Opinion

Bernd Debusmann

America’s Republican extremists

By Bernd Debusmann
July 20, 2012

The United States is in grave danger from domestic enemies:  Infiltrators from the Muslim Brotherhood have wormed their way into sensitive government positions, Communists wield influence in the House of Representatives, and President Barack Obama hates America and is trying to dismantle, brick by brick, the American Dream.

The first two assertions – Muslim infiltrators and Communists in Congress – come from Republican members of Congress. The third comes from the host of the radio talk show with the biggest audience in the United States. All three merit pondering about the current state of the Republican Party, a mainstay of American democracy for more than 150 years.

A brief look at the details of the claims first. In June, Michele Bachmann, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a radio interview that “it appears there has been deep penetration in the halls of our United States government by the Muslim Brotherhood.” In letters that came to light in mid-July, she asked the inspectors general of four government departments to launch inquiries into the depth of Muslim penetration.

Bachmann’s letter to the Department of State pointed to Huma Abedin, a top aide of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as grounds for “serious security concerns.” The letter, co-signed by four other Republican lawmakers, quoted an anti-Muslim organization as saying Abedin had family members with connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.

That claim prompted angry rebukes from the man who ran her unsuccessful campaign for the presidency, Ed Rollins, and from Senator John McCain, the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 2008. Rollins, a veteran Republican strategist, combined criticism of Bachmann’s “far-fetched” charges with a warning about the future of the party: “The Republican Party… is going to become irrelevant if we become the party of intolerance and hate.”

Bachmann’s root-out-the-Muslims campaign came just two months after Allan West, a Florida Republican, told a town hall meeting that “I believe there are about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party (in Congress) that are members of the Communist Party.” Republican leaders let that statement pass without comment.

For two of the country’s most eminent Congressional historians, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, West’s claim provided evidence that the Republican Party has gone astray. In an op-ed article in April, the two noted the lack of condemnation from major party figures. What was remarkable about the case, they said, “is that such extreme remarks and views are now taken for granted.”

For other extreme views, let’s turn to talk show host Rush Limbaugh on July 16:  ”I think it can now be said, without equivocation – without equivocation – that this man hates his country. He is trying – Barack Obama is trying – to dismantle, brick by brick, the American dream.” Why? “He was indoctrinated as a child. His father was a communist. His mother was a leftist.”

FROM LUNATIC FRINGE TO MAINSTREAM

Limbaugh has an average weekly audience of around 15 million, more than any other radio talk show and no matter how over-the-top his attacks on Obama and his team may be, they very rarely draw comment from Republican politicians who fear doing so might cost them votes.

Particularly in an election year, it’s not unusual for members of Congress or commentators to make outrageous remarks about the political opposition. Democrats were harshly critical of President George W. Bush. But there is no exact Democratic equivalent of the likes of West, Bachmann, Limbaugh and others who vent ideas that were once restricted to the lunatic fringe and are now part of the Republican mainstream.

To help understand how U.S. politics arrived at this stage, and the dysfunction that goes with it, a new book by Mann and Ornstein entitled It’s Even Worse Than It Looks is recommended reading. The two work for think tanks on different places on the political map – Mann for the centrist Brookings Institution and Ornstein for the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

Their conclusion: “The… core of the problem lies with the Republican Party. The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

“More loyal to party than to country,” the Republicans behave like an adversarial party in a parliamentary democracy. In America’s separation-of-powers government, this is a formula for “willful obstruction and policy irresolution,” write Mann and Ornstein.

The two criticize the U.S. mainstream media for having done a poor job in explaining the transformation of the Republican Party and its steady rightward drift to a place where compromise is a dirty word. They argue that the journalistic tradition of giving both sides of a story produced false equivalence and thus failed to portray an accurate picture.

But in the end, they say, it’s up to the voters. If they punish ideological extremism at the polls next November, the Republican Party would have an incentive to return to the center. “Otherwise, our politics will get worse before it gets better.”

