Before anybody says anything about any alleged liberal media bias in connection with the title of this piece just know that I am not a Democrat. I am one of those middle-of-the-road Independents that you sometimes hear about between news cycles that are supersaturated with extreme Left or Right-wing talking points. I decided a while back that having the ability to vote in a primary election just isn't worth being politically pidgeon holed for the next 4 years. I have supported both Democrats and Republicans throughout my time as a registered voter. So when I ask the question of "what in THE hell is going on with the Republican Party recently?" you will know that this is a genuine question coming from an Independent.
Trust and believe I could go on about my gripes with the Democratic Party, but at the moment their shortcomings pale in comparison to this entity that, believe it or not, once believed in using Big Government to outlaw slavery and give Blacks the right to vote.
Let's do a quick recap: in 2008 Obama and the Democrats won the White House, the House and the Senate. The Republicans were on the verge of becoming extinct. Then an interesting thing happened - the Tea Party brought them back from the brink of disaster and led them into the promised land in 2010. Republicans told us that they were enraged at "out of control spending" and on this basis they rallied to decisively take back the House of Representatives and put America's fiscal house in order and bring back jobs. And America believed them.
However, instead of legislation focused on restoring America's fiscal house and bringing back jobs, we saw a crusade to (i) destroy unions, (ii) make it harder for minorities to vote, (iii) outlaw abortion in all cases without exception, (iv) reject money for America's much needed infrastructure construction projects, (v) almost shut down the federal government, (vi) almost shut down the federal government again, (vii) almost shut down the federal government a third time and while they were at it (viii) tie the debt ceiling (which is about money we've already spent) to the national budget (which is about money we are going to spend) for the first time in history, (ix) give tax breaks to rich folks and pay for them by requiring seniors to pay more for Medicare, and not to mention, they've (x) lowered our credit rating for the first time in history and, accordingly, (xi) dropped Congress' approval rating to the lowest level in history.
Nice job guys.
Even Republican Joe Scarborough of Morning Joe conceded that he can no longer understand his party as it heads into its 2012 National Convention in Florida:
Jump to 16:00 mark:
What I do not understand is how a party can specifically set out on a mission to do only 2 things (reduce federal spending and bring back jobs) and accomplish neither. Even if that whole mission was mere puffery to get reelected at least ACT like you give a damn about jobs and our national debt. But you guys didn't even do that. No, you went straight for the same social issues that got you in trouble in 2008. The third bill you put on the floor of the House was about abortion. How is that about bringing back jobs or reining in on federal spending? And now you want the American people to vote for you again so that you can "fix the economy." *wink wink*
You do realize that human beings possess the capability to recall past events, right?
As best I can tell, the Republican Party seems to be suffering from the burden of catering to two very powerful influences: (1) the rich and (2) the social conservatives. The former causes many Americans to feel that Mitt Romney and his party are "out of touch" with the common American, and the latter causes many Americans to wonder how a Republican like Todd Akin can display a level of ignorance that simply has no place in civilized society and yet still receive campaign donations from fellow Republican voters.
Look, to be sure, there are many good ideas in the Republican Party when it comes to creating jobs and reducing our national debt. A government that takes in less money than it spends is not a good thing. Tax breaks for small business owners is generally accepted as good policy. We can all agree on these things. So the Republican Party actually has some good ideas when it comes to jobs and federal spending, but unfortunately they do not seemed interested in implementing these ideas. Instead of talking about creating jobs we're talking about abortion and outlawing Planned Parenthood. Instead of talking about ways to reduce government spending period we are talking about reducing government spending in order to give tax breaks to the richest Americans among us which actually results in a higher national debt. This makes no sense...unless, of course, you're one of the rich guys who would get the tax break and who can afford to fly out of the country to have an abortion performed if you so choose.
1. What is going on with today's Republican Party?
2. What defines it in your opinion?
3. Will this branding help or hurt in the 2012 election?
4. Which demographic is the party true to/care about?
5. How do Romney & Ryan fit within today's Republican Party?
6. In your opinion, what is the Republican Congress trying to accomplish?