The GOP’s Breakdown

It is an interesting conversation. More so knowing that it is coming from a GOP discussion group.

As an observer of politics for more than 25-years and a commentator/pundit for the last five, I am now observing cracks in the armor of the Republican Party. This trend seems to be expanding since the formal start of the 2012 presidential primary season.

The ups and downs of individual candidates, the insults being flung at each other and at citizens at large,  the perceived obstructionism of the GOP members of Congress (more so with the tea party advocates), and the influx and influence of the GOP’s own special interest groups are causing the small fissures to widen. Soon, the GOP will be trying to pick-up the pieces.

To put it another way, Humpty-Dumpty is now falling and there may be little that can be done to save him before he hits the ground.

Vince Masuka, a real Miami CSI, is an active member of the Republican Party group on LinkedIn. His comments are usually party line and sometime a bit controversial. But a poll he submitted to the group has caused some interesting comments.

Vince asked, “Which group has no reason to vote Republican?”The five responses are “The unemployed,” “Gays,” “Blacks,” “Households earning less than $250,000,” and “Jobless Gay Blacks earning less than 250k.”

From questioning the validity of the noted conservative Heritage Foundation (“Did you just share a link from the Heritage Foundation? Ha!!!!! Talk about nonsense.”), to bashing their own serving in state and federal congresses, this is a “take no prisoners” discussion.  A few examples.

To the statement, “The reality of unemployment is that it was not bad when Bush left office. It has skyrocketed since with the real numbers in the upper teens rather than 8-something,” came the following retorts.

“…1.912 million jobs were lost between January and March 2009, which is surely not Obama’s fault. (NY Times columnist Paul) Krugman further notes a loss of 3.1 million jobs between January and June 2009. To pretend like this was not something inherited from Bush – a massive freefall – is the peak of intellectual dishonesty.”

“…Among GOP candidates, Sharron Angle, Ron Johnson, Richard Burr and Tom Corbett all made ludicrous remarks about jobless Americans, particularly the idea that the unemployed don’t have an incentive to look for work. When your UI benefits are not even covering your living expenses in major metropolitan areas, you’re not exactly sitting back enjoying yourself … depending on your level of savings.”

Concerning Gay and Lesbian unions, one participant wrote: “And as much as most don’t prefer to talk about it, gay unions are much more likely to be polygamous rather than monogamous, which leads me to what I believe to be the only logical answer to this ‘do-you-still-beat-your-wife’ question – Gays would be most inclined to vote democrat rather than republican or 3rd party. “

Responses include:

“I doubt there are many gays who are marrying multiple people, which is the technical definition of polygamy (“The practice or custom of having more than one wife or husband at the same time”). Cheating on your husband/wife isn’t “polygamy,” whether the act is conducted by a heterosexual or homosexual.”

“…the issue here is that [individual making the original statement] doesn’t understand the difference between polygamy (having more than one wife or husband) and polyamory (“the state or practice of having more than one open romantic relationship at a time”).”

 “Gays are marrying multiple people? I must have missed this on Springer, Sally Jessy Raphael and Montel Williams.”

As general comments concerning the current political stance of the GOP:

“Bottom line: You can’t insult large groups of Americans and then depend on them for votes. And you can’t place the needs of 350,000 millionaires (shielding them from a surtax) above 159 million Americans who would benefit from a payroll tax cut.”

 “It’s tough to make the case that the Republican Party is advocating for anyone other than heterosexual Christian households earning over $250,000.”

These comments indicate more than just a minor crack that can be fixed with a bit of Quikrete and water, much like they do on Mount Rushmore to save Lincoln’s nose.

To say that the extremists in the GOP are now destroying the foundations of the party may be an understatement. To actively and purposely insult and demoralize large segments of the American citizenry is not self-sustaining. To court these fringe elements is deplorable. This holds true for either party, or any political party working within the system.

Many have forgotten that it was the Republican Party that represented the liberal and progressive causes of the mid-1800s through about 1932, when Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the course of the Democrats, which itself caused major consternation causing more than a few “Dixiecrats” to secede from the party.

Is it time for the Republican Party to cast its current shell and lean the other direction for a while, to find a spot more acceptable to the American voter?

Would such a move actually end the division of political ideology and work again toward the common good?

To the former, I believe so. To the latter – Well I find my crystal ball is useless in predicting the future, especially when the past suggests that the abyss will remain for an long time. And no amount of Quikrete could fill that gap.

About David Rosman

David is the winner of the Missouri Press Foundation's "Best Columnist" in 2013 (First Place) and 2014 (Second Place), the 2016 Harold Riback Award for excellence in writing, and the winner of the 2007 Interactive Media Award for excellence in editing.
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