Sunday, October 13, 2013

Washington Watch: "Republican, Heal Thyself"

I'm a life-long Democrat...and, given the current "face" of the Republican Party (Limbaugh, Palin, Trump, Bachmann, Cruz), I won't be changing parties anytime soon. It's too bad because I think we are at our best with a two-party system -- with ideas coming forward instead of threats.

Today however, the Republican party has swung so far to the right (or maybe they are just being "led" too far right) that even my friends and family members who tend to vote Republican are shying away from the party.

In my view, the party let the far-right fringe get control (like a virus) in three-ways:

1. Wanting to beat Obama (and/or humiliate Obama) at any cost. For some it's policy or religious differences. Others are uncomfortable with the changing demographics in the country. Charles D. Ellison, Washington correspondent for the Philadelphia Tribune, suggests in an article for The Root entitled, "Backwoods Mentality Takes Over Congress" that it is also rural versus urban. Ellison questions the motives of the so-called 'Tea Party' Republicans, saying:
"We assume that they, like everyone else who goes to Washington, want to participate in a spirited federal or national political process. But do they really?
Instead, they're forcing our modern political process to fight a new Civil War."
This is the 'scorched earth' policy that politicians talk about where no one wins -- certainly not our national unity. (Do we still have any?)

2. "Too Comfortable" GOP House members afraid of a challenge from the right. There are Republicans in  Congress who see the folly of their position and recognize that they have done very little of substance recently. Maybe there are some who understand compromise. However, they are being bullied and threatened with a challenger the next time they run for office. (And for Congress members this is a very QUICK two years.) This would mean they would have to get out and actually campaign for votes from their district instead of being a shoo-in.

3. Lack of leadership. If you can't stand up to a bully, you would at least hope your leaders could. Not the case in the GOP-led House. Boehner seems as lost as the rest of America as to a solution. He's trying to please all of the factions and this NEVER works. PTA moms know this. Parents know this! You end up losing the respect of your people and control of the situation.

Right now...their poll numbers plummeting...Republicans are scrambling to save face. No matter what happens, they will have to swallow a bitter pill.

Then maybe, they can work on getting healthy again.