“The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”
That is a perfect definition of the current Republican Party, and that definition comes from Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at the liberal Brookings Institution, and Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in their new book: “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism.”
Even a casual observer of politics can see the GOP has sifted so far to the right with the rise of teabaggers that is almost going off the cliff. These long-time observers of American politics make the case that the “Republican Party has turned into a radical party – not really a conservative party – that no Republican president in the modern era would have felt comfortable being a part of.”
On a recent appearance of the Stephanie Miller Radio Show, they said the father of modern conservatism, Barry Goldwater, would not recognize the GOP if he came back today, and even GOP saint Ronald Reagan would be too liberal for the party today and would not survive a primary.
We’re even seeing this play out in Michigan. This past weekend the two major parties held their state conventions where they nominated candidates for the Michigan Supreme Court, the State Board of Education and the Big 3 State University Boards. At the GOP convention, incumbent State Board of Education incumbent Nancy Danhof, R-East Lansing, was not re-nominated, despite having support from some establishment party figures. Her crime was voting with the majority Democrats on the board in support of early childhood education.
They also had harsh words for the mainstream media for their practice in avoiding taking sides – “in other words, to avoid reaching conclusions.” As a former member of the media, it’s not hard to understand that reluctance when the Republicans have been “working the refs” for the past 45 years with the Nixonian political strategy of the “liberal media” myth.
The Republican Party has made no secret that they don’t care about the country, and their No. 1 goal is to grab and keep power. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, said their No. 1 goal was to make President Obama a “one-term President.” “At the very beginning of the Obama administration, they made an explicit decision – now well documented – to eschew any policy negotiations with the newly elected president and Democrats in Congress. It’s a strategy of total political opposition – to avoid sharing any responsibility for the performance of the economy and to do nothing that might improve its performance.”
We also saw that quest for power right here in Michigan with the election rigging by Speaker of the House Jess Bolger, who is under a Grand Jury investigation for paying a fake Democrat to run. They did this while passing laws to suppress the vote to address election fraud that does not exist. They have to do this after Michigan House Republicans cut one billion dollars from public education; raised taxes on seniors, middle class families and the working poor; attacked women’s health and women’s rights and banned female Democratic lawmakers from speaking on the House floor.