While most on the right probably consider me a left-wing radical (though ironically many liberals don’t consider me a “real” liberal), I do try to base my political opinions on common sense, logic and rational thought.
Three things I rarely seen in conservative ideology.
So consider me stunned when I saw not one, but two Republicans make comments this week which actually made sense.
First there was Republican Senator from North Carolina Richard Burr, who said it was the “dumbest idea he’s ever heard of” when he was made aware of a few Congressional Republicans trying to gain momentum to blackmail the President, by threatening to shut down our government if “Obamacare” wasn’t defunded.
Though the full context of his comments went beyond just calling these antics ignorant, he also pointed to the ridiculousness by many Congressional Republicans who become obsessive over the health care law.
Burr said, “I think it’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of. Listen, as long as Barack Obama is president, the Affordable Care Act is going to be law. I think some of these guys need to understand that if you shut down the federal government, you better have a specific reason to do it that’s achievable. Defunding the Affordable Care Act is not achievable through shutting down the federal government. At some point you’re going to open the federal government back up, and Barack Obama’s going to be president, and he won’t have signed this illusion of the Affordable Care Act.”
Yes, a Republican Senator actually said that. He not only essentially called these Congressional Republicans who support the idea of shutting down the federal government fools, he points out how small-minded they are by not understanding the “big picture.” That they’ll eventually have to fund the federal government—and the Affordable Car Act will still be law.
In other words, these people are playing politics to pander to the ignorant who obviously don’t understand how government works.
He also speaks from experience. He was also around in 1995 when Republicans did shut down the government. (Anyone notice a trend of Republicans doing this when they don’t get their way?) He remembers the backlash his party experienced following their antics nearly 20 years ago.
So while I rarely agree with Republicans, I must commend Senator Burr for not only calling these antics by these radical Republican Senators “dumb,” he also went further by pointing out the reality that shutting down the government will accomplish absolutely nothing. He alludes to the fact that these Republicans who obsess over the Affordable Care Act simply need to move on.
But of course we all know, they won’t. But at least Burr had the courage to call these Congressional right-wing fanatics out on their asinine behavior.
Then there was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie calling out Senator Rand Paul and his “dangerous” libertarianism that’s taking over the Republican party.
Granted, the example he used for this isn’t exactly a topic many liberals will agree with—his support of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs. The main issue he pointed out was this “disgust” many Republicans seem to be showing over the “groundbreaking news” that the NSA has been tracking the phone records of Americans during the Obama administration.
He basically points out this “disgust” is baseless because, as Christie accurately stated, “President Obama has done nothing to change the policies of the Bush administration in the war on terrorism. And I mean practically nothing.”
Yes, I know this will spark the, “See, Obama and Bush are the same person!” people, but so be it. If you want to say two people are exactly the same because of a handful of policies that are the same—well then I guess an apple and an orange are identical because they’re both fruits, right?
But the point that I took from his comments is that certain Republicans want to act “appalled” at the news that the NSA has been tracking the phone records of Americans, as if Obama is some tyrant that’s been spying on all of us.
Yet many of these Republicans had no problem supporting President Bush when he passed nearly identical policies for dealing with terrorism.
Only now these individuals are “shocked” by the actions of the NSA—when just a few years ago they supported them. Hell, many of them voted for the bill (the Patriot Act) which gave the NSA the power to track the phone records of Americans.
He also put out a challenge to these Senators such as Rand Paul:
“These esoteric, intellectual debates — I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. And they won’t, because that’s a much tougher conversation to have.”
And while I don’t agree with most of the policies either of these men support, their comments give me some hope that more moderate Republicans will begin speaking out, and against, these radical right-wing Republicans that seem to be taking over the GOP.
At least these comments show that some Republicans can act rational—even if only for a few brief moments.