GOP Abandons All Pretense

Republicans have quit pretending to provide leadership for the country. If they ever had any, it’s now completely gone. The Republican goal is for the opposite of whatever it is the Democrats propose, nothing more.

There can be no constructive purpose for this scheme, particularly in light of the several unique and serious challenges facing the country and the world today. What the GOP is doing is pure obstructionism, born of a mix of radical Christian evangelism and willed ignorance of what is happening in the real world where their constituents live.

Case in point: The House today passed a bill that would defund National Public Radio, ostensibly to save money.

Defunding NPR would have absolutely no effect on the national budget. It is done solely because Republicans consider NPR’s programming and news to be “elitist”, and therefore against their interests.

NPR regularly broadcasts shows that present issues in their full complexity, and assume a level of thoughtfulness in their listeners. In marked contrast to right-wing shout radio, speakers and callers on NPR are generally polite, and rely on their argument to make a rational point. Republicans do not want that. They don’t want people to think; they want obedience. They don’t want anyone to think about the actual issues, and how they might be best addressed. They want all debate to be condensed into bumper sticker slogans that can be shouted, whereas NPR and its listeners know that there are few issues of importance that are so simple.

This action by the House follows hard on the heels of action by the Republican legislature in Wisconsin, which wasted a lot of time pretending they cared about the effect of public union members’ income on the budget. The Democrats, by leaving the state, called their bluff. With Democrats absent and huge crowds continually demonstrating against them, Wisconsin Republicans abandoned all pretense that their union bill had anything to do with the budget. They didn’t care about the budget. What they wanted was complete control over the fate of the workers of Wisconsin. The demonstrations at the capitol tell anyone who cares to listen—which includes no Republicans—that the people have spoken, that they reject this raw power play, and that they are the citizens these people are supposed to represent.

The GOP goal is control. Republicans and their one-sided media sound very much like the new masters of Animal Farm.

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