We are looking at an unprecedented time in our nation’s history.
With any nation that has a two-party system of government, it is inevitable that the party out of power will feel some kind of animosity toward the party in power. In fact, it is natural. As the party not in power, it is your goal to convince your nation that the party in power is somehow and some way being detrimental to the country through their policy decisions. These decisions could be related to a nation’s safety and security, a nation’s economy, a nation’s immigration system, and a nation’s social issues just to name a few. As a new round of national elections approaches, it is the goal of the party not in power to convince the population at large that they can do better than the current political party in power.
For the Republican Party in the year 2014, they have taken this idea to levels not seen before at any time in American history.
The level of sheer vitriol spewed by the Republican Party this past week in the wake of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl’s release from the Taliban has proven that once and for all this is a political party that has jumped the shark to levels never seen before in this country. Republicans have now attacked their last bastion of support in order to attempt to smear President Barack Obama: The military. The institution that was once the pinnacle of Republican policy, one that would be supported no matter what. However, this past week has shown that even the military is fair game for the Republican Party as long as it can be used to attack Barack Obama and to try and discredit him and his administration.
To attack a military POW and his family is the new low for the Republican Party and it could very well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Americans today are becoming more and more put off by the Republican Party. They did not agree with their decision to shut down the government in October of 2013. They do not agree with the Republican Party’s stance on gay marriage. They believe climate change is an issue worth addressing. They believe in a woman’s right to choose. They believe that income inequality is an issue that needs to be addressed. They believe in raising the minimum wage. They believe in common sense gun control legislation.
And they sure as hell believe in respecting the men and women who wear the uniform.
For Republicans, this latest and greatest smear campaign is one that will leave a lasting impression. In their whipped up frenzy to produce a scandal and/or paint the president as someone who lacks foreign policy skill, Republicans have failed to realize the lasting repercussions of smearing an American soldier. Despite the fact that there are concerns that Sergeant Bergdahl may have deserted his post, the fact remains he was an American soldier being held hostage by the Taliban. As proponents of the President have successfully argued, would you rather have an American soldier returned home to possibly face justice or would you rather have an American soldier being dealt justice by the Taliban?
For Republicans, that is a question they do not want to have to answer.
It also hasn’t helped Republicans that President Obama has been absolutely resolute in justifying his actions. For someone the right likes to portray as weak and indecisive, President Obama was extremely forceful and persuasive in his defense of everything he and his administration did to procure the release of Sergeant Bergdahl. His powerful language and his unwavering commitment to returning an American soldier to be reunited with his family has been presidential and has shown those who opposed his decision to be weak and petty. As more and more Republicans flip-flop over their reasons for supporting then condemning the release of Sergeant Bergdahl, President Obama has continued to showcase himself as the only adult in the room by not playing politics with the life of an American soldier.
When all is said and done, we have to ask what do Republicans hope to accomplish with this smear campaign?
In the short run: Exactly that. A smear campaign to score cheap political points. However, just like the government shutdown, the Republican Party has used its blind hatred of our President to fail to see the forest through the trees. When the dust settles, history will look back on this time period and will absolutely rip apart the Republican Party for stooping so low as to attack an American soldier and his family. The hypocrisy from the right has been staggering and people like John McCain and Lindsey Graham are being made to look like exactly what they are: Foolish, hypocritical, and unpatriotic. In an effort to jump aboard this smear campaign, the Republican Party and their talking heads in the media have gone past the point of no return and have attacked an American serviceman and his family. No matter what the outcome of this event is, there can be no denying the utter disrespect that the Republican Party has shown to a man in uniform. It is this watershed moment where the Republican Party’s utter hatred and disdain for our commander-in-chief finally reached a tipping point and led us to a conclusion we never thought possible six years ago:
The Republican Party has decided it will no longer be the party that unanimously supports the American military.