Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Republican Death Wish

Do the Republicans have a collective death wish? They remind me of the little band of Anglos huddled inside the walls of the Alamo as Santa Anna's army comes sweeping toward them. They seem to see themselves that way too. They are the courageous Jim Bowie and Davey Crockett and Sam Houston holding off the flood of brown-skinned Lesser People trying to encroach on white America's natural right of dominance.

You can be glad that Texas eventually became part of America (well, mostly...except when you're listening to Ted Cruz and Steve Stockman and Rick Perry...oh, well, never mind) and still see that there were two sides to the Alamo story. But that's where Republicans are these days. There are never two sides to any story. There is only their side, the right side.

Their favorite weapon if you try to have a discussion with them on Facebook is holier-than-thou condescension. They know they have a problem with women but they can't help themselves. Question them and you get the - "how dare you have the nerve to disagree with me, you ignorantly pathetic little woman?" It simply isn't possible in their eyes that you've studied an issue and know as much about it as they do but you simply arrived at a different conclusion.

This is not a good debating strategy if you are actually trying to convince people to come over to your side but bullying seems to be the only tactic they know.

Which is why they find themselves in an increasingly untenable position regarding voters. They have alienated women, African-Americans, Latinos, gays, Asians and young people, along with lots of older white men, of course. They have retreated behind the walls of their fort, becoming more even more strident and rebellious as they go.

They lost the presidency, the Senate and got a million fewer votes than Democrats in the House, holding their majority only because of gerrymandered districts. All that would have been even more so if everyone in every state who wanted to had gotten to vote.

This is their new method of trying to win elections - make it harder for people to vote, twist congressional districts into pretzels to ensure that Republicans win, try to change the rules to allocate votes to presidential candidates based on House districts....but, of course, only in states that would favor Republicans. Forget actually trying to win over voters on the strength of your message because these crabbed old white men don't have a message they can sell to anyone but themselves and those they can persuade to be terrified that Obama, the gays, the browns and yellows and black, the women, the youth are coming for them.

The NRA's Wayne LaPierre gets on television and illustrates this theory perfectly. "Huddle in your house if a storm hits 'cause those people will get you if you go out!" Actually, he sounds like a raving lunatic to most of us but not one Republican congressperson has the nerve to say so.

Texas' Steve Stockman invites Ted Nugent to the State of the Union address. That would be Ted - "suck on this, Obama, you piece of shit, as he waves an assault rifle around" Nugent and so far as I know, not one Republican criticized either Stockman or Nugent.

Ted Cruz (another Texas Ted...geez, Texas!) slimes Chuck Hagel, a genuine war hero, in the scummiest piece of political theater I've seen in a long life of watching political grandstanding. Granted, Cruz turned the stomach of even a few Republican diehards with his shameful performance.

So, to sum up, the Republicans make America look ridiculous by denying us a Secretary of Defense in a time of war by filibustering his nomination, something that has never been done before in our entire history as a nation!

This was after they made us a laughing stock to the world by allowing our credit rating to be downgraded, dragging their feet about paying debts that they ran up. Now they are probably going to allow the sequester to proceed which is the most idiotic way of managing our national finances that could be imagined.

Twenty-two of them vote against the Violence Against Women Act, legislation that has passed on a bi-partisan basis since 1994. Why? For the Republican sin of being too inclusive...having added some victims in the U.S. illegally, members of the lgbt community and Native American women on reservations.

They refuse to bring the Pay Equity Act to the floor.

They practically fought to the death to ensure that millionaires didn't have to pay more taxes and they killed legislation that would have ended oil subsidies for oil companies making record profits.

Oh, man, I could go on and on.....

I would truly appreciate it if anyone from the other side could explain where they think they are going with their scorched earth policies (if you can do it without patronizing me, that would be even better). Do they honestly believe this is the way win over voters?  Do they believe if they sacrifice themselves at a political Alamo, time will bring them victory?