The fanatical Republican faction may well destroy the Republican Party's chances for electoral victory through and well beyond 2012 – if they don't first destroy the republic
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By Rocky Boschert
Legislating while under the influence of an ideological addiction is not only bad government, it is also a menace to much of what Americans hold dear for themselves and their children.
The dominant Republicans in the US House – both the new and many of the longer-term incumbents – appear to be in heat. It is as if a mob psychology has seized them, starved them of facts, and deprived them of reality. Their chief mad dog is Eric Cantor; he of the sneering sound bites.
John Boehner is clearly allowing himself to be bullied by the fanatic from Virginia, and the even younger fanatics elected in 2010 on the Tea Party wave. Yet the Republicans have suckered President Obama into a game of budgetary chicken, and the uncompromising fanatics aren't blinking.
Why should the nation's debt limit be raised to pay for debts already incurred by Congressional appropriations – especially the interest accumulating debt on our two trillion-dollar wars rubber stamped by the Republicans in the last decade, as has been routinely done dozens of times? And what gives with these fanatical Tea Partiers behind Cantor?
First, it seems they're having fun just getting all the attention shaking up Washington on spending. This is called “dysfunctional arrogance and grandiosity” in the addiction community.
These extremist Republicans are also having fun and getting off with a spineless president who already has given them 80 percent of what they want and seems ready to slip further into their budgetary abyss. But as I mentioned in a recent column for the Roundup, maybe President Obama isn't spineless, maybe he is closer to his opponents in his real beliefs than his liberal/progressive supporters like to think.
The right wing fanatics in Washington are having fun because many of the House Republican freshmen class don't care about being re-elected if the price is to adopt the old ways of a despised Washington.
They must be thrilled with the attention, holding hostage small health and safety budgets such as food safety, auto/truck safety, air and water safety, and needy children's programs, while giving a pass to massively bloated military spending and very profitable corporations that pay no federal income taxes.
Their fanatical addiction is reinforced by other wealthy addicts when they go back to the country clubs where the wealthy elite slap them on the back and cheer: "Way to go, Congressman!" Wealthy Americans are absolutely beside themselves, paying the lowest rates of taxation on their capital gains and dividends in modern history.
New York Times columnist David Brooks, a conservative, thinks the "Republican Party may no longer be a normal party," but is "infected by a faction that is more psychological protest than a practical governing alternative." He sees this dominant faction as having "no sense of moral decency," having "no economic theory" worthy of the “conservative” name.
If they are really against Big Government, why aren't they cutting hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate welfare, subsidies, handouts and giveaways or gigantic Pentagon over-spending and waste, or enabling federal law enforcement to crack down on corporate crime that is looting Medicare, Medicaid, royalty collections and violating pro-competition laws?
Arrogant fanatics tend to shoot themselves in the foot. Already, 470 business leaders have written Congress urging it to raise the debt ceiling to avoid a financial crisis, along with spending restraints. More than a few of these leaders, Republicans or not, think the Tea Party faction on Capitol Hill is nuts and playing Russian roulette with the American economy.
The fanatical Republicans are playing a game of Russian roulette with their own Party's electoral future. The polls are starting to turn against them. Wait until October when the cuts hit conservative Main Street and Elm Street.
Republican voters want at least some tax increases on the wealthy and tax scamming corporations, as part of a deal. Independent Republican-leaning voters are starting to turn away from the right wing fanatical extremism on Capitol Hill.
In the end, the Republican faction that David Brooks and other functional conservatives are increasingly appalled by may well destroy the Republican Party's chances for electoral victory through and well beyond 2012 – if they don't first destroy the republic.
Although the Democrats on Capital Hill may not be much better at this point, let’s hope Brooks is right.