Government by brinksmanship, by blackmail, by obstruction, by hostage taking - the Republican Party is no longer a partner in representative democracy. More like a bad marriage to an abusive spouse, the GOP has been violating boundaries and abusing the public trust since the last government shutdown of 1996.
Like a bad marriage, Tea Party Republicans refuse to distinguish between YOURS, MINE, and OURS. The United States is not just THEIR country; it is also OUR country and MY country. It spends not just THEIR tax money; it spends OUR tax dollars and MY tax dollars too. Government should represent the values and priorities of the American people, not merely the demands of a rabble-rousing minority. Public policy debates without compromise and consensus are not my idea of “consent of the governed” when blackmail leaves a country held hostage and a majority of its voters disenfranchised.
This insurgent minority has:
- Employed covert and overt racism, deception, and defamation to delegitimize and undermine a twice-elected president;
- Tried and failed 44 times to overturn a healthcare reform bill passed by Congress, signed into law by the president, and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court;
- Presented a list of non-negotiable demands to gut environmental protection and financial reform, weaken the social safety net, hurt the working poor, and further undermine the middle class;
- Threatened default on the public debt in violation of Amendment 14, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution – thus risking a worldwide financial crisis.
Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority (John P. Judis).
[The Republican Party is] becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe (Mike Lofgren).
A disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself (Hannah Arendt).
These actions by Tea Party Republicans, as reckless as they are, are examples of nascent totalitarianism. Let the backlash begin.
Poll Indicates GOP Has Been Deeply Damaged By Shutdown Fight