I used to look at Republicans as adults with whom I disagreed on many issues, but now they behave more like spoiled, petulant children. It just seems like everything nowadays with the GOP is centered around partisan politics. While Democrats and Republicans have never exactly gotten along, now it seems like Democrats are the party trying to push ideas to take this country forward – and Republicans are sitting back just waiting to oppose anything and everything they want to do.
The Affordable Care Act is a perfect example. The truth is the ACA was originally a Republican idea. In fact, Mitt Romney (the GOP’s 2012 presidential candidate) passed basically the exact same law while he was governor of Massachusetts. But the moment President Obama got behind the law, and many Democrats supported it as well, then suddenly it was “radical socialism that’s going to destroy the American health care system and it must be repealed immediately!” The irony behind it all was fascinating to me. The Republican party was running a candidate who supported and passed the exact same law while he was a governor, an idea that was originally crafted by their own party – at a time when they had done just about everything they possibly could to make Americans think the Affordable Care Act was the worst thing to ever happen to this country.
It just seems like everything lately with the GOP is nothing but political theater. That’s a point Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) made when he accused Republicans of using the hearings to confirm Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s pick for Secretary of Defense, as a staging ground to provide Fox News with propaganda and “soundbites” to use during their broadcasts.
“There are plenty of forums were the attorney general would have an opportunity to defend himself,” Whitehouse said of Republicans who continued to focus on Attorney General Eric Holder, someone who was not in attendance at these hearings. “This is not one. There is no forum here, there is no opportunity here for Attorney General Holder to answer these various charges that have been made. I think that is fundamentally unjust. And I think it is frankly beneath the dignity of this committee at a time when we have a very significant and solemn charge before us to determine the fitness of a specific individual to be attorney general of the United States.”
Basically what Whitehouse accused Republicans of doing was using these hearings to issue personal attacks against Holder that had absolutely nothing to do with why these hearings were taking place.
“I have no problem with the attacks,” he continued. “My problem is choosing this forum for them when the other, the individual in question, has no chance to answer. I think it fails President Washington’s test that one speak not evil of the absent for it is unjust. I regret that this hearing and this solemn occasion has been co-opted to that extent, and turned into what appears to be a soundbite factory for Fox News and conspiracy theorists everywhere.”
But the fact that Republicans are behaving in such a way shouldn’t surprise anyone. They’ve been using the Benghazi attack for well over two years as a “story” despite the fact that their conspiracies have been continually debunked – even by a Republican-led investigation. And even after their own investigation disproved all of their lies, they simply ordered another one.
It really is a shame that we have a major political party in this country acting like a bunch of children when we desperately need them to behave like the adults that they’re supposed to be.
Watch his remarks via C-SPAN: