mann and Ornstein are correct. Large sections of the American right are now close to insane as well as depraved. And there is no Buckley to rein them in.
(I keep quoting him because he's a conservative pundit and one of the few really going after this neo-conservative Christianist takeover of the right.)

Do we even need to mention the veritable Handmaid's Tale that is now the Republican policy towards women? They really DO think differently. 

Roughly 25% of voters are Evangelicals, a large fraction of which are architects of the New Republicanism. The Tea Party is just a repackaging. 

So if you are still annoyed that Obama isn't progressive enough (and i am too), just remember this: do you want President Romney appointing the next Supreme Court justices?     If you are a woman, a gay person, a person of color, or a friend of any of them, you better be scared to death at that prospect.

Because the Republicans have gone insane.


PseudoPiskie said...

Yet my Republican friends insist they "aren't like that". We shouldn't tar them all with the same brush. Well then, I say, leave the party. Otherwise you are one of them. Duh.

Murdoch Matthew said...

Digby points out that current Republicans are the party of NO. They define themselves by opposing Democrates, tooth and nail. But the Democrats try to be reasonable; Clinton appropriated many right-wing positions. The right-wing didn't celebrate their victory -- they moved farther to the right. In a way, by moving right, the Democrats are forcing Republicans into a corner. Smart politics? They should have opposed them center-left, where they started.

Counterlight said...

These are the same angry loonies who've been around since Robert Taft lost the presidential nomination of the GOP to Eisenhower in 1952, and they're still mad about it.

What's new is that these same people are now in the driver's seat of a major political party in the world's most powerful country.

JCF said...

Insane, or just plain BRAIN DEAD. Check this out:


Murdoch Matthew said...

Digby's take on this is worth a read. She quotes William Hazlitt, who laid out this whole dynamic in 1820:

'If the two party system represents two warring tribes whose disagreements have as much to do with culture and identity as policies, the fact that the Democrats have consciously sought to appropriate the right wing's assumptions and rhetoric could have had the effect of making them more extreme. . . . Being "different" from liberals is fundamental to their worldview.

'. . . When the Democrats completely abandoned their relationship with the populist left and began working feverishly to find "common ground" on the so-called culture war issues, they left the conservatives nowhere to run. These are not people who will ever "moderate." It's not in their nature. Trying to split the difference with people who never meet you halfway always ends up advancing their agenda.'

Brother David said...

Trying to split the difference with people who never meet you halfway always ends up advancing their agenda.

This equally applies to the current pope's and his administration's take on ecuminism!