October 8th, 2015
|08:20 pm - It appears...at least to me|
With the resignation of Speaker John Boehner, and the subsequent decision by Kevin McCarthy that he will not seek the vacant position, the implosion of the GOP has reached critical mass. It is clear that at this point there is no consensus about which occupant of the Clown Car is likely to emerge as the nominee for 2016. In short, the whole GOP is now the majority party in the House and Senate, yet cannot agree to present any proposals for the future of the country.
The real cause of this situation can be found not in Congress, but rather in the individual states. It is often said that all politics is local, and it is there we need to search for the answers. In the 2010 "off year" election, the GOP capitalized on their program of hatred for the President, gaining control of many state legislatures. That allowed them to create severely gerrymandered Congressional districts where the most extreme members of the party could thrive. The result is that while the Democratic Party had a huge majority of the votes for the House of Representatives, the GOP got people elected. That group, commonly known as the Freedom Caucus, is not just anti-government. They are, unfortunately, anti-governance.
They will do everything they can to topple the government, not by opposing proposals on ideological grounds, but simply because they actually don't want to have a government. They claim to want "smaller government" yet continue to pass laws moving government into the doctor's office, the bed room, and every other place. They trumpet the cause of less regulation, and ignore the disasters that then result. They vote against aid for people suffering from natural disasters, until it is their own state or region. Somehow their people deserve the aid they deny to others.
They are now demanding that the new Speaker of the House, whomever that might be, kowtow to their demands as a price of their support. In truth, the House has become the tyranny of the minority. Not the Democratic minority, but rather a small minority of the GOP...the majority party. It is unthinkable that the Speaker of the House should work with and seek the support of the Democratic minority in order to conduct the people's business, and now it's equally unthinkable that the Speaker should consider even the more moderate members of the GOP.
All this wouldn't much matter except this group has made the House utterly dysfunctional at a time when important, must-pass, legislation is due. Absent a budget, or at least a Continuing Resolution, the government will shut down. Absent approval, the government will hit the debt ceiling in the coming weeks. The idea of those things happening doesn't phase the Freedom Caucus, because they simply don't care.
They are, at best, a thinly veiled racist group who represent an aging white population that fears they are losing their due place of prominence in our society.
The only hope in this situation is that the Democrats, and specifically the House Democrats will finally stand up. They have been largely irrelevant for several years, but worse, they have generally chosen to be silent. It is time for them to stand tall, to make noise, and to propose the concrete solutions to the problems obvious to us all. The GOP has chosen to implode while we all watch, and we can not, and should not, allow them to bring the country down because they have no idea how to govern.
I have no doubt that given the map of congressional districts the Freedom Caucus will continue to exist. It is even possible that those districts will elect even more extreme individuals, who will thrive by pointing out that the previous office holder didn't get it done, while ignoring the fact that what didn't get done was opposed by a majority of American society. They will continue to vote time after time to repeal the ACA, ignoring the fact that it works, it has lowered costs, and provided vital medical services for thousands. They will continue to waste money investigating Benghazi, even though Kevin McCarty admitted it was nothing but a ploy to discredit Hillary Clinton. They will continue to wave the flag of the Second Amendment and ignore the carnage and deaths that plague our society and schools.
In short, they will attempt to do nothing, simply because they don't want the government to do anything...except deny Blacks and the poor any future and ensure that women cannot get proper health care.
It's time for all of us to simply say ENOUGH!