Republican Party

Open Call – It is Time to Fix or Replace the Republican Party

The Republican Party, through its response to the Supreme Court’s Obamacare, and then Marriage Equality rulings, has signaled its end of usefulness as an opposition party.

I have argued before – based on their reaction to the Charleston shootings – that they have disqualified themselves from running the country, and I still believe they have, but look, it’s time something was done.

It’s one thing when they hurt themselves, but this is going to end up hurting all of us, because a healthy democracy calls for more than a single political party, and a religious hate group doesn’t qualify.

Rather than debates on the relative merits of a position, what we’ve gotten, even from the politicians, is “God vs. Government” arguments. You can’t tell the religious demagogues from the elected officials anymore. Some, like Gordon Klingenschmitt, are both.

God’s law, we are told, supersedes man’s law.

No it does not. The United States Constitution is the law of the land. Has been since the Founding Fathers presented it to the states and the states ratified it. The United States Constitution does not make allowances for God. God doesn’t get a vote; God doesn’t get so much as a mention.

End of story.

Yet we have Louie Gohmert, who serves in the United States House of Representatives, saying that as a result of the Marriage Equality ruling, God will withdraw his “hand of protection” from America and destroy us.

He said he will do what he can (maybe he has some photos he can use for leverage) but the conservative consensus seems to be that we’re pretty much screwed and we should flee for our lives.

Alternately, they believe they must brace themselves for persecution, which, if they have to wait for as long as they’ve waited for someone to take away their guns…well, they’ll decompose first.

And look, in Kentucky a dead guy who made chicken is now deemed preferable to the guy running the Senate, Mitch McConnell. Doesn’t that tell you something about the GOP’s shelf-life? If not, then how about Donald Trump having to pay people to show up at his rallies? What Democrat has to do that?

Fox News’ Todd Starnes says God is flooding D.C. in punishment in response to SCOTUS “defying God.” Never mind that God said he won’t destroy us via flood again (it’s in your Bible, Mr. Starnes). Sure, Starnes isn’t himself a politician, but Fox News sets the tone for Republican rhetoric.

The upshot is we either need someone in Republican ranks to rise up and fix his party, or we need a new party. We need at least two political parties and we only have one, currently. At its current place, the GOP will have a hard time competing with any of the other 30+ parties that exist outside the big two.

There is a reason CNN’s S.E. Cupp cried when she said the GOP would become “relics” if they did not begin supporting Marriage Equality. She is wrong about many things, but she was right about that.

Look at Marco Rubio, who wants to be president, express his profound lack of understanding of the Constitution:

“As we look ahead, it must be a priority of the next president to nominate judges and justices committed to applying the Constitution as written and originally understood.”

The thing is, the Constitution, as written and originally understood, does not allow for theocracy, or for claims that God’s law is above the law of man. So if Rubio wants a Supreme Court that reads it that way, he wants a court that will put the GOP out of business far more efficiently than our current court.

CNN may go after Fox News occasionally but then they present us with headlines like How the GOP won on same-sex marriage, when in fact the GOP did not win in any way, shape, or form, on same-sex marriage.

They lost. Nia-Malika Henderson can argue that the GOP “has also been handed a reprieve” by the ruling but it hasn’t, not when 50 percent of Americans approve of how Obama – who supports Marriage Equality – is governing the country.

Likewise, Republican strategist Ana Navarro, who worked on John McCain’s 2008 campaign and for Jon Huntsman in 2012, wrote on CNN that “Republicans have also moved on the issue [of Marriage Equality], albeit more slowly.” If what we’re seeing is movement, we need to redefine the word. I think this must be some of the “math you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better.”

As Jeremy Peters wrote in The New York Times, “There is a striking unanimity among the candidates who are running for the party’s presidential nomination in 2016: Not one supports allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.” And, as he pointed out, in the wake of the SCOTUS ruling, they say they will “continue to resist.”

That’s not movement. If there is any discernible movement at all from conservative ranks, it’s movement backwards. As I pointed out yesterday, the GOP, far from moving forward, has begun to sound a lot like Rick Santorum.

Mike Huckabee complained that “some cowardly politicians will wave the white flag,” but hell, we can’t even stop them from waving the Confederate flag, and we whupped the Confederacy 150 years ago. If progress is being made at this rate, we can expect to be listening to them whine about gay people getting married in 2165.

I’m telling you, we can’t wait that long for a rational opposition party. If you think 2016 is shaping up to be lopsided, 2020 is going to be an outright joke.

So let’s do something now. Somebody out there, somebody, anybody, start a movement to take back the GOP from the fundamentalists, or for the sake of us all, start up a new party so we can kick these loons to the curb and get on with the business of sane debates cognizant of facts, not wishes, over where to take our great nation.

Hrafnkell Haraldsson

Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen's Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.

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