The Great GOP Steele Strike of 2009
How pathetic is it that the guy in the GOP who's making the most sense these days is Michael Steele, a guy who last week came out and said that abortion is a woman's personal choice and that homosexuality is (gasp!) something that isn't?
For good measure, the former Maryland Lt. Gov. and newly-elected RNC chairman also took potshots at Rush Limbaugh, calling his radio show "ugly" and "incendiary." Predictably, there are some in the GOP bunker who are calling for his ouster because he's not toeing the line and being a good general in spite of Steele capitulating and dutifully groveling to his de facto head exactly 51 minutes later.
It's always risky to paint an entire political party and its constituents with a broad brush and denounce them as stupid. Yet it's getting increasingly difficult to refrain from making such sweeping conclusions when the GOP is more deferential to Rush Limbaugh, a thrice-divorced sex tourist, then they are the President of the United States. It's also getting tougher and tougher to be fair to a party that in the last two elections has lost 51 seats in the House, 17 in the Senate, plus the White House.
The American people finally woke up and realized that the GOP has still never gotten out of 2002, when Tom DeLay was at the height of his power and 9/11 was still fresh in the minds of anxious Americans who rallied around George W. Bush and allowed him to rah rah, sis boom bah us all the way to Baghdad.
The housing crisis was beyond the horizon, no could've predicted the stock market would collapse like a Murray Energy coal mine and no one saw an unemployment rate that would bid fair to exceed 10%. Tax cuts and deregulation were the way to go and no one paid any attention to historical precedent that tells us without a shadow of a doubt that the Great Depression and every economic recession in American history was overseen by a Republican administration, that deregulation will inevitably lead to rack and ruin for working class families.
Fast foward six years in the future and the Republican Party has gotten no further than they were in 2002. Tax cuts and deregulation are still the answer to everything. After spending over a trillion dollars in Iraq alone, after pumping hundreds of billions down the throats of lazy, corrupt war profiteers in that country, after spending hundreds of billions more in Afghanistan, they were last month balking to a man at a stimulus bill that they thought they could semantically derail by calling it a "spending bill."
As if modest government regulation, intervention and spending to stimulate the economy are reckless, experimental ideas. Read your American history. Read about the New Deal and the benchmark set by FDR 75 years ago during his first 100 days. While you're at it, crack open a Bartlett's and look up the old adage, "You have to spend money to make money." It's tempting to indulge in schadenfreude and maybe the more conscientious of us would were it not for the fact that our country is collapsing around our ears and is dragging parts of the world down with it. All the Gotcha! moments in the world may be transitory fun fodder for political bloggers but will do nothing in the way of saving our homes, jobs, 401(k) plans, infrastructure or savings and our new President would be the first one to say that.
President Obama, while he may be lagging behind FDR in terms of sheer, progressive legislation and executive orders, has nonetheless energetically begun to restore the rule of law and some nonfaith-based common sense regarding the role of government in the private sector. In short, the President and his subordinates are reassuring a jittery country that there are still some sane people left who can run our government and they're taking some pragmatic, if cautious steps toward righting the ship of state.
But tell that to the Republican Party, who have nothing to offer but sticking their fingers in their ears and screaming, "La la la! Abortion! La la la! Homosexuals! La la la! Socialism! La la la!"
They don't even deserve to sit at the kiddie table where they're still within earshot of the adults. If there was ever a valid argument for one-party rule in our government, the Republican Party is giving it to us on a silver platter.