PHOTO: U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann speaks to the employees of Nationwide Insurance Company during a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa December 9, 2011. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes

 

Comments
41 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

As some one who served this country, I now fear it’s future. With all the wacky people in the Republican Party making the most absurd claims, and committing outright slander against the President and Party, I have to wonder where we are headed when the Republican Party does nothing to distance itself from the slander and lies, and the Media does not call them on it.

History has shown that when a society allows extremist views to become their mainstay, countries become evil and eventually fall. What is going on now with the Republican Extremists appears very similar to how Hitler and the Nazi party whipped up hatred of the Jewish people in order to control their people and take their minds off failed government policy.

I fear for the future of America.

Posted by Robert76 | Report as abusive
 

This is a struggle between the extreme collectivists on the left and those that believe in individual freedoms. There can be no compromise in this struggle. While the speech coming from Limbaugh, West, and Bachmann sounds extreme, I consider it simple exaggeration.

I believe it is a warning of what could be if we let the so-called Progressives have their way. They will not stop until they control everything about our lives. In their elitist fantasy world we are just children that need their enlightened leadership. We need to be told what to eat, what to wear, and how to behave. In this regard I lump them in with the muslim and christian extremists.

Posted by chzwiz007 | Report as abusive
 

Farkel44 –

I hope nobody clicks the “Report as abusive” link on your comment, because, in an appropriately ineloquent way, it supports the author’s thesis.

Posted by TobyONottoby | Report as abusive
 

The USA has already fragmented into groups who lay claim to the whole of the country, and who would either totally dominate everyone else or push them out. This is an accomplished fact.

And the fact is that, if the powers that be are not of your group (however you define that), you will not be given equal protection of the law, equal opportunity, and neither will your children born or unborn. We are entering into a period of increasing hostility from many sides, not just the Republican one.

The Republicans are, most of all, pro-gerrymandering, pro-discrimination laws, pro-financial crime, anti crimes of pleasure, pro-prison, pro-war, and pro-death. There is no denying it. They choose who is free, who is attacked, who is imprisoned, and who is to be killed. They brook no disagreement. Shut up and obey, or die.

It is easy to see these unprincipled bullies as the only villain on the American stage, but that is simply and sadly not true. They are simply the single most powerful of many varied fascist groups here, a number of which are on the opposite side, and more of which are on both sides at the same time. Collision and division seem inevitable. How can you make a compromise between the slave and the slave dealer? It is not going to happen.

It is hard to imagine how these groups can continue to be in the same country. That is not good news for those of us on the sidelines.

Posted by usagadfly | Report as abusive
 

But just because 15 million people listen to Rush doesn’t mean all 15 million of those listeners really believe everything Rush says. It’s also true that — I think I heard it’s 11 million people — who listen to NPR. It was also true that many people listened to Dr. Laura Schlesinger before she was fired, but how much of that was because they really believed what she said about most things and how much of it was that they simply found her entertaining? I think maybe Bernd is projecting more of a political consciousness on people than what’s really out there.

Posted by Calfri | Report as abusive
 

Oh, for a government that would represent all men equally…

Posted by matthewslyman | Report as abusive
 

If you don’t consider Obama’s views as Liberal Extremism, I don’t know how much more writing on the wall you need. Would a highlighter help?

Posted by freethinking | Report as abusive
 

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
Abraham Lincoln. I think of that quote of a stalwart of the Republican party when I think of the statement Bernd quotes: “The… core of the problem lies with the Republican Party. The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science”

And, when I think of Bachman, I think of another Lincoln quote:
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Posted by propensity | Report as abusive
 

I do not think that the majority of the Republican party are as described in this article. From my perspective, both far left and far right are too extreme, and do not represent either Democrats or Republicans. I tend to ignore both Democrats and Republicans who make extreme statements – ignore them but keep my eye on them. Having said that, in my opinion the current administration seems bent on taking away liberties; in this environment, people get scared and tend to over-react. I see this as the reason some people speak out like this.

