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The GOP's empty chair problem

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Clint Eastwood's bizarre and rambling chat with an empty chair at the Republican National Convention has come to define what's wrong with the GOP.

The truth is neither Eastwood or the GOP gave any thought to the millions of people people who would see something else in that disembodied chair: themselves.

If you're Black, Hispanic, an Immigrant, a Woman or Gay you weren't welcome to sit in that chair or come to that party, even to be lectured to by a contemptuous octogenarian.

The GOP's big tent has contracted to the point where it has simply become a latter day Christian Brotherhood, but conservatives who dismiss this claim point to the participation of Governor Nikki Haley the daughter of Indian immigrants, Condoleezza Rice, the Former Secretary of State and Governor Susana Martinez, who the Reagan-era throwback Peggy Noonan likes to call Susan.

But every political party worth its salt can round up a few quislings; there are even apparently masochistic gay Republican groups like Go Proud, after all. That does not mean they represent their communities or are indicative of widespread support within their party, on the contrary.

I say to those people who talk about Republican diversity have your read your own party platform?

Only two percent of African-American voters polled currently support the Romney/Ryan ticket. 

Mitt Romney claims that this is a country of immigrants but he wants them all to self-deport and he would veto the DREAM Act. At the convention Ann Romney claimed it was Hispanic voters who had the real problem though, and she asked them to 'get past' their biases.

Romney does not support relationship recognition for LGBT people, making him even more conservative on LGBT issues than former President George W. Bush. Paul Ryan does not support LGBT families, he has voted against allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt, he voted against hate crime protections. He opposed repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and he does not support marriage equality.

Romney and Ryan want to turn Medicare into a boon for the Insurance industry and a bust for American seniors. The new party platform reflects a Republican Party more hostile to organized labor than ever before in its history.

And as we learned last week, Romney and Ryan were quick to write off Todd Akin and to separate themselves from his extremism, but in fact they share his anti-abortion position.

So they paint themselves into a corner and they look out at the godless nation and they reject it. That's what this week was all about. That explains all those empty chairs.

And what will happen to us, the uninvited people in that disembodied chair, has already become obvious.

It seems our conservative political classes will not rest until they have turned the United States economy and the American century into a South American nation like Brazil.

New York and other noteworthy US cities already feature growing contrasts between rich and poor, so why not use Rio de Janeiro as the model of our future, complete with gated mansions with armed guards to hold off armies of scary-looking pre-teen homeless kids carrying zipguns.

Each time you step out you'll have to worry if there'll be another Ak-47 attack at the supermarket or the movie theater. Hopefully you won't need medical attention because you won't be able to afford any.

But hey at least the rich guys pay low taxes!


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