I miss the rational right of center political voice that balanced the liberal leaning left. I miss the party that had a plan. Granted, the plan was generally business friendly and fiscally conservative, but it was the appropriate counterweight to the Democrats proposals to empower and support people and protect the environment.
There was a collective recognition of the natural ebb and flow of politics. Power shifted back and forth between the parties, but both sides sought compromises as best they were able, and ultimately cooperated at least to some degree to solve problems.
That train left the station about a decade ago, and it ain’t comin’ back.
The GOP seems ever more focused on political power for it’s own sake. They take it personally when they lose at the polls and they want retributions for those rebukes. The result has become a party whose only apparent function is to demonize the Democrats and impede progress. They have become the neighborhood kid who owns the football. And they are not letting anyone play with it unless they get to be quarterback. If they aren’t in charge, then no one has fun.
They correctly recognize that the coming 2010 and 2012 elections will in large part be determined by the economy. If the economy remains stalled and unemployment remains high until 2012, then they will do well at the polls. If the economy recovers, then they are toast. As a result, they are committed to doing everything in their power to assure we are all still suffering two years hence.
In case that sounds far-fetched, consider what John Boehner told the Christian Science Monitor when asked what his top three priorities would be should the GOP retake the House and he becomes Speaker. Boehner’s plan (and by extension, the GOP’s plan) is to repeal the healthcare bill, make sure no sort of energy reform is passed, and extend the Bush tax cuts. In essence, the plan is to erase the Obama administration and go back to where we were in 2008. Then sit there until it all gets better.
Still not convinced? Consider the increasing calls from GOP mouthpieces to open investigations or even move toward impeachment of Obama. If that’s not loony enough for you, consider the Iowa Republican Party platform. Note, this is not some Tea Party fringe group, but the statewide party platform. Among other things it advocates for ratification of the original 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The original 13th was not the repeal of slavery, but a never ratified proposal to revoke the citizenship of anyone accepting a title of nobility from a foreign government. Why are they advocating this? Because there is a belief that Obama’s acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize can be used to revoke his citizenship and oust him from office.
This is insane, and it is not remotely helpful. Following eight years of Clinton witch hunts that finally nailed the guy on lying about a tryst with an intern, the Democrats turned the other cheek and declined the opportunity to pursue Bush and/or Cheney for launching a war on fabricated data and then repeatedly violating the Geneva Convention and international laws regarding torture. As a response, the GOP is now pledging to start the witch hunts anew on Obama if they are restored to power. The olive branch meant nothing. And next time it likely won’t be extended, meaning we can likely look forward to Democrats becoming less cooperative and more openly hostile to the next GOP administration. Lovely.
Is this the world we want to live in? These are supposed to be political parties not warring factions. These are supposed to be statesmen, but they are acting more like a teenage girl whose BFF just dissed her on Facebook.