The American people saw this trend by the administration in 2010 and voted the Republicans back into control of the House. With any possibility of the current President being reelected, I hope that the Republicans also gain control of the Senate. Someone needs to keep this imperialist President in check.

For what it is worth, I sometimes catch Rush for entertainment purposes. I happened to hear the statements in question, and I actually agree with him on this one. President Obama seems intent on dismantling everything that made America great. I base this on what President Obama has done in office, not what he has said.

Posted by stevedebi | Report as abusive
 

Whay is it that people think they can hink by themselves when they repeat what they heard “Barak is imperialistic” ok name me one thing he did that is “imperialistic” i.e for his own sake or power rather thatn for the common ggod. Or “he takes away our liberties” – How? by protecting 30 million from not having health care? by reducing payroll taxes? by hoping that the crongress keeps Bush taxe cuts on 95% of the population. Why is it that nobody is complaining that 20% of your taxes are going for defense or police for example? Is that not a much higher attempt at your liberties and standard of living?

Posted by Peertoperr | Report as abusive
 

The Red States are destroying themselves with Global Warming. All of their nonsense is nothing compared to that.

Posted by Jim1648 | Report as abusive
 

If you think that the Democrats equally guilty of extremeism and party-over-country behavior, read the book by Ornstein and Mann and consider its title. These guys are as unbiased as you will find.

Posted by sandblast | Report as abusive
 

My local paper has a regular, almost daily letter contributor who agrees with Rush and the far-far-right as described here. For Independence Day (4th of July) there was a feature: tell us your definition of a Patriot. That person wrote a long reply. The letter started in earnest, ‘good, I thought, here is some light on his thinking’; then he listed all the Traditional Values he believed important to patriotism, and he had me thinking ‘lots of common ground’ as he waxed about “E Pluribus Unum”; but he closed by saying that the whole problem today was how the “Libs” want to kill all those values and destroy America. OK then. Kind of like the “some of my best friends are…” denial logic seen in some replies here.

The E Pluribus Unum part reflects how we’ve always been a nation of compromise, all the way back to our founding and constitution. Enormous ‘condescension’ which then meant polite, civil or hospitable accomodations or deference, were required to keep the north and south, or planters and backwoodsmen, or artisans and bankers, from going at each other’s throats instead of joining in common cause under General Washington, and signing the Constitution over a decade later.

Those unwilling to compromise today claim the moral or ideological high ground; they’d accept the cost to America of a credit downgrade for the sake of ideology with nothing in return; they’d spite millions of Americans as evil “union workers” and happily buy from overseas to give China a supply side boost instead, etc. This seems crazy, when will remember that we’re all Americans?

Posted by Decatur | Report as abusive
 

I have been watching the GOP for a long time and they have progressivly gotten worse to the point they have become the enemy of America. There fabricated lies, innuendos, slander of biblical proposrtion and projection of all their evils on the Democrats has been mind boggleing. The Democrats to fight this onslaught have had to play some nasty tricks too so it escalates. But the GOP are off the cliff and into the looney bin. Their far fetch lies labeling Democrats as Communists, marxist or the like, demonstrate their inability to discern reality vs evil fiction they create and it shows they have no scruples or integrity whatsoever. Both parties deserve a kick in the pants, but the GOP are way out of control and if we don’t stop them now – we will have lost this country to evil avarice thugs and gullible right wing protestants who misthink God and GOP are one and the same.

Posted by JLWR | Report as abusive
 

Wow. What incredibly objective reporting. Considering the nearly constant liberal dribble that flows from Debussman’s virtual pen, I don’t think this was an overwhelming indictment of the right. The left wing extremists think they are moderates, as do the right wing extremists. I would like to see some truth, objectivity and intelligence, along with real leadership in our government. I don’t see that in the extremes of either party in the USA.

