I have recently heard liberals refer to the current covey of conservatives in Congress, especially in the House of Representatives, as a “do nothing” group, ruling over the Party of No, whose members are not interested in getting anything done.
Nothing could be further from the truth. What we are seeing, day after day, and month after month, and now year after year, is a group of fanatics carrying out their mission, in many cases their “God-given” mission, to destroy the notion of a “federal” government, one that can serve to unify this otherwise disparate land by looking out for the well-being of all Americans. In the news now is talk of another battle over the debt ceiling and yet another threat of a government shutdown by these fanatics. The mission is ongoing.
Let me quote something to you a long-time Republican, John Dean, said about what is going on:
Conservative antigovernment philosophy works best when conservatives are in the minority, for they then have no responsibility to accomplish anything. In that position they are very good at obstructionism and using their minority status to make the Democrats look bad. This, in fact, is how they won control of Congress in 1994…Republicans achieved that victory by doing their best over the course of a number of years to destroy the place and then put the blame for it on the Democrats. Because the tactic worked so successfully, they are again reverting to this mode of behavior.
Now, John Dean didn’t write that yesterday. He didn’t write that in response to the latest debt-ceiling threats by extremist Republicans. He wrote that way back in 2007, before the term “Tea Party” was on the lips of anyone, before radicals in the Republican Party took over control of the House of Representatives and began the process of subverting good governance, the kind that benefits all the people, not just the wealthy few.
“We should not be judged on how many new laws we create,” said John Boehner, leader of the House fanatics, “We ought to be judged by how many laws we repeal.” That was on Sunday. Today we learn that Congress’ approval is at an all time low—83% disapprove of the “job” they are doing—and that the public is also losing confidence in President Obama—his job-approval number fell to its lowest mark in two years. That last datum is no accident. It is an accomplishment. It is something the “do nothing” Republicans are doing very well: bringing down Obama, as they destroy people’s faith in the possibility of good governance.
Today The New York Times reports:
Congressional Republicans are moving to gut many of President Obama’s top priorities with the sharpest spending cuts in a generation and a new push to hold government financing hostage unless the president’s signature health care law is stripped of money this fall.
In the Senate, as approvingly reported by none other than Glenn Beck, Mike Lee, a fanatic from Utah, is hard at work destroying ObamaCare—and with it good governance—by recruiting his fellow fanatics to help him:
Fifteen Republican senators, including Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ted Cruz (Texas), John Cornyn (Texas), Rand Paul (Ky.), James Inhofe (Okla.), David Vitter (La.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), John Thune (S.D.), and Chuck Grassley (Iowa), plan to block a continuing resolution to keep the government funded beyond Sept. 30 if it includes funding for Obamacare.
How do you deal with such fanatics? If you were President Obama what approach would you take?
This morning on two different cable networks, MSNBC and CNN, I heard the same outrageous suggestion from Joe Scarborough and Chris Cuomo, respectively: why isn’t the President providing leadership? Why doesn’t he do something about the gridlock? Why doesn’t he make a deal with Republicans?
The ridiculous implication, of course, is that there is something he can do, some magic wand he could wave that would make fanatics in the House and Senate stop waging jihad against him and the federal government. The Founders settled that matter a long time ago when they wrote the potential for gridlock—the separation of powers—into the Constitution.
So, there is little the President can do until the American people come to their senses and stop electing anti-government fanatics. In the latest polling, there is a tiny bit of good news, as reported by NBC:
…there are signs that Republicans are shouldering more of the blame for the situation in the nation’s capital: just 22 percent say they believe the GOP is interested in unifying the country in a bipartisan way, versus 45 percent who say the same about Obama.
It is up to Democrats, since the mainstream press is unwilling to point out the obvious, to keep explaining to the public just how radical are Republicans in Congress, just how they are attempting to undermine faith in Washington, how they are, in old-school Republican John Dean’s words, trying “to destroy the place.”
And speaking of Dean, he ended his great book, Broken Government, with a quote from “an old friend from the Nixon White House,” a “lifelong Republican” who “voted for Bush and Cheney twice,” who would only speak off the record:
Just tell your readers that you have a source who knows a lot about the Republican Party from long experience, that he knows all the key movers and shakers, and he has a bit of advice: People should not vote for any Republican, because they’re dangerous, dishonest, and self-serving. While I once believed that Governor George Wallace had it right, that there was not a dime’s worth of difference in the parties, that is no longer true. I have come to realize the Democrats really do care about people who most need help from government; Republicans care most about those who will only get richer because of government help…
Again, that was in, uh, 2007. Yikes.