Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Party Of Assholes

Tom Coburn has walked back a bit from his stance demanding offsets (austerity by another name) for disaster relief for his home state.  Peter King came out and said, "Screw offsets. Let's get these people help."

In their own ways, King and Coburn are playing out interesting trends in the GOP.

King represents the old saw, "What do you call a Republican who's been indicted?  A Democrat."  The old joke is about the Republican tendency to be "tough on crime" until they actually need the protections offered the accused.

King's district was destroyed by Sandy.  Then his cohorts started playing "Let's be tough on people in need, to show how tough we are."  In short, they were being assholes.  (As an aside, the Things over the past few weeks have demonstrated real compassion for those in "weaker" positions than they are.  I couldn't be prouder as a parent.)

Coburn is being "ideologically consistent", which would be somewhat noble, if his ideology wasn't "Screw other people".  But since the GOP basically sees its job as literally inflicting misery on people by cutting things like unemployment insurance, food assistance and education budgets, being consistent with that ideology doesn't really earn you many points in my book.

The DC press has been somewhat bumfuzzled over the lack of traction of Obama using the IRS to drone kill the Tea Party with the IRS in Benghazi with a subpoena.  But the reality is that no one really cares.  No one likes the Tea Party.  No one really gives a shit about Benghazi except the Tea Party and no one gives a shit about subpoenaing phone records.

The economy is getting better.  But the new austerity of the sequester is the primary drag on the economy right now.  And the GOP - by focusing on these pseudo-scandals and taking hardline ideological positions like Coburn's - is not serving the public interest.

For all the talk about the Obama coalition and Hispanic voters and aging white populations, the real problem the GOP has is that their party is not serving the public interest.  They are serving a narrow ideological goal of funneling wealth upwards by decimating social spending, trying to cut taxes and destroy ACA and ending regulations and worker's rights.

And that agenda only serves a very narrow band of Americans.

Which is why the GOP is about as popular as head lice.

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