Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Modern Republican Party Isn't Conservative; It's a Pack of Vandals

Whelp, I'm still furloughed, but at least I'm getting out of DC for a few days. Best of luck to all of you staying in DC in the unlikely event that DC is blockaded by crazy right-wing truckers - thank God I'm flying out of town.

Anyway, to the meat of today's post:

This piece by Andrew Sullivan is one of the better pieces I've read that calls the extremism of today's Republican party what it is - constitutional vandalism, not conservatism. I recommend reading the whole piece, but here's the central part:
Even though [Obamacare] is almost identical to that of their last presidential nominee’s in Massachusetts, the GOP is prepared to destroy both the American government and the global economy to stop it. They see it, it seems to me, as both some kind of profound attack on the Constitution (something even Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts viewed as a step too far) and, in some inchoate way, as a racial hand-out, however preposterous that is. And that is at the core of the recklessness behind this attack on the US – or at least my best attempt to understand something that has long since gone beyond reason. This is the point of no return – a black president doing something for black citizens (even though the vast majority of beneficiaries of Obamacare will be non-black).
I regard this development as one of the more insidious and anti-constitutional acts of racist vandalism against the American republic in my adult lifetime. Those who keep talking as if there are two sides to this, when there are not, are as much a part of the vandalism as Ted Cruz. Obama has played punctiliously by the constitutional rules – two elections, one court case – while the GOP has decided that the rules are for dummies and suckers, and throws over the board game as soon as it looks as if it is going to lose by the rules as they have always applied.
The president must therefore hold absolutely firm. This time, there can be no compromise because the GOP isn’t offering any. They’re offering the kind of constitutional surrender that would effectively end any routine operation of the American government. If we cave to their madness, we may unravel our system of government, something one might have thought conservatives would have opposed. Except these people are not conservatives. They’re vandals.
This time, the elephant must go down. And if possible, it must be so wounded it does not get up for a long time to come.
Indeed - today's Republican Party may be lots of things, but it's certainly not conservative - true conservatives don't shut down the government, they don't try to vandalize the ideals of the Constitution, and they don't risk the full faith and credit of the United States to try to undo a law passed by Congress, signed by the President, affirmed by a Presidential election, and upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court.

That's not conservative - that's dangerously radical extremism. It is, quite literally, an attempt to dismantle majority rule in this country - an attempt that is an existential threat to the functioning of our democracy. If anyone tries to tell you anything differently, they're either knowingly lying to you, or they have no idea what they're talking about.