Tuesday, April 30, 2013

GOP/Tea Party Jihad

The GOP party is in a bad way.

They are knee deep in the mire of their own doing. In the Obama age, as he assumed power in 2009, the GOP was at an era defining cross-road.

In a country suffering from the Bush depression, the GOP could work with the Democrats/Obama and patriotically serve America; or, they could declare jihad on our democracy.

The chose jihad. They focused on defeating all things Obama more than saving our country from the sins of Bush/Cheney.

The so-called Grand Old Party needlessly stroked the fears, racism and hatreds of their base. They demonized Obama in their futile attempts to de-legitimize his presidency. They empowered the Tea Party zealots and encouraged their ignorant assault on political civility. The rhetoric was more than over-the-top, it was as lethal as a volcanic eruption.
Consequently, their chickens are coming home to roast.

They have scared away Asians, African-Americans, Latinos, young whites, gays and women. They have purged most of the moderates from their ranks. They have even displayed the audacity to undermine sensible gun control laws that 90% of Americans support.

As the drag continues to tarnish their brand, they continue to double-down and triple-down on crazy. In the article, The Tea Party is Killing the Republican John Halpin writes:

Researchers at William & Mary and the University of California-Davis somehow convinced nearly 12,000 FreedomWorks members to take a survey exploring their ideological and policy positions in order to analyze how the attitudes of the most ardent members of the Tea Party compare to those of other non-Tea Party aligned Republicans. The results must be sobering to the establishment GOP-types like Karl Rove and Eric Cantor trying to re-brand the party as slightly right-of-sane.

First, as the authors point out, Tea Party members and supporters now constitute a majority of the current Republican Party, not a minority faction.  Their study finds that two-thirds of Republican identifiers strongly support or support the Tea Party, slightly higher than the roughly half of Republicans who say they support the Tea Party in other public polling from NBC/Wall Street Journal.


...on every contentious issue from reducing environmental regulations and repealing Obamacare to taxes and even banning abortion, Tea Party supporters are far more right-wing than other Republicans. In fact, the authors of this study find that on some issues — “imports, abolishing the Department of Education, giving vouchers, and environmental regulation” – the ideological positions of non-Tea Party Republicans are actually closer to those of Democrats than they are to Tea Party Republicans. On top of these policy positions, Tea Party Republicans also reported much more favorable attitudes towards eccentric and extremist 2012 presidential candidates such as Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum than non-Tea Party Republicans, who viewed these candidates negatively.

You can see why this is likely to cause problems in a nation that voted twice to elect Barack Obama.  When you look at what the most active and passionate members of the Republican Party want in terms of policy and candidates, they are way outside of the mainstream of the political opinions of the rising majority of Americans who determine national elections.

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