Bluster and Bravado That Is Hazardous to Our Nation’s Health

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Screen shot 2016-02-17 at 1.55.48 PMWhether this is a true statement or not is up for debate but no one can deny that such an impression clearly emanates from the once glorious Party of Lincoln

 

Have Republicans lost all sense of what their responsibilities are as public servants within a representative form of government?  Apparently the crazies on the extreme right think they can simply thumb their nose at the office of the presidency without realizing that their actions will diminish not only the office of the Executive branch but the GOP’s credibility as a viable Party.

We are perhaps all now familiar with the fact that the Republican leadership in the Senate has vowed not to even consider a nominee by the president to fill the deceased Antonin Scalia’s position on the Supreme Court.  But probably even less known is the fact that Republican chairmen of the budget committees in Congress have announced that “they would not even hold hearings with the White House budget director” to discuss the President’s recently released budget for the new fiscal year.

The NYTimes editorial staff have rightly stated that this “decision is more than a break with tradition. It is a new low in Republican efforts to show disdain for Mr. Obama, which disrespects the presidency and, in the process, suffocates debate and impairs governing.”

This is on top of the disparaging comments by uber-conservative politicians like those in my home state of Texas who trash the President every chance they get.  A recent report from the Southern Poverty Law Center noted how people like Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott “fuel the rise of hate groups in the United States” with their “extreme political rhetoric.”  And who can forget Georgia congressman  Joe Wilson’s lack of decorum when he called Obama a liar during his publicly televised 2009 State of the Union speech.

Historian David Kaiser has suggested that the “white working class … [has] gone Republican …. because they don’t think the Democrats care about straight white males anymore”.  But it’s clear that these “straight white males” don’t think the conventional leadership in the GOP is going far enough to feel their pain either.  This is understandable when the GOP’s efforts that deregulated the free market and its devotion to trickle down economics contributed to the economic stress many whites are feeling today following the collapse of our economy in 2008.

This is the demographic that Donald Trump has tapped into and as David Frum notes in his Atlantic article, “they … strongly feel that life in this country used to be better for people like them—and they want that older country back.”  It appears then that a black president who is seen by many middle class whites as representing more the non-white socio-economic groups is a logical target for their frustrations.  But out of this misguided anger there has evolved a darker side to this movement that threatens the stability that has allowed this country to prosper for over two centuries.

It is this white outrage that forces the political leaders within the GOP to react in unconventional belligerent ways to appease a voting bloc they feel they need to survive.   A point that was starkly brought home recently by Senator Lindsey Graham when he warned the party that the shrinking numbers of angry white men were hurting the GOP’s chances of “stay[ing] in business for the long term.” 

The political gridlock that has developed since Obama’s election in 2008 has reached a state that puts our country on the brink of chaos and should that ever occur it will undoubtedly have negative ramifications around the world.  The rule of law could then easily be replaced by dictatorships in an attempt to restore some semblance of order.

This is not a willy-nilly notion.  Unstable governments have throughout history led to social disorder and been replaced with tribal authorities who fought each other along ideological lines.  This pretty much reflected conditions in the West following the fall of the Roman Empire and the later centuries known dismally as the Dark Ages.

Screen shot 2016-02-18 at 6.35.19 AM I know that many who talk of “revolution” in Jeffersonian style think that such an upheaval will restore America to greatness but the outcome is more likely to create a fractured American society.  Such parochial divisions will ultimately put us at peril with just about any other country that is more united and has a military force equivalent to that of a North Korea or an Iran.

America evolved from a confederacy following our victory over King George III.  The Constitutional framers saw the hazards of such a state.  Taking back America to this condition is a poor strategy if that is indeed what those who cheer the GOP on hope for in their abandonment of all reason.

One can only hope that before we reach this state that those who continually vote politics over policy, ideology over established traditions and my-way-or-the-highway approach to governance will come to their senses before we reach the point of no return.

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16 responses to “Bluster and Bravado That Is Hazardous to Our Nation’s Health

  1. One thing is certain, I want to read Obama’s post-Presidency book to hear exactly what he thought of the Republicans atrocious behaviour in those eight years.

  2. These people like Reality TV…that alone tells me what their mental capacity is……the only way for any good change is when the old boys are no longer with us….there is hope but there was hope back in the 70’s…..sorry to be bummer biut I am old and cannot see a way for us to progress any further than we have….chuq

    • “.sorry to be bummer but I am old and cannot see a way for us to progress any further than we have”

      I hear you Chuq. We’re running out of time before we see the wheel turn on these idiots. I just have to think in terms of children and grandchildren.

      • I know and I try to prepare my granddaughter as best I can….actually she is sharper than most of the candidates about what issues are important….my gift to her….LOL

      • Guys like Cheney and Kissinger will probably outlive your great-grandchildren..and still get on the Sunday morning news shows.

  3. … just Repubs demonstrating their readiness to rule/lead, How can they be so blind as to not notice that what they are doing shows a complete lack of competence. And only an idiot tells his opponents what he is going to do well before the necessity of doing it. It is like a poker player announcing at the beginning of a hand “I haven’t any good cards so I am going to bluff.” How well do you think that will work?