The closest to that is the Ron Paul camp – I think he has a grasp of the real economic mess we are in, even if I don’t agree with all of his views. Here is a guy with a scientific background, strong military and business understanding saying things that neither party wants to hear. Hmmmmm. That is a positive in my book.

Posted by AuAgExpl | Report as abusive
 

You know that things have gotten bad when a man of my age sometimes thinks that Richard Nixon would be a distinct improvement over the current GOP. Yikes, I can’t believe I’m even entertaining such a bizarre thought!

Posted by IntoTheTardis | Report as abusive
 

The Tardis,

Yes, Dickie was a realist in his own way and intelligent at least. But he started the GOP on the downward slide with his “Southern Strategy” that essentially took over the Dixiecrats and co-opted them into the Republican Party. So now they are the worst combination possible of know-nothing types (who, by the way, at least did not shrink from that label) and the robber-barons of the past. Why they support each other is a curiosity since they have no real common interests, but the small yeoman farmers in the antebellum South supported the plantation owners too.

And speaking of Dickie, do you remember Spiro T. Agnew? You don’t hear much about him nowadays, do you?

Posted by Jim1648 | Report as abusive
 

His comment that “there is no democratic equivalent” goes to the real issue; both sides have idiots, but one side’s idiots are running the show. On the democratic side, we have to work pretty hard to keeping the idiots outside the room when important decisions are made and have largely been successful in doing so. Of course, you will hear the idiots yelling that “Bush is a war criminal” (he’s not) or how Gore really won the election in 2000 (sorry, don’t think so) but that’s all they get to do; they have not ever been in a position that could result in our country defaulting on our debt because of their belief that compromising means “the other side surrenders”. Unfortunately for our nation and the GOP’s relevance as a party, the idiots on the other side broke down the door to the meeting room and have seized control. There is a simply solution to this issue: vote democrat.

Posted by NoVaCRE | Report as abusive
 

NoVaCRE,

You touch on a relevant issue with me. There is no party that really represents my interests. That is a different issue then what mistakes are they making at the moment, and goes to the longer-term view. But I don’t think that my long-term interests include running the country into the ground, and so I will vote Democrat also.

Posted by Jim1648 | Report as abusive
 

It’s interesting to see how Mann and Ornstien’s “false equivalence” formulation flows through these comments. The concept is so pervasive in American thought – driven by the media and what passes for jounalism today – that you wonder if anyone in this country ever knew how to think critically.

Posted by foiegras | Report as abusive
 

The Republican Party is not becoming irrelevant by being the party of intolerance and hate. These qualities have actually served the party well and have traditionally had broad appeal. They are becoming irrelevant by having succeeded in destroying the economy and middleclass by having sold the government and the public for thirty pieces of silver. The party is now desperately appealing to their sanctimonious, evangelical Christian base. Regardless of how much the lunatic Republicans turn America towards a totalitarian theocracy, they will eventually realize that the only god America worships is the almighty dollar and that even the faithful will draw the line at being at the bottom of the 99%. But, hey, if it’s anyone else at the bottom, that’s ok. That’s the American way.

Posted by Greenspan2 | Report as abusive
 

Bernd is a fool. How is he not laughing when he writes….”there is no exact democratic equivalent to the likes of West, Bachmann, Limbaugh..”? He is so blinded by his own politic that he is incapable of comprehending and accepting opposing political views. Hey Bernd, how about those democratic black caucus members who recently visited Fidel Castro in Cuba and glowingly effused admiration for him and his communist regime? Was that “radical fringe” or just Pro-American allegiance?

Posted by Fergusdude | Report as abusive
 

Classic Progressive Liberal thought. Attack the other guy for your own behavior and hide behind that. You want to talk about “extremists”, consider the continual leftward shift in politics over the last 40 years such that this administration proudly had self avowed communists Anthony Kapel (Van Jones’ real name) and marxists (Anita Dunn with her love of Mao) within the administration. Lefties all over the place trying to clamp down on the free speech of the right (as this author is indirectly trying to do) and class warfare.

