Thursday, February 16, 2012

Folding a Losing Hand

by Richard Crews
The GOP has become associated with a set of bizarre ideologies and a set of cynical political tactics.

Bizarre ideologies such as--

(1) Anti-Scientism--for example, that anthropogenic global warming is a scientific hoax and left-wing conspiracy, and that evolution is a weak scientific hypothesis while creationism is a worthy one.

(2) Trickle-Down and Deregulatory Economics--which have been tested and discredited.

Cynical tactics such as--

(1) Obstructionism--if the GOP can succeed in paralyzing the government, they can discredit the incumbent administration, and they are willing to do this even if it means crippling the economy of the nation.

(2) Pandering to Corporate and Big-Money Power--wealthy special interests and their lobbyists, if they are favored by legislation, are willing to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into political campaigns.

(3) Distorted Propaganda and Histrionic Rhetoric--the willingness to say anything regardless of the facts in order to garner political support.

The GOP has been willing to pursue these ideologies and tactics, not just at the expense of truth and honesty, but despite pain to the underclasses and threat to the strength and viability of the nation itself.

And they have garnered a lot of political success thereby, first with the surprising win of Scott Brown in Massachusetts in December, 2009, and then with the shellacking the Democrats took in the mid-term elections of November, 2010.

But pursuing this path must surely present a cognitive as well as a moral dilemma for many Republicans, and increasingly so, although as yet they have had very few defections.

However, this week the Republican leadership caved in extending the payroll tax reduction and unemployment benefits.

Perhaps there is hope the GOP may become a truly loyal opposition and provide a valuable brake and counter-perspective for Democratic incumbent efforts.

The country would be greatly benefited.