Republican Party rushing headlong toward irrelevance
By: Cahir O'Doherty | Published Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 1:17 PM | Updated Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 1:17 PM
|GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney|
It seems that there is no crisis so deep, no consequence so dire, that the modern Republican Party
won't rush headlong toward it in order to heroically prevent the rich people who bankroll them from spending a penny more on taxes.
Currently, Republicans are determined to balance the nation’s budget. It's an aim they share with one of the last presidents who did, Herbert Hoover.
Hoover's determination, as we know, further deepened the Great Depression. So you could say it's a tried and tested road they're on.
In order to cut government spending, a condition Republicans habitually see as wasteful, they will have to slash investment in education and infrastructure, they will have to violate important commitments they have already made to seniors and the middle class over their healthcare and Social Security, and all of this will be done while maintaining the tax breaks for the wealthiest people in the country.
Just wait till you see what's coming down the pike. Many conservatives have enthusiastically backed the sequester cuts, but that was before they heard that the cuts would lead to the loss of wasteful federal jobs like -- wait for this -- air traffic controllers. Many regional airports will begin to close on April 1.
Cuts don’t happen in a vacuum, after all. A decline in flights means a decline in revenue.
Fuel fees, air traffic controllers, gift shops at the airport and area restaurants all take the hit. The whole constellation that grows up around them will face a steep decline.
Oh, and then there's the small issue of your own personal safety. Who'll be paying attention to that?
Fresh from an election where the majority of the nation firmly rejected the GOP’s
agenda, is there any appetite among the faithful for a reality check yet?
According to a USA Today survey conducted in mid-February the GOP are now embraced by only 22 percent of the American public. But still they govern as though their mandate came from God Himself (and many in their ranks believe it does, after all).
Here they come again, this ideological buzz saw still hacking through the thickets of American political life. It’s as if they’re daring the nation to stop them.
Voters, it turns out, consistently prefer Democratic
positions on the issues -- on immigration, gun restrictions, abortion rights, gay marriage, climate change and increasing tax revenue on the most comfortably off. The American public has overwhelmingly rejected the GOP's take no prisoners stance.
But the message from the GOP? You don’t matter.
You’re all wrong. We’ll just press on without you. We’ll even figure out a way to make our own shrinking vote share amount to a victory, if we have to. Buzz buzz buzz.
If you watch Fox News these days -- and apparently fewer and fewer of you are doing that according to the latest figures -- you’ll notice that the reality distortion field that allowed them to think that Mitt Romney was about to trounce President Obama hasn’t diminished.
In fact, the GOP has started to look like an alternate Harry Potter universe that madly exists in the real one. This isn’t good for its future as a party, nor is it good for the nation.
It didn’t set out to, but Fox News has now become a kind of conservative echo chamber where the like-minded GOP leadership can pontificate to their heart’s content without reference to the rest of the nation, and without wrangling with them over the messy business of governance.
No one in the party is immune from this axis of wishful thinking, this ideological tributary where conservatives’ fondest hopes miraculously meet their fulfillment.
On Election Day Mitt Romney actually believed he would be elected president. It wasn’t until he saw the exit polls from Florida that he realized the jig was up.
Romney turned up in public for the first time since the election last weekend, on Fox News of course. His message to the nation was that he’s not an out of touch plutocrat, but the media wouldn’t let the nation see that.
And by the way, he still doesn’t believe gays should enjoy the same rights he does. Way to learn your lesson, Mitt.
They say when you find yourself in a hole you should stop digging. If you find that you can't stop, when every signpost is suggesting it would be wiser to, it may have become a pathology. The next presidential election in 2016 is already looming, and the GOP are still showing no desire to live in, never mind govern, in the 21st century.