Why are Republicans against whatever Democrats or Independents are for? Michael Bérubé, a literature professor at Penn State observes “It is very difficult to get a man to understand something when his tribal identity depends on his not understanding it.” Man, that hits the nail on the head, in one sentence.
The Democrats have Centrists, ultra liberals, and the Blue Dogs who are simply trying to court favor with enough Republicans in their districts to have a chance for re-election. But the Republican leadership, through threats and intimidation, have kept their party voting as a bloc, and they’ve made it clear that the failure of the Democrats as a party for the past 2 years is diversity of opinion and voting independence.
The Origin of the Republican Species is policies that favor the interests of very few and distrusting anything that smells of populism. Republicans and Tea Partiers decrying “elitism” is self-condemnation uttered by the deaf and blind.
Republicans with brains won’t vote their consciences because they don’t want to be branded in campaigns as the persons responsible for Obama’s re-election or re-election of Democrats.
“Big government”is a false issue, subscribed to because of American provincialism and ignorance of history and civics. Who’s opposed to effective rules to prevent Wall Street’s excesses and conniving that precipitated this economic retrogression? Or really opposed to expansion of the middle class and contraction of the super rich that widens the gulf between Americans each year? Is the fear of government “control” of our lives more realistic than “control” of our lives by mega corporations, by Wall Street traders and bankers who don’t care about the consequences of their effort to maximize their incomes at the expense of everyone else’s?
We should counter the false alarm of “big government” with“intelligent government for you and me.” Americans are sacrificial lambs when politicians comport themselves only to thwart social and economic progress so that “the other party” will not be able to claim any accomplishments in the next election campaign. And we have to combat the falsehood that the Democrats are more dedicated to improving the lot of the poor than improving the social and economic conditions of all Americans. In that respect, we should adopt the term “Obamacare” proudly, as a force for accomplishment and improvement for all Americans and be ready to improve the program as necessary.If the economy improves without Republicans proposing concrete steps to improve it, will the GOP claim the improvement came from Republican budget-cutting initiatives? Yes, they will. Will Americans be dumb enough to believe it? I hope not, but I won’t bet on it.
Are we now going to let American tribal identity imitate Libyan, Pakastani, Afghan and Iraqi tribal allegiances? Welcome to the 16th century, Boehner and McConnell.