As for one poster’s comments about disrespecting the president, consider what the last President had to deal with: Progressive Liberals writing books and plays about killing him and the vile things that people like chris matthews and bill mahar have said, and that doesn’t even include the Progressives in Congress or the CBC. president Marxist is just getting the treatment that the Progressive Liberal left decreed was appropriate, so quite whining.

Posted by iq160 | Report as abusive
 

From the beginning our founding fathers knew better than to let those without land or assets “at risk” to vote. Judges were accountable to “we, the people” if they did not conduct themselves in strict accordance with their statutory oaths.

There was no “political class”. Congress served without pay, and was comprised of people who had to be successful in order to be able to afford to go to Washington and serve a term or two. Our “Professional” politicians of today have figured out that by consistently pitting one group of citizens against another each “party” can blame the other when festering problems are not being addressed or resolved.

Both Democrats AND Republicans have reduced the coming election to a contest in which voters decide which party will do the LEAST damage in the next four years. As America has ceased to maintain the pool of “informed voters” necessary for our representative system of government to function, our “government” becomes ever more dysfunctional.

“We, the people” need to demand a national debate to move toward majority consensus as to what sort of society America’s resources can sustainably support. Without such consensus there is no finite limit to steady expansion in size and power of our federal government, just as without such consensus there is no limit to the percentage of national revenue related taxes must increasingly claim.

Tax revenue is the crack cocaine of every politician and every party. To increase government revenue before making government show us they can efficiently and effectively utilize the mind boggling amount they already shovel out day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year is to try to extinguish an out-of-control fire with gasoline.

We then need to prioritize progress towards achieving such agreed goals. Our politicians have forgotten how to prioritize because with endless increases in the national debt, they have come to believe if they spend it “we, the people” must come up with the money. It is time taxpayers reacquaint them with the word “NO!”. America can still afford everything it NEEDS. No country in the history of the world has ever been able to afford everything it WANTS.

But first, “we, the people” have to get the attention of the “political class”. We need to reestablish common interests between Congress and taxpayers. They are paid to represent “us, not give us excuses for their inability to do this.

We need to bring Congressional salaries down to an “average” American’s salary, with health coverage and retirement benefits no better, and limit membership to two terms. That should reacquaint them with the hearts and minds of the rest of the country (that also has to WORK for a living).

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive
 

They are all same!
Both, D N C,R N C

Best we can do as citizen of this great Country of ours,
Find the way to pay off DEBT both party rack up over the years.

Sign up for Simpson & Bowls plan.
If you don’t know,Google it!

Posted by fixthedebtnow | Report as abusive
 

When someone at the American Enterprise Institute says “The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science” you know you’ve gone off the rails somewhere.

Posted by spall78 | Report as abusive
 

OneOfTheSheep: You should include campaign reform on your to do list. All that money has corrupted the entire election process. Nuts.

Posted by AuAgExpl | Report as abusive
 

@AuAgExpl,

I agree completely. That would be combined with a push for a federal, state and local initiative and referendum process. That doesn’t work when enough MONEY is available. The “powers that be” frame the issues such that black appears white and that “message” is then “sold” via media time purchases.

Politicians HATE the idea of direct citizen participation in a process they otherwise totally control (both discussion and decision). Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Perhaps this is the initial step that could bring about the rest?

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive
 

It may be too late to stop the complete dumbing-down of the Silent Majority. You find these folks in the South and Mid-West. They are conservatives, they are mostly Christians, they are white and most of them are poor. But, they consistently and vehemently vote and support the Republican Party. Why? In part, they believe that they have been put-upon by whoever or whatever. I call it the Constant Aggrieved Conservative Psyche. They believe that they have to put-upon others before they get put-upon, at least as they see it. They are feed a steady stream of this put-upon ideology by the media, elected Republicans, the Koch brothers, Limbaugh, Fox News and others that maintain an agenda that works directly against poor conservative voters. It’s an easy way out: to blame others. They see themselves being put-upon by liberals, veterans, the disabled, public workers, the elderly, the liberal media (if any liberal exists today), unions, etc. Somehow in the minds of these conservatives they have been put-upon by these groups. The Koch brothers spend millions each year to keep them in line. So do the Republicans they elect to office. These are the people destroying America.

