After the 2012 general election, the Republican Party claimed it had done some soul searching and realized that their extremism toward the poor, women, and minorities cost them the victory they were certain was theirs for the taking. Mainstream Republicans concluded that the party should reach out positively to the many groups they alienated with their extremism and engage in compromise, and hardline conservatives were convinced that if the party had been more extreme voters would have handed them victory. The extremist conservatives concluded that opposing compromise and lurching farther to the right was the key to undying support from the voters. After shutting down the government and making a very real threat to default on the nation’s debt, there is little doubt that Republicans abandoned the official party line and lined up en masse behind the hardline conservatives and followed their plan to pitch farther to the right and decry compromise.
Two events in the past two days revealed that the entire Republican Party is in the grips of extremists, and that they have no intention of compromising, even symbolically, or abandoning their assault on the American people and the government. It is safe to say now that there are no moderate Republicans in either the House or Senate and despite their declining approval ratings; they have embraced teabagger extremism and are firmly in the grasp of the Koch brothers’ teabagger movement.
On Tuesday in the U.S. Senate, every single Republican who voted to raise the debt ceiling and re-open the government voted symbolically to repudiate their own votes out of abject fear of extremists who believe they control the fate of the Republican Party. Because they are mortified of the hardliners on the far right and the billionaires funding the teabagger movement, Republicans held a “symbolic vote of apology” to the extremists for taking what they thought was a “moderate” position to keep America from defaulting on its fiscal obligations.
It is difficult to comprehend why Republicans in the House and Senate are terrified of crossing megalomaniac Ted Cruz, but 27 Senate Republicans symbolically begged Cruz and the Koch brothers for forgiveness for doing their jobs. It is likely that Republicans who voted with Democrats to save the nation’s economy took the teabagger and conservative belief tank warnings that their votes were part of the public record and fair game to marshal support for primary challenges. Their “symbolic apology vote” is revealing in that Senate Republicans are well aware that there is a steep political price to pay for opposing extremists who lust to decimate the economy, and it does not bode well for Americans with a waning hope that the GOP learned anything from the public’s ire for shutting the government and nearly crashing the world’s economy. House Republicans will likely hold a similar apology vote this week and House budget chairman Paul Ryan put Democrats in the Senate on notice that he is a devoted follower of the extremist no-compromise sect.
For his opening remarks at the start of bicameral budget negotiations, Ryan announced that there will be no compromises on new tax reform to close loopholes that will be necessary for any deficit reduction plan that can pass Congress and be signed into law. Ryan said, “I know my Republican colleagues feel the same way so I want to say this from the get-go: If this conference becomes an argument about taxes, we’re not going to get anywhere.” Ryan followed the Koch brother Wall Street script and demanded Democrats do the same and acquiesce to cut Social Security he claimed is going broke. Ryan lied, as usual, and claimed that if Republicans could not cut into Americans’ retirement savings the deficit will create an economic crisis. He said Social Security’s effect on the deficit “weighs down our economy today and we’ve got to get a handle on the debt” despite news yesterday that the debt is at its lowest level in five years. Eric Cantor concurred with Ryan and said the budget talks should “focus on trying to deal with the ultimate problem, which is this growing deficit.” However, the deficit is not growing; it’s shrinking at the fastest rate since the end of World War II in large part due to tax increases on the wealthy last January that Republicans claimed would fail to reduce the deficit.
Ryan’s counterpart in the budget negotiations, Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) made it clear that Democrats are not going to enact GOP priorities without addressing some of their own. She said, “Compromise runs both ways. While we scour programs to find responsible savings, Republicans are also going to have to work with us to scour the bloated tax code– and close some wasteful tax loopholes and special interest subsidies. Because it is unfair — and unacceptable — to ask seniors and families to bear this burden alone.” Murray is naïve to think Republicans in the House or Senate will compromise because they are well aware the Kochs and their extremist teabags will destroy moderate Republicans as fast as they will destroy the economy unless they are allowed to rape and pillage the people.
Whether the American people know it or not, their government and their well-being are under control of the Koch brothers and their extremist cabal with no hope for any kind of respite unless the maniacs are thrown out of Congress. It is likely that Republicans realize that their recent shutdown and debt limit crisis laid waste to their brand and are intent on a scorched Earth crusade in the next year in case the 2014 midterms do not give them two more years to eviscerate America. They have already signaled they will kill jobs, starve seniors, children, and 900,000 Veterans with food stamp cuts, and have well-laid plans to steal Americans’ Social Security retirement accounts during the budget negotiations as promised by House Speaker John Boehner.
No American outside of the richest one percent of income earners is safe with extremist conservatives running the country, and regardless Republicans lost the 2012 general election, they are still attacking women, gays, the infamous forty-seven percent, voting rights, minorities, and democracy itself. Although it appears that once moderate Republicans are terrified of extremists, the Kochs, and religious fanatics, it is more reasonable to assume that they are simply finishing what Reagan conservatives started thirty years ago and are laying waste to America and its people to see their storied “vision of a transformed America” reach fruition.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.