I’m not a fan of Republicans like John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Peter King or Lindsey Graham, but I’ll at least give them credit for being sane. Sure, I disagree with them on practically every major political issue we face in this country, but at least when it’s all said and done, when I hear those four speak, they usually seem mentally sound.
Yet, sadly, in today’s GOP those four gentlemen (and other sane individuals like them) are no longer seen as “true conservatives.” Even Boehner, a man once ranked as one of the most conservative members of Congress, has been loathed by the vast majority of the far-right simply because he chose to govern (at least when he had to) based on reality rather than tea party delusions.
What’s happened since the Republican party embraced the tea party is the crazies have now taken over. These are folks who quite literally buy into their own propaganda. They are the conspiracy theorists who don’t live in the same reality as most people. These are the folks who, despite the fact that there was absolutely no way to defund the Affordable Care Act or Planned Parenthood, still believe that the government should have been shut down and remained closed until both demands were met.
And I must emphasize the word “demands” – because these tea party conservatives act more like they’re trying to hold our government hostage rather than actually trying to govern.
Even in 2013, when polls overwhelming showed the majority of the American people opposed the shutdown and blamed the GOP for our government being closed, Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz continued to fight against reopening the government.
Again, this was despite the fact that there was literally no chance at all that closing the government was going to culminate in the defunding of the ACA.
That reality didn’t matter. To this day, tea party conservatives will insist that the sane Republicans who eventually voted to reopen the government two years ago “sold out to the Obama agenda.” Remember, reality tells us there was no way they were going to win so the shutdown was absolutely pointless – and the American people were blaming Republicans for it.
Fast forward to today where House Speaker Boehner was basically pushed out by these right-wing lunatics who call themselves the “freedom caucus.” Then following Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (the individual who had been seen as the overwhelming favorite to replace Boehner) rather shocking decision to remove himself from the race – right as the GOP was conferencing to essentially make it “official” that McCarthy would be the next speaker – the entire party is in shambles.
This is an absolute joke. The GOP has become so dysfunctional that they can’t even seem to find one Republican (remember the House Speaker doesn’t have to be a member of the House) who they feel can get the 218 votes needed to win.
Well, there is one guy could easily get those votes: Rep. Paul Ryan. Too bad for Republicans that he doesn’t want anything to do with the job.
Paul Ryan has presidential aspirations and he knows dealing with tea party Republicans as House Speaker would ruin any ambitions he had for higher office.
That’s how absurd things have gotten within the Republican party. You can’t even find many solid Republican candidates to take one of the most powerful positions in our government because they damn well know they would have to choose between:
- Pandering to these right-wing crazies, which would hurt the party and forever paint them as someone who’s irrational and radical. – or –
- Do what Boehner did, obstruct as much as possible – but govern when you had to – and ultimately be forever hated by the right-wing crazies who just flat-out don’t understand how our government works.
And neither of those choices are conducive for any Republican who has future political ambitions.
What all of this chaos signifies is that the GOP has officially been taken over by people like Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Mike Lee, Bobby Jindal, Louie Gohmert and other tea party fanatics. Conservatives who seem to believe you govern based on what you think should be real as opposed to what’s actually real.
The bottom line is, you can’t be sane or reasonable and call yourself a Republican anymore. You can’t support common sense approaches to immigration; believe that climate change is real; or even adhere to rulings issued by the Supreme Court via our Constitution without being considered a “RINO” by the vast majority of conservative voters.
That’s why I think it’s time sane Republicans realize that they no longer have a political party.
It’s not that Republicans such as John Boehner or Mitch McConnell aren’t conservative enough to be Republicans, it’s that they’re too sane to be considered Republicans in today’s tea party-controlled GOP.
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