Posted by Jaay | Report as abusive
 

@iq160 quite whining?? failed to live up to your own hype there, buddy

Posted by rob16aus | Report as abusive
 

Both sides are playing a desperate overtime game – fouls and illegal blocks abound, there is no credible referee either as they have been driven away. To make matters worse we have a lot of credible but untruthful advisers waiting for their personal gains when their candidate wins. It is typical in desperate games, when one party acts crooked, the other may not have a choice use offense to defend. Has any of the politicians, including the small town politicians, thought about not playing a game on the people and provide support and honest course corrections to the leadership that people have elected until the next opportunity to prove their party’s capability. Is it too much to do for the people who deserve the benefit of the candidates they have put in office? How about impressing the people by a fairness game and win the public support? Right now all the bickerings as opposition will be entertainment for the public who will vote from their heart and from twisted facts. American people who are the most educated in the world did not come this far by making difficult decisions and they will rise up the right decision. I appreciate the comments so far which are not the typically and frequently seen deviants from the subject and sanity and thank Reuters for the efforts. C-lion

Posted by slnsimhan | Report as abusive
 

As AuAgExpl says:
“The left wing extremists think they are moderates, as do the right wing extremists.”

I imagine I am one of those left wing extremists being referred to. Maybe wanting a single payer medical system as in other advanced countries that covers everybody, for half the per capita cost of the US, is extreme?
Maybe despising a wholesale Administration kill list, largely for Muslims, and anybody else who is standing around a listee, is extreme.
Maybe questioning a system of perpetual war with the dissenting people of the world is extreme?
The list could go on. I think this is moderate thinking, that we don’t even know where the middle is.

I’m confident that many Americans will find me awful, for even thinking such stupid, left of liberal things.

Even the Democrats hate most of these points of view.

The point is, the parties don’t represent the left and the right, just the far right, and the very far right.

But, while all these emotionally charged, hateful arguments between the far right Democrats and very far right Republicans goes on, guess what: our country is stolen from us.

For example, the final cave in of our government to financial interests, the rejection of Glass-Steagall limits on investment banks, occurred under cover of the Monica Lewinsky/President Bill Clinton scandal. When we should have been examining what eventually would lead to near (if not yet in fact) destruction of the world financial system, instead we where tantalized by what biological material was on a pair of stockings!

Gives one an idea about what all this inter-party fighting is about. While we shout at each other, the country goes down the corporate tubes.

Just think about who is benefiting from these inter-party clashes, and how we are going to take the real issues facing this country back into our hands.

Posted by xcanada2 | Report as abusive
 

during bushs last term,
the democrats were just as extreme in their frustration as some republicans are now.

follow like sheep without question oh democrat, your self righteous attitude gives some measure to the world of your ignorance.

gas is just as high as when obama took office. he has done nothing to bring gas prices down.

the nations debt is at a record high. obama spends with out regard or caution.

jobs with good pay scales are not there.

our troops are still in harms way at higher numbers than bush ever had. campaign promises?

you cant understand why the republicans want obama out?

like sheep, without question.

Posted by therr | Report as abusive
 

Good people, America will not find solutions in the trunk of an elephant or on the back of an ass. The “answer” to our many problems is there, as it always is. It’s not simple, it’s not quick, and there will be a price to pay.

We, the people will have to think for ourselves. Our path out of the present wilderness has not been traveled in a long time. There are no sign posts pointing where we need to go. But the choice is go there or watch America die here.

In November I will hold my nose and vote for the lesser evil as I perceive same. Can anyone do more?

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive
 

And the real disaster, is that these assertions are TRUE.

