You know what they say about overly aggressive dogs… “Don’t worry, it’s bark is worse than it’s bite.” Most of the time, the same cliche applies in Washington. Politicians make a lot of huge promises during campaign time. They vilify the party opposite, and proclaim themselves to have all of the right answers. But once sworn in, they go behind closed doors, and try to come up with common-sense solutions.
But unfortunately, the days of common sense are over for the GOP. Their singular modus operandi has been reduced to its most primal, instictive core… FEAR. As for what they are afraid of? Well let’s see if we can figure that out.
The GOP is afraid of changing demographics. Much of this was covered in the letter E, but it is quite fitting that we were reminded today. During President Obama’s bold move to end deportation of young illegal immigrants “Dreamers” The Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas caught a rather interesting conflict between Fox News coverage and it’s affiliate Fox News Latino. On FNL, the reaction to Obama’s new policy seems quite positive, compared to its scathing counterparts on the Fox News and Fox News Nation main sites. The Romney campaign was “hesitant” to respond to the Presdient’s statement, finally criticizing the move for not being a “long-term solution”. It’s sufficient to say that their stance is fearful and weak.
To some extent, the GOP is afraid of Obama. Not of the man himself, nor of the office of the President. But the one thing they do know about him is that he is smart, and fair. No one is saying he does everything right, or that he’s been a perfect President, but they know that he is very good at representing his views. He’s a strong, centrist Democrat. That’s why they stop at nothing to portray him as a far-left, foriegn-born socialist. If they weren’t afraid of him, there wouldn’t be the need to make up and promote such exceptional lies. This fear has caused quite a mess for some GOP lawmakers. In order for Obama to be all of these terrible things, they first have to make him the enemy. That means they must present a united front against him, and can NEVER agree with him for any reason (especially in public). Some legislators like John McCain and Texas’ own Kay Bailey Hutchison have actually had to vote against legislation they originally co-sponsored once they found out the President would support it. And of course in 2010 Senator McCain of Arizona, who co-sponsored the DREAM Act, tucked tail and changed position to filibuster the bill during the Obama administration. Clearly they are afraid of giving any support to Obama, even if it is in concert with their own principles. Why would you do all of the work to sponsor a bill, then vote against it?? Here’s Rachel Maddow’s coverage of this very difficult scenario…
But the GOP’s greatest fear is not the threat of extinction or Democrats, or even President Obama. None of those things. The GOP’s greatest fear is itself. As their numbers have continued to wane and their views on social issues like Gay marriage and contraception become increasingly antequated, Republicans have been forced to latch on to the far-right in order to stay relevant. At first, this grand merger seemed workable, but now the extreme group is threatening every structural aspect of the party. They are driving out moderates, and leaving those that stand with them as hypocrites. Many people have said that Ronald Reagan couldn’t get elected in the contemporary GOP. I strongly suspect that they are correct.