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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Why another shutdown? Our government has three parties these days: Democrats, Republicans and the new radical Republicans.

That “radical Republican” label has some history. The old radical Republicans were the Grand Old Party’s progressive wing. They were opposed during the Civil War and through Reconstruction by the party’s liberals and conservatives.

They strongly opposed slavery, demanded harsh policies against ex-Confederates and pushed civil rights and voting rights for newly emancipated slaves. Abraham Lincoln and other moderates sought compromise and unity for the party and the nation. Today’s radical right would probably call Lincoln an appeaser or a “RINO” — Republican in Name Only.

Today’s radical Republicans are quite the opposite in ideology, if not in temperament, of the originals. Today’s Tea Party-era radicals call themselves “conservative” but they radically challenge, block and overturn established laws, policies and traditions that get in the way of their ideological goals — even if it means a federal government shutdown or a possible default on the nation’s debt obligations.

Long-running partisan battles over taxes, spending, deficits, the debt ceiling and other fiscal concerns have come to a head this season in pitched, last-ditch battles by Republicans to block, repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare.”

Democrats believe that their hard-won Obamacare law — having survived congressional opposition, the Supreme Court and a presidential election in which it was a central issue — should be given a chance to work.

Republicans like Texas senator Ted Cruz fear that once Obamacare kicks in, as he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in July, it “will never, ever be repealed” after Democrats “get the American people addicted to the sugar.”

In other words, if people get a chance to try Obamacare, they might like it as much as they like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other programs long decried by conservatives as socialistic.

They have a right to hold objections to programs they don’t like. But conservatives do their country a disservice by holding the normal functions of government hostage to their tests of ideological purity. That’s not just coming from me. It also comes from many of their fellow conservatives.

Some of the party’s best known conservatives have come under attack from the GOP’s Tea Party wing for failure to be conservative enough. The Senate Conservatives Fund, for example, has been running ads that attack Republican senators Jeff Flake of Arizona, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Thad Cochran of Mississippi. Their sin: reluctance to support their party’s self-destructive strategy against Obamacare.

“Tell Senate Republicans to stand with Ted Cruz and [Utah senator] Mike Lee,” says the group’s website, “not [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell [of Kentucky] and [Senate Minority Whip] John Cornyn [of Texas].”

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    I never thought I would hear Lamar Alexander and Jeff Flake referred to as RINOs! But, in today’s Republican Party, I guess that if you only have a 99.99% voting record, you are not a “Real Republican”.
    These guys need to stop playing with ideology and look at the broad picture of America and what it needs, not just what the people in their home districts/states are telling them they want. They also need to realize that the more they gerrymander themselves, especially in a state like Texas, the sooner they will be outnumbered. Democratic House candidates as an aggregate received over One Million more votes than Republican House candidates did. Thanks to Gerrymandered districts, the real voice of the people was not heard.

    • midway54

      “…you are not a “Real Republican”. In their warped view this is tantamount to not being a “Real American Patriot.”

    • Lynda Groom

      Indeed, it is truly astounding.

    • dpaano

      Disqus: They tend to let their alligator mouths overload their hummingbird asses! Nothing new!

  • TexasYellowDog

    The GOP fed it, they cheered it, they embraced it.
    They saw it as their little secret weapon, the ones who would play dirty so they could keep their hands clean.
    But the Tea Party fooled them and fooled them good.

    Now its time for Liberals and progressives to unite and drowned the GOP’s golden baby that turned out to be just a cockroach in disguise in a bathtub and not blink.

    • Mr J.

      Hey it’s when you feed a stray animal. When it gets comfortable around you and you try to get rid of it, you can’t. Or like herpes (which is like luggage), you keep that forever.

  • highpckts

    I have an awful urge to slap, really hard, the face of Cruz, the turncoat of the US!!

  • JDavidS

    The Tea Clowns…Fed by the Koch brothers and their ilk…noutured by the Republicons. Now with a life of their own. Americas’ version of suicide bombers.

    • dpaano

      JDavid: Even the Koch Bros. have told the Republicans to stop this crap about Obamacare and open up the government. You KNOW it’s bad when they step in and go against their own Tea Party golden boy!!

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    Every single Republican who voted for the government shutdown should be tried for Treason. If found guilty, taken outside and shot! Show absolutely no mercy.

    This should have been done a long time ago to these Republicans, who in cooperation with our Corporations, shipped most of our heavy industry and our nations wealth straight to China.

    This entire affair started during the Reagan Administration which has compromised our national reputation and our national security interests.

    The people of this country deserve better from our government.

    • Sand_Cat

      Really, it isn’t treason, however despicable. It’s probably just as illegal, but I’d rather seem the feds shut down ALL Federal offices in the districts that sent these creeps to Congress. The money saved might allow other areas to continue to receive services they need.
      The other thing I’d like to see, which -despite some weak-kneed claim that because the Constitution says congressional pay can be “changed” in the current session means one can’t do it – is Obama’s ordering the Treasury Department – an executive agency – to cease issuing checks to Congress and all its employees (including security) until they fund the government. It might also be possible to undermine their healthcare plan for at least awhile as well. At the very least, they could probably drag it out for a few weeks.

      • ralphkr

        The Capitol Police are not getting paid now since they are deemed “non-essential” but they are still coming to work which demonstrates that they love America and the Constitution more than the uber-conservatives..

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        Though it might be legal to do so, I still consider what they’re doing a act of treason. Anything that shuts down our government from operating as it should is treason.

        IF these guys did this during a time of war, they’ll all be seeing the outside world from inside a prison cell, if not executed.

        I do like your idea however. Don’t pay the bastards that vote for the shutdown. Though I really don’t know how much good it would do.

  • idamag

    We have the Republican Party and the Democratic Party and the t-party fascists.

  • Mr J.

    I want Cruz to run just to see him crash and burn so BADLY!!

  • howa4x

    Now that Pandora’s box was opened the GOP needs to figure out a way to close it or it will gobble them up. The tea party is well funded by the likes of the Koch bros and Freedom works so it is not going to back down. Moderate republicans need to form an alliance with centrist democrats or they will disappear and join the Whigs in the dust heap of history. The split in the GOP is with the northeast and far west moderates Vs. the middle and deep south. arch conservatives.
    I think it serves the GOP right though. In their hatred of Obama they made a deal with the devil and now the devil wants his due

  • patuxant

    These reckless radicals are a reflection of their constituents who were gerried into a block of inbred knuckleheads who bite the hand that feeds them. Look at the color of the faces at any of their meetings or rallies. What do you see? Farmer tanned white bread dowdy people who probably combined, have less than an IQ of 99. And behind the scenes, puppet masters Kochs, Meese, et al. If these people somehow manage to overrun this country with their backwoods, Deliverance attitudes, let’s see how quickly they “wake up” and look their white, moneyed masters in the eye when they have to work for peanuts, get no healthcare, subsist on dog scraps, and live in shacks. Then what? God only knows.