Saturday, April 09, 2011

Republicans Hurtle Towards Party Suicide

Republicans seem determined to drive themselves over the edge of the cliff. Candidates being considered these days as actual, viable Republican presidential contenders are one big reason. The leading contender is Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts who sponsored and signed into law universal health care for all state residents - an act upon which the new US health care law is based and which Romney now tries to keep quiet - because of pressure from his far right-wing supporters.. 
Second is a Fox News announcer and Southern Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee who seems like a kind of genial uncle with some curious notions like wanting to quarantine AIDS victims, considers homosexuals sinful and aberrant and has other far-right decidedly non-secular evangelical ideas.
Incredibly, third is ‘The Donald’, a laughable, comb-over, ego-centric real estate mogul who has been married three times and bankrupt as many times as well. The Donald now ranks ahead even of that paragon of conservative ideology and obtuse pronouncements Sarah Palin, who is actually #5 behind that gleeful architect of government shutdown, Newt Gingrich. Hello? Huckabee? The Donald? Gingrich? Palin? Republicans have got to be kidding!
Democrats must be chortling with gleeful anticipation.
There are other reasons I think the Republican Party has lost it. Everyone sees the Republican governors’ war on unions and public sector workers. Tea Party GOP candidates captured governor’s seats in several states including Wisconsin, Ohio, Maine and Florida in 2010, and quickly went to work demonizing labor and unions, and cutting budgets for schools, libraries, social safety nets and programs for the poor and disadvantaged. Most moved quickly to benefit business and corporate supporters in the form of tax cuts and other enticements - all at the expense of the people of their respective states. I’m sure they feel pressured to deliver promises made in the heat of the election process, but to most people they now appear determined to destroy the infrastructure of our very culture.
Sean Parnell, Sarah Palin’s successor in Alaska wants to give a $2 Billion tax break to oil companies, no strings attached; Rick Scott who gained office in Florida with the slogan ‘Let’s get to work!” evidently meant ‘for business’ as he wants a $458 Million tax cut for corporations while the Republican dominated legislature is cutting $4 Billion from classrooms, health care for the poor and cuts in pay and benefits for public workers. Wisconsin’s Scott Walker is old news with his tax cuts for business while gutting the state’s public sector unions and cutting state workers’ pay. 
Essentially the same thing is going on in other states like Indiana, Ohio and Maine. Maine’s governor Lepage, a former salvage yard operator, had a mural removed from the Department of Labor headquarters because it is ‘unfriendly to business’. Trouble is, the mural was mostly paid for with Federal funds and the state is now being sued by the US government! Lepage is the same guy who told the NAACP to ‘kiss my ass’ when they invited him to speak at their annual meeting. But, not to worry. Lepage also said he would tell President Obama to ‘go to Hell’.
One thing these governors all seem to have in common is, even though they pledged to help their states ‘grow jobs’ their actions are having the opposite effect. In Florida for example, nearly 10,000 state jobs may be sacrificed in a state which had one of the worst unemployment rates in the country at 11.5% in February, 2011. Nearly 1 million people lost jobs in Florida in the current recession. This governor is ‘growing jobs’? Hello? Did I miss something?
The second thing many hold in common is that at least three of the new Tea Party supported governors now face general public outrage and cries for their recall; Rick Scott of Florida, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Paul Lepage of Maine. Wow! Just three months into their terms. That has to be some kind of record.
Another thing many seem to have in common is their unbearable - and often silly - penchant to dictate their versions of morality and decency, not to mention dogma. They remind me of the officious little snits some of us remember from our high school years. You remember, the person with the control complex who wanted you behave a certain way because he, or she was, you know, the official hall monitor. 
This sometimes leads to some unexpectedly satisfying histrionics. Case in point: A  Florida Democratic legislator’s wife joked to her husband she ought to incorporate her uterus since Republicans were against all business regulation. Her husband mentioned this in the legislature - using the word ‘uterus’. This caused the majority leader’s spokesperson to censure the legislator, Scott Randolph, telling him the use of the word was improper since 12 to 14 year-old pages were in attendance. The word might be bad for adolescent ears. You know, kind of like the hall monitor syndrome. Since then, the story has gotten traction and embarrassed Republicans now wish to disown it, but the Democrats won’t let them - and I’m happy to spread it too. There’s even a Facebook page for ‘Uterus’ now - with tee-shirts!  
Me, I’m calling the situation the CRUD: “Curious Republican Uterus Dread”
Who knows, maybe some bright person will incorporate abortions, or AIDS next . . .
What planet are these Republicans from today?  As one who has voted for many Republicans in my time (but NONE like these!), I am saddened. We really do need and require at least two viable political parties in this country to keep a semblance of honesty and balance in governance. I believe the so-called Tea Party is a one-trick pony with no staying power - but does have the ability to consume what is left of the Republican Party today. I am concerned since it sure seems Republicans are hell bent on destroying themselves as a party in their eagerness to curry favor with Tea Party twits. In the meantime they are doing much damage and setting our country back decades.
They themselves are very nervous too, as witness John Boehner’s waffling. Ah, well. We can still laugh - and spread the word - and unseat these anachronistic bozos.

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