April 13, 2016 by celinagut
It’s the recipe for disaster that was cooked up in a kitchen where the cooks have drunk all the sherry, because they could. Now reeling from their gluttony for attention and support from the likes of the Tea Party, they point their dirty wooden spoons at each other for the mess they’ve made.
Who/What is a Republican?
By Mike Buettell, San Juan Island, April 13, 2016
Is it just me, or is anyone else confused about Republicans these days? For the past 40 years I’ve spent my winters in Orange County, CA, possibly one of the most devout bastions of political conservatism in the country. Back in 70’s, 80’s and 90’s I was surrounded by white people of varied ages who held strong views toward fiscal conservancy, wanted a smaller federal presence, lower taxes, and a strong military. They went to church but kept their faith private. Everyone hired brown skinned people to clean their house or maintain their yard and didn’t ask where they came from. I never saw a gun nor knew anyone who owned one. Abortion was an unspoken topic but everyone knew a family where a teenaged daughter had needed to go on a mysterious “family vacation.” Everyone was friendly, said “hello” on the street, and pitched in for community improvement projects. It was difficult to tell the difference between a moderate Republican and a moderate Democrat.
In 2009 something happened. The “Tea Party” arrived with militancy toward federal government size and spending habits. It made sense. We saw the national debt spiraling out of control and agreed that the country was headed for fiscal disaster unless things changed. People started listening.
Around 2010-11, the Tea Party, for some unknown reason, jumped in bed with the NRA and the religious right, started screaming on the airwaves, and generally acted like nut cases. Overnight the message of debt control was replaced with Rush Limbaugh preaching, “Guns, babies, and Jesus…hot damn.” People who listened were now getting confused.
Fast forward to 2015: Donald Trump, billionaire businessman, trice married, spray tanned, former pal of the Clinton’s, with some creature living on his head, announces his bid for the Republican nomination. Everyone, except The Donald himself, laughs and considers the escapade just another reality show, until he starts winning elections by appealing to angry, frightened and poorly educated Republicans, a group of the party previously ignored. FOX News, the Tea Party, and “establishment” Republicans are staggered and infighting begins. Republicans who have always valued party loyalty, suddenly open their wallets and spend millions, previously destined for the general election, to defeat one of their own. The words “Civil War” appear in newspapers and talk shows. Mitt Romney, encourages voters in Utah to vote for Ted Cruz but won’t endorse him. Lindsey Graham says voting for Trump or Cruz is like selecting death by poison or gunshot. Kasich only wins his home state but stays in the race as a spoiler. Meanwhile, the rest of us remember the mess Ralph Nader caused in 2000 and know that history repeats itself.
So where is this insanity headed? History shows us that Brokered or Contested conventions (there is a difference) end poorly for the party involved. Smart Republicans foresee a huge chunk of their already dwindling electorate “rioting in the streets,” jumping ship, or just staying home in November. The end result is that Hillary Clinton…Yes, she will be the Democratic Nominee, despite her flaws, becomes the next president of the United States in a landslide victory.
Where will this leave Republicans? Come November, after losing the Presidential election, and possibly the Senate, they will need to redefine the party of Lincoln. Hopefully a young charismatic leader will emerge who finds a way to appeal to women (young and old), people of “color,” and millennials. As much as some Democrats are gleefully rubbing their hands together, enjoying every minute of GOP internal pain, and secretly wishing every Republican would move to either Texas or North Korea, we need the two party system in America. I’m optimistic that the huge slap in the face about to strike the Republicans in November is a giant Wake-Up call that produces a new Republican party, because in the end the country will be the better for it. So long Newt, Mitt, Sarah, Rush, Carl, Mitch and especially Donald. You won’t be missed. Hope you like the Supreme Court Nominee Hillary selects.