In an exclusive interview with CNN, President Obama had some candid remarks about Congressional Republicans. He didn’t mince words when saying that Congress only has a couple of jobs, but they would rather play politics than work with him to get anything done.
Which is something most liberals have said since Barack Obama became President of the United States.
His comments also reinforced a point I’ve been saying for quite some time — the tea party has pushed Republicans past the point of no return.
They’ve created a monster they must feed in order to win their primaries, otherwise their primary voters will flock to whichever right-wing radical who does tell them what they want to hear.
But by doing this, many Republicans have a hard choice to make. Either they risk losing their primaries to a radical tea party-backed Republican that will pander to the conservative base, or they pander to their right-wing base and embrace the conservative radicalism.
Obama said it perfectly when he was explaining how Republicans need to put partisan politics aside to help our country move forward:
“I’ve made this argument to my Republican friends privately, and, by the way, sometimes they say to me privately, ‘I agree with you, but I’m worried about a primary from, you know, somebody in the tea party back in my district’ or, ‘I’m worried about what Rush Limbaugh is going to say about me on radio.’”
And I absolutely believe him.
Some Republicans who were reasonable just a few years ago, are now suddenly embracing ridiculous fringe ideas such as climate change being a global hoax and evolution being a left-wing conspiracy.
These Republicans are terrified if they were to publicly side with President Obama on anything they’ll be turned on by their own party. And you’ve seen evidence of that.
Then there are those like Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck that attack Republicans who might dare put country before politics to work with the President. The right-wing media has a strong influence on what conservative voters think—because conservative voters don’t trust anyone but right-wing media sources.
So when someone like Rush Limbaugh, who has a PhD in being full of crap, spends a week destroying a Republican who might support something President Obama wants passed, that can have a massive impact on how they’re viewed back in their home states and districts.
Soundbites used against them by radical right-wing candidates that can say, “See, they sided with the radical socialist President Obama to destroy America—we can’t have that!”
Many of these Republicans who might seek more moderate tactics with the President—really can’t. To do so could be career suicide. And while it’s easy for someone from the outside to say, “Well, they should do what’s best for their country,” remember for some of these people they worked their whole lives to get where they are. It’s hard to just throw that away, even if it’s the right thing to do.
Not that I agree with the spineless nature by which many of them have sold out to the tea party and the radical components of their party, but I do get it on some levels.
After all, this is politics and it is a game.
What President Obama highlights is a systemic problem within the Republican party. But it’s a problem they created and it threatens to destroy their entire party.
The GOP has allowed a virus to infect their party, and what they had hoped would bring Republicans back to national power is actually tearing them apart.
Just wait until these “shut down the government to defund Obamacare” Republicans really get going. The infighting is going to be something worthy of the big screen.
Ted Cruz and his “we don’t get how the government works” tea party Republicans taking to the national stage to threaten to shut down the federal government, as other prominent Republicans (terrified of losing the House in 2014) try and toe the line between distancing themselves from the idiocy coming from Cruz and his cronies, while not accidentally endorsing “Obamacare.”
Because the less ridiculous Republicans (I refuse to call them “more intelligent”) will try to figure out how to call out the radical behavior of those within their own party without appearing to be siding with President Obama.
A trick that won’t be easy. Remember, as President Obama pointed out, one wrong move and individuals like Rush Limbaugh will destroy them nationally. Which, for many Republicans, could signal the beginning of the end to their political careers.
But I don’t feel sorry in the least bit for any of them. They bet big on the tea party, and that “bet” might just be the very thing that destroys the Republican party.