No one is surprised by the GAO report about the FDA’s rejection of “Plan B,” least of all me. Nor am I surprised that Alito is anti-abortion. It is also no shock that the political hack installed at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting abused his position to serve his political masters. And none of this should surprise you either, if you have been paying attention for the last 5 years, let alone the last 5 weeks.
The Republicans, who used to be a pretty savvy group of guys, have had their party stolen by “true believers.” Instead of compromise and coalition, we now have neo-cons and the Religious Right. And they are really screwing the pooch for the mainstream Republicans who happen to believe in things like privacy and fiscal responsibility. I feel sorry for the regular guy Rep because his party has been turned into a mega-church with rape rooms.
While this group’s actions over the last 5 years have translated into a spiralling deficit, a growth in the number of US residents at or below the poverty line, an unpopular war costing the lives of thousands of US personnel and, by some estimates, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, loss of prestige and power of the US in foreign relations (especially among our once staunch allies) – I could keep going here but I think you get my point, dear reader; they have at the same time succeeded in undermining the very purpose for which they proclaimed their union – to bring integrity to Washington D.C.
So aptly described by “Lexington” in the Economist (subscription required), the so-called “Conservative Republicans” have won the world but lost their soul:
Remember those Republican promises back in 1994 to clean up Washington? The Republican majority is now every bit as scandal-plagued and spending-addicted as the old Democratic majority, if not more so. Discretionary spending has grown by 36% in real terms since 2001. The number of pork projects in appropriations bills has grown from 2,100 in 1998 to 12,999 in 2005. Talk about winning the world and losing your soul.
So what is a middle-of-the-road Republican to do? Or for that matter, how about the Democrats? They are at least as plagued by the extreme wings of their party as the Reps. While each party claims to be a “big tent,” they both continue to fail the majority within their parties in order to serve the well financed minority interests. This country needs more political parties and to abandon the electoral college in favor of direct elections. Elected representatives need to be forced to compromise through forming coalitions, not arcane procedural maneuvers. People need to feel that their interests have a real voice in the government – then we might get more than 55% of the eligible voters to show up in a presidential election year and more than 37% to show up in the off year.
Both the RNC and DNC would hate this idea, of course, because it would fracture their hold on the legislative process which benefits their financial masters and their own pockets. For example, do you really think the credit industry needed a new bankruptcy bill? I believe they just knew they could buy one and so they did in order to hedge their bet against what looks to be a significant inflationary trend in fuel and food prices.
This is still a great place to work and live. However, I worry what will happen to the US if these “big tents” keep running the place. It is time that thinking people stepped out from under the canvas of campaign contributors and looked to protect their own interests.
So, how do you start a political party, anyway?
Cross posted at Dark Side of the Spoon