This is what the Republican Party has bequeathed to America, what Rush hath wrought, what Murdoch and Fox News have dished out and shoveled out wholesale—the undigested mental droppings of the untried and untrue. The Grand Old Party licked its lips, rubbed its palms together and threw open its doors for the Tea Party—it’s party-time!—and, here’s gratitude for you, they’ve snubbed its leaders, drowned out its conservatives and for all intents and ill purposes, all but high-jacked the GOP, taking the USA along for the ride (down). Whether bedecked as colonial clowns or congressmen and congresswomen, they see themselves as patriots.
I hold the Republican Party responsible for them. Now it, and we, are stuck with them—the bedbugs of politics, an infestation none of us can neatly get rid of.
Everyone in Washington, it’s become conventional to say, is at fault for the mess the country is in—a mess that neither began with the debt ceiling crisis or ended with “the deal.” Very American to distribute the blame, very noble to share it. That’s old boy, locker room, prep school nonsense. I could fault the Democrats for a lot of things that aren’t right, starting with the way the president has governed, or failed to, continuing with his advisers and the party leadership. But it’s the Republicans who kindled, stoked and fanned the debt ceiling fire, who fueled so much of what led up to it with their own prior profligacy, who paved the paths to the hell we just endured with anything but good intentions.
I wish I weren’t always so inclined to be rough on Republicans, but damn, they are so rough on the rest of us! I’m tired of them, tired of their shenanigans, their conniving, their hypocrisy. Unfounded?
Republicans keep talking about the legacy they don’t want to leave their children. But, despite being a party that doggedly opposes change, “the legacy” is never the same.
The legacy they say they don’t want to leave “our children” (No Republican answer is complete without citing “our children.”) is, interchangeably, national debt, a welfare state, legal abortion, big government, gay marriage, et al. It’s also insistently de facto free immigration, de facto amnesty for immigrants, de facto but no statutory immigration law, “immigration” ad nauseum. In plain fact, they don’t want to leave their children with untidy immigrants.
It follows that the Party of No has effortlessly become the Party of Don’t, as well. But it’s high time to ask: what is its Do? "Cut spending" seems to be the only answer it has.
The ubiquitous they say no one won the debt ceiling battle. That’s more conventional nonsense. The Tea Party won. Its unconscionably reckless members got what they wanted. But, get this, they’re complaining that it wasn’t enough! By giving in to them, both parties, Democrats and Republicans, have encouraged them. This ground gain isn’t an end for them, it’s just the beginning. Bedbugs don’t just run rampant, they suck blood.
In the scheme of things, it was the Democrats who capitulated because they were more reasonable. If you’re a Member of Congress and you can’t be a statesperson or a leader, you can still, at the least, be more reasonable. There is nothing wrong with being reasonable. Republicans should try it.