While many of the issues examined have been discussed in detail over the years--and these conservative scholars agree with much of what many of us have written about the republican fringe on these issues, it is quite telling to see conservatives agree with the left on this most important topic.
The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.
They dismiss the usual excuse the right offers, that 'both sides do it' as nonsense because the right has gotten so extreme and inflexible, while the left has not adopted either of these strategies.
Who do they blame for the radicalisation of the Party of No? The usual suspects: Loathsome Newt and Groover Norquist.
Newt's bomb-throwing and Groover's requirement for politicians to take pledges to serve his [and other, subsequent] interest groups has worked to create a hyper-partisanship which has destroyed the moderate middle, which used to govern America. The result?
Hatred of compromise and cooperation is not limited to one or 2 top issues, but from top to bottom:
On financial stabilization and economic recovery, on deficits and debt, on climate change and health-care reform, Republicans have been the force behind the widening ideological gaps and the strategic use of partisanship. In the presidential campaign and in Congress, GOP leaders have embraced fanciful policies on taxes and spending, kowtowing to their party’s most strident voices.
The Party of No also has been quick to dismiss reality in favour of policy, as we have discussed here and elsewhere, time and again:
As to the moniker Party of No, well, these conservatives say that this name is deserved, as well.
Some other republicans have been bold enough to speak out on what has become of the former Grand Old Party, as well:
And Mike Lofgren, a veteran Republican congressional staffer, wrote an anguished diatribe last year about why he was ending his career on the Hill after nearly three decades. “The Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe,” he wrote on the Truthout Web site.
How does America fixed what the Party of No broke? These conservatives have one simple answer.
If our democracy is to regain its health and vitality, the culture and ideological center of the Republican Party must change. In the short run, without a massive (and unlikely) across-the-board rejection of the GOP at the polls, that will not happen. If anything, Washington’s ideological divide will probably grow after the 2012 elections.
And, the media needs to stop being so biased towards the Party of No, under the guise of 'balance.' Call out the lies, and start reporting and analysing news, rather than simply reporting both sides' opinions and positions, and accepting them as if they were both as legitimate as the other.
It is pretty damning when even conservatives blame the party of No for America's political problems. But, then again, the Party of No can no longer be considered 'conservative', under the common definition of the word. The Party of No now stands for radical change, corporate extremism, and untried, untested or failed ideas which fly in the face of reality and experience.
This is an important article, which I highly recommend you not only read, but share with others. This deserves to be spread wide and far.
Source: Washington Post