Disclaimer! This is not original thought. I give all credit to Andrew Sullivan in his thought-provoking remarks here. He makes some very cogent points, and when you add up the evidence, I think he might well be right.
Sullivan argues that the GOP as it exists today has ceased to be a political party. It no longer acts rationally, from a national party point of view, but rather has been captured by a group and is being forced to take on its persona.
He argues that the GOP is now nothing more than a religious party.
Think of a snake devouring a furry mouse, swallow by swallow until it simply disappears and is digested to be no more.
National political parties exist for the purpose of ostensibly giving voice to their constituents. We can of course argue that neither the Democrats nor the GOP exist for that purpose any more, but rather as a vehicle by which to motivate their constituents to vote them into office with the promise that it will benefit them. The book of apologies for not doing that is of course at the ready and is every two or four years, dragged out and used to “explain” why it was not possible to do most of what was promised.
National parties, however, tend to the flock if you will, by making it appear that they truly care.
We have terms for the political spectrum. Libertarian, Progressive, Liberal, Conservative, Reactionary, Anarchist, and so forth. Those terms are defined, and have over the eons of political discourse starting at least in Athens, come to mean something. But in this country, Sullivan argues that the term Conservative no longer means what it means around the world. For in this country, so-called Conservatives don’t act that way at all.
In England and in Australia, the Conservatives support gay rights. It is logical that they do so. They see it as a conservative thing. Since the objections to marriage equality come almost exclusively from the religious sector of society, true conservatives are determined to keep religion out of the governing region, as we too, by our Constitution, claim to desire.
Yet in this country, people who call themselves conservatives are vehemently opposed marriage equality. Moreover, these same people are exceedingly happy to have the state involved in women’s bodies.
Across the country in states controlled by Republican majorities, we find bill after bill determined to interfere with Roe v Wade, bills that are patently unconstitutional on their face. Planned Parenthood, the rallying point for so many Tea People, is facing such an onslaught of legislation deemed “regulatory” that it is closing offices all over. Women who wish abortions now face the real problem of transporting themselves hundreds of miles to find a provider. This is intended. It is working.
Every means is being used to embarrass and shame women, by forcing them like children to view sonograms, and endure body probes, and various “counseling” because surely women don’t understand what’s in their uterus.
These are not conservative actions. They are actions of those who wish the government to be MORE, not less intrusive in their lives. Except of course the rub is obvious–they don’t intend the intrusion to be in their lives–just yours.
If that is true of conservatives, what can be said of Libertarians who are even more hysterical at the idea of government. Yet Rand Paul, the libertarian + teabagger, finds himself not only opposing abortion and apparently in favor of all these attacks on women’s rights, but is also against marriage equality, finding, as insane as it sounds, that it will surely lead to marriage with animals.
A true conservative would be in favor (one would think) in their being as little government intrusion into the sacred sphere of voting. Yet across the land, conservative-held states are enacting again and again laws that make it more difficult to vote, at least for certain segments. Tea baggers, without batting an eye will tell you that they aren’t really sure that non-property owners should vote.
While some of the old-timer Republicans see the necessity of reaching out to the gay community and the Latino community as a means of party survival, not so the teabaggers. They figure that there must be a way to.” get more “white people to vote for them.” Do you hear that? Let’s become the White Party! What could be wrong with that?
And indeed, I suspect that the average teabagger, uneducated as they usually are, would agree. In the fundamentalist world they live in, Cain was that dark one who was banished. The mark of Cain has always been “being born black” to that crowd. It remains such, no matter how much the rhetoric changes. It spawns the “playing the race card” defense and the “uncle Tom black Republicans” we see today.
Couple that with the conservative love for loyalty to one’s “tribe” and suspicion of those not “one of us”, and you have all the makings for a racism that simply over rides common sense and evidence.
It brings you the likes of Phyllis Schafly and her continuous assertions that Latinos aren’t “our kind“, and should be ignored by the new GOP.
But it brings forth more than racism.
It brings forth the true agenda of the new GOP.
It has everything to do with theocracy. It has everything to do with scrapping the Constitution in favor of a new one that keeps the white folk in charge, and the “right” church pews filled.
In Pennsylvania, a right-winger blocked the floor speech of a fellow legislator, using a technical procedural objection, simply because he believed that his colleague was going to “speak against God’s law.”
Did you get that?
A elected legislator stopped another duly elected legislator from speaking on the floor of their state house, because he was going to, (he thought) speak against God’s law (as he interpreted it of course.)
How insane is that?
I assumed that following the whippin’ the GOP took in 2012, they would purge themselves of the virus.
I was wrong.
You see some attempt to do so in the Senate, but Cruz ignores the Old Guard.
Boehner is too in love with being called Mr. Speaker to stop them. He’s allowed them to control the House, and will reap the rewards of that decision in the future one hopes.
But an effective party?
The GOP is fading into oblivion and is being transformed into a party of crazy white people who have an unhealthy and wrong understanding of Christianity. They are pretty much convinced that all would be well if only “we” weren’t here, or in charge, or having any say in the way things are done.
So, yeah, it’s a funeral. And frankly, I’m going to miss the GOP. The New GOP? Be afraid. Be very afraid.