    If they planned to stall on this, then they should have just stalled and then look surprised when they are called out for stalling. Obama could have handed them a gift in the form of a candidate acceptable to them or a flawed candidate.

  4. Hey, it’s been a while since I got around to posting a response to one of your stories before the story has become as old & ignored as its author 🙂 )

    “when the GOP’s efforts that deregulated the free market and its devotion to trickle down economics contributed to the economic stress many whites are feeling today following the collapse of our economy in 2008.” -Woodgate

    Yeah. The inability to connect the dots, no matter how obvious, is astounding!

    You should see the reactions I get when I tell people stuff like “If everyone shopped at Walmart, the only jobs available would be at Walmart.” Or, “Shopping at Walmart ultimately ensures you’ll never be able to shop anywhere else.”

    Cheap prices are cheap for a reason. It’s because they don’t sell decent products made by people earning decent wages, working in decent conditions, living in decent countries. They sell cheap shit made by disposable humans working & living in shit-holes. The lust for buying cheap shit became so great that a “critical mass” was achieved that evaporated the domestic manufacturing jobs that once drove America’s economy. Even better retail workplaces have dried up. Today, anything better than cheap shit is barely even an option anymore because it’s the marketplace model. Few folks can afford anything better anyway.

    But Christ! They react like I told them I raped their grandmothers, or something.

      • Yeah, most do. But others resemble Teabaggers at an Obamacare demonstration.

        It’s absolutely astounding how, even when I connect the dots for them in a way that a 5 year old with a head injury could understand, they STILL don’t get it. Or, they get angry at me for just suggesting their behaviour has consequences and contributes to their own problems.

  5. I can’t help but think we may have turned one (small) corner when the crazies that invaded Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon were rounded up and are facing some serious charges. I was afraid that having the government back down during the initial Bundy standoff, 2014 in Nevada, might have encouraged the crazies to push some more and they did. Turns out it gave the authorities the opportunity to round ’em up and throw the book at them. Call me an optimist but I’m seeing itty bitty glimmers of hope lately. Go Bernie! O_o

  6. David Frum’s story makes me wish he stuck to journalism, like his Mom Babs. He’s great at analysis, but less successful at proposing policy. Although, he’s gotten better and is a LOT less of an obnoxious dick than when I spent a morning with him at a political conference way back when.

    Anyway…what most people fail to realize is that the Republican Powers That Be no longer give a shit about the White House. It’s no longer that important to their overall strategy. All you have to do is look at the attention the party allowed outright clowns to garner in 2016 and 2012. “999!!! 999!!!” (aka the number of sexual harassment lawsuits Cain had.)

    Why don’t they care? Because they chose to win the war, not every battle. They KNOW their enemy. They know the potential Democratic audience is, not just a clear majority, but a growing one. But they also know that the Democrats are spineless pussies & surrender monkeys. The last 30 years is the history of the Democratic party eagerly surrendering their principles and adopting Republican policy out of fear of losing. As a result, the entire spectrum has been driven so far to the right, formerly radical Saint Reagan would be declared a RINO. So even when Democrats win, Republican policies don’t lose. (See Obama’s “National Romneycare”)

    They also have mastered the political game. Money, lobbying, propaganda, irrelevant side-shows (Swift Boat Vets for rabies prevention), gerrymandering, voter apathy, etc. Yes, it’s an ultimately losing battle (or should be). But the strategy is to use every tactic and to fight for every inch with their shrinking, but ever-loyal base. They will keep fighting right up until their death in the bunker. It’s like the movie Downfall, only replace the suicides with deaths from old age. (and replace the Soviet Army with the French Army.)

    The Republicans have already won the huge victory. All they have to do is play out the clock. Gridlock is all they need to keep winning. Unless people turn out in droves to the polls, (ie 70%) their tactics can hold off their glaring demographic weaknesses for decades longer.

    Yeah, Presidential nominee wise, it’s nice if they have somebody who can win. But all that’s important is that the candidate doesn’t act as a drag on the party’s Congressional candidates. They still need to do okay in Purple States. So as long as their nominee has a remotely plausible shot, it doesn’t matter to the overall cause if their Presidential nominee loses every time.

    As long as they can control ONE house of Congress, even just by filibuster, they “win”.

    • “The Republicans have already won the huge victory”

      Your summation here SM is pretty much spot on but I would say it’s the corporatists that have won. That’s who the clowns in the GOP represent and whole lot of them in the Jackass Party too.

    • “Republicans” is more of an “ease of use” term. You’re right. There is a division between The Republican Party vs Republicans themselves.

      The corporatists once saw the Republican Party as their only home. But just like the very corporations they run, they’re no longer limited by geographic/party boundaries, or loyalties…to anything other than themselves. “Elephant heads, they win. Donkey tails, you lose.”

      Once again, Woodgate, good work with a lot to chew on! It’s amazing how immigration issues have morphed over the last couple decades and how partizan & purely politicly motivated they’ve become. (Not to mention the race-baiting.)

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