Sunday, September 27, 2015

The GOP off the rails: will voters finally respond? ... by gimleteye

Among Democrats, no tears will be shed for John Boehner, the Speaker of the House inclined to tearing up, as he leaves the stage in Washington. Boehner presided over the most doing-nothing Congress in U.S. history, and while that may suit the Tea Party minority, a rudderless legislative branch begs the question: what is government for?

Is it to improve the lives of people or the security of business and shareholders? The dominant theme in American politics since Ronald Reagan is that improving business improves the lives of people. In one way or another -- from media messaging through Fox News and its local affiliate subchapters to the application of technology to voter turnout -- this theme has pushed a radical orthodoxy within the Republican Party to the forefront: that government itself is the enemy.

Although Democrats have won the executive office for the last two terms, Republicans dominate the legislative branch -- and through the appointments of George W. Bush to the US Supreme Court -- also the judiciary. Accompanying the drifting has been a GOP focus -- some would say, an obsession -- on "values" issues that galvanize the base (anti-choice, pro-gun, anti-environment) and polarize the rest.

Boehner's resignation is another attempt by a radical minority within the GOP to purify Congress and, by extension, the American people. This purification campaign ought to have Republicans across the nation up in arms.

The paralysis within the GOP ranks is evidenced by the presidential primary contest where nearly a dozen candidates are welded to talking points meant to appease the extremists, except for one: Donald Trump.

Donald Trump is the great signifier of the GOP as it is presently constituted. Among an energized Republican base, he is the man. For Democrats, and whoever emerges as presidential candidate for the 2016 general election, the problem is persuading Republicans that it is OK to walk back from the cliff. It is OK to back off from the guard rail at the Golden Gate Bridge. "Look what is happening behind you, while you are threatening to jump," the Democrats ought to say. "The thieves are in the granaries. The money changers are in the temple."

These messages are clear in the blue states. Where they need to be clearer is in the red states; like Florida. It is hard work breaking through twenty second sound bites on TV spots where candidates spend fortunes and where negative tactics prevail. Maybe, just maybe, the electorate is ready to rinse the radicals from the GOP.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, hope for reason to prevail is a sad strategy, when it comes to National politics.
Just think about it. A nation the size and importance in the world, run by a 2 party system, where both feed at the same through.
We are seeing today the limitations of old political and economic systems, that may have served some decades ago, but are check mated by events today.
A reinvention of the wheel is in order.

Z Woman said...

Our political system is broken, it's time for a complete overhaul.

The electoral college needs to go, we need a true democracy, one person, one vote. Take the money out of politics, level the playing field for all candidates, publicly financed elections, every viable candidate gets the same backing. No more two party system, and we must have automatic runoffs in elections.

Provide incentives to vote, if you can get millions of people lined up at Apple stores to pay top dollar for the newest device, you can find an incentive to get people to vote. A real democracy governed by the people and for the people with motivate the disengaged.

I have great hope the millenials will make big changes to politics, if we can ever get them to put down their damned phones!

Wait, THAT'S IT! The entire political process as an APP on your phone, and every time you participate you get POINTS or FREE EMOJIES, or virtual money that buys you more apps. Damn I'm a genius.

Anonymous said...

Provide incentives to vote? That's what got us in the mess we're in.. Vote for me and get free shit. free education for your niños a monthly welfare check for your abuelos and social security for ALL !!!..and all you have to do hand the 20 trillion dollar bill to your grandkids..

Anonymous said...

Has the political entrenchment on both sides of the aisle has led to a downward political spiral - which includes the election of a Donald Trump? Even a Richard Spencer's overt promotion of Nazism and racism?

And what does one make of young kids(s) on a killing spree? Is it possible to fully comprehend mass shootings - by youngsters? Young people essentially waging war against other kids. Too many kids growing up alone, neglected, and afraid?

Perhaps the US has been at war for too long? Too many years of televised war, death and destruction, refugees, and starving people, starving children. And former soldiers feeling lost and forgotten in a hostile world.

Has the insidious aspects of the political divide led us to a Donald Trump and the increasing disparities between rich and poor? Between Us and Them, which may include even our next-door neighbors?

The political, economic, cultural, ethnic and racial divides that separate us can more impenetrable than the concrete walls we dare anyone to scale.

Politics is now all about the money; the interests behind the money.