There is No Debate — Republicans Are the Damn Problem

mitch-mcconnell-john-boehnerThese last few years, discussing politics has at times been absolutely maddening.  I’ve never seen such irrational denial of facts, reality, science or history in my entire life.  I really never thought I’d see a point in our society where indisputable facts were no longer viable tools to use to support an argument.

But that’s exactly what has happened.

I’ve never had any problems debating politics with my opposition.  In fact, I used to invite a difference of opinion because I really believed within that debate, good ideas could present themselves that neither side might have considered previously.  But those days seem long gone.

And while I’ll be the first to admit that the Democratic party has a lot of flaws, they’re not what’s wrong with our government.  Republicans are what’s wrong with our government.

The government as an entity will never be flawless — not even close.  Our Constitution doesn’t set up a government that’s meant to be streamlined and efficient.  You can’t take 535 people from 50 different states that are completely diverse and expect them to find a simple consensus on key issues.  Because let’s face it, the representative from New York City isn’t representing the same people as the representative from Mobile, Alabama.

But while our government has always had issues, they’ve never been as bad as they have been since 2010.  The emergence of the tea party, and its takeover of the Republican party, have left this nation in such perpetual gridlock that to call our government anything but broken would be a vast understatement.

And make no mistake, our government is broken.

We have a small section of Congress that’s currently holding our government hostage.  Mind you, this isn’t the majority — it’s a small minority.  How can they do this?  Well, it rests on the shoulders of John Boehner and his failure to lead.  He fears losing his position as Speaker of the House, and has been such a weak speaker that it’s constantly under threat.

Sure, Republicans have shut down our government before, but even in the 90’s it wasn’t for such asinine reasons as they did this time.  Most sane Republicans have said from the beginning that this shutdown had absolutely zero chance at defeating “Obamacare,” so any shutdown would ultimately be pointless.  It’s been nothing more than a symbolic nod to tea party extremists that has hurt millions of others in the process.

But that still didn’t stop Republicans from shutting down our government, did it?  Facts, reality, our process of government—none of it mattered more than the tea party rhetoric being pumped into the GOP.

Now we’re facing the second possible default as Republicans continue to use the debt ceiling as a hostage to try to win some sort of partisan gamesmanship.  Let’s not forget that Republicans had no problem voting to raise the debt ceiling seven times under President George W. Bush, but now it’s suddenly a big deal.

Funny how the moment President Obama came into office, the debt ceiling was something they cared about.  But the truth is, they saw it as a way to try to blackmail the president.  In essence, they’ve taken something that shouldn’t ever be used as a political bargaining chip and have used it to try to score political points.  Putting the lives of millions of Americans at risk in the process.

And like I said, our government has historically never been that productive, but they did at least get some things done.  Even in the most heated moments between Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton our government found ways to find some kind of compromise.

Not anymore.  Not since the emergence of the tea party and the radicalization of the GOP.

The tea party is hellbent on destroying our government.  They’re borderline anarchists bankrolled by ultra-wealthy individuals like the Koch brothers who would greatly benefit if our government were reduced to rubble.  After all, these are the people who run for office shouting about horrible government is.  Why would they ever try to make it better?  Hell, they’re cheering this shutdown.

But the scary part is, these tea party Republicans are very dangerous.  Many of them sit in congressional seats where their antics are supported.  The overall polling numbers of the Republican party don’t matter, they are perfectly safe being representatives from a district where they stand no chance at being defeated.

No matter what happens, their constituents will never blame them.  Even though they are the problem.

Most Democrats I know want moderate Republicans to stand up and take their party back. They want to work with their opposition because they know as well as I do that this government doesn’t work with just one party trying to do everything.

As much as some Democrats might not want to admit it, we need Republicans.  We just need sensible Republicans—a breed that seems to be dying off.

Republicans are facing a stark reality — their party is in a lot of trouble.  As a nation we’re not becoming more conservative, we’re becoming more liberal.  So while tea party Republicans are celebrating this “coming together” of the conservative base, that only bodes well for those districts which are in no danger of ever becoming “liberal.”  For the other districts, Republicans are alienating themselves more and more from the mainstream while they embrace the fringe far right of their party.

So not only are tea party Republicans a huge problem for our country as a whole, they’re a massive problem for the Republican party in general.

And no one is denying our country has a lot of problems and needs a lot of fixing — which I believe we can do with a more informed electorate and politicians who see government as a tool, not the enemy.  We have problems that can be fixed — there are solutions to solve some of the key issues which have plagued our government, our economy and our nation as a whole.

But right now, Republicans aren’t showing a willingness to be part of the solution — which is a huge problem.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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