Thanks for bring this to the attention to all Americans. But stop the lying in telling them that the assertions are just false allegations.

This once again proves that the media is a shill for the u-bam-a mob.

But like other commenters have pointed out, politicians do not have the answers.

The answers are available at http://trueproblems.wordpress.com/ and http://newpoliticalparty.wordpress.com/

The facts no one wants to read.

Learn to think for yourself.

Censorship is evil.

Posted by ALLSOLUTIONS | Report as abusive
 

A question for BERND DEBUSMANN: Were Adolph Hitler’s policies mainly socialist, or conservative? Describe those policies objectively, and compare with modern political parties.

Posted by sarkozyrocks | Report as abusive
 

Rush makes his money peddling and pandering to fear. Michele Bachmann derives her influence from propagating scary stories about the administration. Allan West was rabble-rousing, plain and simple.

The scariest part of this whole scenario is the number of people willing to believe in this hogwash. I’m sure part of the fear comes from having the unthinkable happen in Washington: we elected a black president. That can and will fade as more and more people get used to the fact, whether they’re happy about it or not. But I suspect the larger fear is that we no longer occupy our old comfortable space in the global society. The good jobs and the easy money aren’t there any more. This is terrifying and we want to go hit something or someone to make it better.

The fear is all the more dangerous because it is based on legitimate concerns. Many of us baby boomers who saved for retirement will be okay, but we don’t know what to do for our kids. We can’t vote money back into the U.S. economy.

I agree that the Republican party has become part of the problem and may indeed be irrelevant, but as a country we still seem to want our fix of simple solutions to complex problems. Perhaps we need to hit a collective bottom before we are ready to listen to useful advice.

I hope that bottom isn’t too deep and dark.

Posted by ChicagoFats | Report as abusive
 

Perhaps the best comparison of the current batch of Republicans is with 20th century fascists with whom they have a close relationship. Mussolini and Franco come to mind quickly as excellent historical examples of what the Republican Party is rapidly becoming. Both Mussolini and Franco viewed the world in only one way….their way. They viewed other viewpoints as traitorous. Of course, they both turned out to be monsters. There are so many on the extreme right in America today that could also be judged as emerging monsters. Rush Limbaugh is certainly their media front man but he is only the tip of the iceberg. Romney, himself, could very easily be identified as emerging fascist if only because his Mormon faith, if nothing else. There is a reason John Krakauer refers to Mormons as “The American Taliban.”

Posted by explorer08 | Report as abusive
 

“The Republican Party… is going to become irrelevant if we become the party of intolerance and hate.”
John McCain

Sorry John, but the Republican Party has already become the party of intolerance and hate. It’s time these insane people were voted out of office.

Posted by UpToDate | Report as abusive
 

Perhaps the people spewing their vitriol at the Republicans need to look in the mirror as they prove that the Democrats are just as bad when it comes to hatred and intolerance of anyone who disagrees with them. For the record I find both equally reprehensible because as a centrist neither of them represent my views they are only in it for their own idealogies. I see more people screaming for the abolition of the Republican party than I see making the same demand for the Democrats but remember the old adage “be careful what you wish for as you might just get it”. If we get rid of one party and the way our system has become it is difficult at best for someone who is not of either party to even get on the ballot in some areas then we will have only the remaining party telling us who we can vote for and that is something that we have seen in many dictatorships.

Posted by texan5555 | Report as abusive
 

Conservative or Liberal, Progressive or “Regressive”, right or wrong, this Union was founded on compromise, and the US Republic is designed to work on compromise.

Unfortunately, and especially on the right, “compromise” has come to denote “weakness”. This is a very unfortunate trend in the vernacular and in D.C.

For example, “the integrity of the engine was ‘compromised’ due to no oil change for 20,000 miles,” or, “the foundation of the house was ‘compromised’ by the flood.”

Well, this house called the United States is being serious “compromised” being seriously compromised by an unwillingness to um, well, compromise.

Posted by ZenGalacticore | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •