Thursday, July 21, 2011

Death of the GOP - or just the Tea Party?

My bias is almost always to look at the big picture rather than get lost in the daily hysteria of politics. Because of this, I'm usually thinking in terms of what the history books will write about current events. As such, the poutragers seem to think that the current narrative is all about protecting the social safety net of entitlement programs. I think they're missing the mark on that analysis because they're focused only on what the battle looks like from the left. When you step back and look at the bigger picture, you see that the Republican Party is in total chaos.

In his column yesterday, EJ Dionne demonstrates that he sees what's happening.

But the news that explains why the nation is caught in this debt-ceiling fiasco is the gang warfare inside the Republican Party. We are witnessing the disintegration of Tea Party Republicanism...

Think about the underlying dynamic here. The evidence suggests that both Boehner and Cantor understand the peril of the game their Republican colleagues are playing. They know we are closer than we think to having the credit rating of the United States downgraded. This may happen before Aug. 2, the date everyone is using as the deadline for action.

Unfortunately, neither of the two House leaders seems in a position to tell the obstreperous right that it is flatly and dangerously wrong when it claims that default is of little consequence. Rarely has a congressional leadership seemed so powerless...

And this is why Republicans are going to have to shake themselves loose from the Tea Party. Quite simply, the Tea Party’s legions are not interested in governing, at least as governing is normally understood in a democracy with separated powers. They believe that because the Republicans won one house of Congress in one election, they have a mandate to do whatever the right wing wants. A Democratic president and Senate are dismissed as irrelevant nuisances, although they were elected, too...

Republicans need to decide whether they want to be responsible conservatives or whether they will let the Tea Party destroy the House That Lincoln Built in a glorious explosion. Such pyrotechnics may look great to some people on the pages of a novel or in a movie, but they’re rather unpleasant when experienced in real life.

I couldn't have said it better myself. Do the Republicans want to kill the Tea Party - or are they willing to let the Tea Party take down the whole Republican Party with them? That's the question that Misters Boehner, Cantor and Ryan need to ask themselves. Of course, that would require them to care about something other than how all of this affects their own imminent political careers, which is the catch. They seem more interested in playing their little power games with each other than looking up to see that the whole house is on fire.


  1. As long as that fire is bright enough to keep his orange tan, Boehner doesn't seem to mind. But yes, right on, it is interesting to see what will happen. If it is the TP's downfall, they brought it on themselves. If they had just routinely passed the deficit ceiling, then it wouldn't have blown up in their faces. Though they might have set themselves up for failure in the beginning already for being so ideologically stubborn and out of touch with reality, supporting the untenable position of no new taxes to the death no matter the consequences to the country. It was only time before their craziness was exposed, and it just so happens that they did it to themselves with the way they handled the deficit ceiling "issue".

    And as we're starting to see in the Senate at least, I think the "sane" GOP establishment will start taking back their party and get rid of the TP'ers. Public opinion has already labeled them pretty much as irresponsible and non-governable, and it's also only a matter of time that they are done away with. Of course, I could be wrong, and we could be seeing the destruction of the GOP being played out before our eyes.

  2. I totally agree ProgressiveTechie.

    Will the history books be writing about the death of the GOP or just the Tea Party? That's the question. And I'm not sure we know the answer yet. Its up to their leadership (if you can call it that right now).


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