May 20, 2013

Republicans Behaving Badly Imperil The Party’s Future

The US Capitol Dome - Republicans in Congress are hurting the party's future.

Amid great fanfare on March 18th, 2013, Reince Priebus, the chairman of the the Republican National Committee released their multi-million dollar research study entitled “Growth and Opportunity Project” to “grow the party and improve Republican campaigns.”

While the report looked back at the failed 2012 Romney Ryan presidential campaign, the primary focus was on the future. The study recommended that Republicans “modernize the Party, and learn once again how to appeal to more people, including those who share some but not all of our conservative principles.”

The study emphasized that the overwhelming public perception that “Republicans don’t care,” was problematic for the party. The report said that the GOP should be there when people need them, so they can quickly get back on their feet. They also said “We should be driven by reform, eliminating, and fixing what is broken, while making sure the government’s safety net is a trampoline, not a trap.”

The research study also addressed social issues, and found that the GOP must be more inclusive and welcoming. The study stated that if the Republican party failed to adapt to our changing times, that women and young voters will continue to reject the party, and imperil their future.

So how is the GOP doing?

Just three and a half weeks after this report was published, the Republican National Committee (RNC) met in Los Angeles, California for their spring meeting. The RNC passed resolutions urging the Supreme Court “to uphold the sanctity of marriage,” and reaffirmed the party platform that defines marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

I guess their commitment to being a political party that’s more welcoming and inclusive, has been put on hold.

Over the last month, Republicans in the US Senate have managed to scuttle expanded background checks for gun purchases, which is overwhelmingly supported by the American people.

They boycotted the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, to avoid voting on the President Obama’s nominee to head the EPA. They did this after demanding that nominee Gina McCarthy answer over 1,100 written questions about the EPA, which is unprecedented, with 650 questions from Senator David Vitter (R-LA) alone.

Republicans on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee postponed a vote twice on the President’s nominee for Labor Secretary, and then invoked a rarely used procedural rule to delay consideration again.  Thomas Perez, the current chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, was the Secretary of Labor for the state of Maryland. In his current role at the Justice Department, he’s known for his aggressive stance enforcing voting rights, investigating police abuse and brutality, and promoting fair lending practices.

As The Washington Post notes, Democrats are fans of Thomas Perez because he champions the little guys, and Republicans dislike him exactly for that reason.  
At a Senate hearing last week, Republicans affected indignation — and strained credulity — by insisting that Mr. Perez had failed to stick up for a federal contracting program designed mainly to benefit minority and low-income workers. It was novel to hear GOP lawmakers posing as champions of the disadvantaged, but their protests were nothing but a pretext.
Republican members of Congress have been attempting to pin a “scandal” on President Obama, because a couple of rogue staffers in a regional Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office in Cincinnati, Ohio, gave extra scrutiny to conservative tea party applications seeking tax-exempt status. Every political organization that bills itself as a political “social welfare” group, worthy of tax-exempt status, should receive extra scrutiny. Give me a break!

Too many political action committees have been classified as a 501(c)4 tax-exempt social welfare group, when they’re just a front for political action committees. Republicans can cry foul - while the American people should demand that all groups receive the same extra scrutiny.

And the Republican old men in the US Senate continue to make hay with the Benghazi mess, after slashing funding for embassy security around the world,  instead of tending to the business of the Senate, which includes getting people back to work.

The coup de grace was the fact that the Republicans in the US House of Representatives voted to repeal Obamacare for the 37th time last week. The GOP has no alternative proposals to replace Obamacare - they just want to get rid of it - despite the fact that it reduces future budget deficits, while extending health insurance coverage to millions. 

Amid all of this chaos created by Republicans - we're supposed to believe they care?     

Will the bipartisan immigration bill get anywhere in this toxic climate? Excluding gay binational couples from the immigration bill will be more evidence that the millions of dollars spent on the Growth and Opportunity Project study was like flushing the money down the toilet. Then again, Republicans in Congress have been flushing taxpayers money down the toilet for years, starting with the Iraq war.

Republicans have been acting to reinforce that they don’t care, they aren’t welcoming and inclusive, and if they were in charge there’d be no growth and no opportunities for anyone.  

It’s the same Grumpy Old Party of old white men, and I see no evidence that Republicans will stop behaving badly in the near future. They’ll certainly pay for their transgressions in public opinion polls, and at the ballot box. Since they keep failing to adapt to our changing times, gay voters, women, the youth vote, Hispanics and people of color, will continue to reject the Republican  party.....now and into the future.


straight talk in a queer world.         jiveinthe415.com              

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