In every civilized country in the world, people are hesitant to take the government’s, and particularly politician’s, word as truth because they have agendas and policies to protect leaving the public to depend on news media to report unbiased analysis of a government or politician’s activities. Since the terror attacks on 911, the media has been remiss to report the truth either out of fear of being labeled un-American or retribution by the Bush administration, and despite Republican claims of a “liberal media bias,” the corporate-owned main stream media has failed to report the news in an unbiased and truthful manner. On Friday, in a commentary in the Washington Post, Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein finally accurately reported that the reason Washington has become so dysfunctional that government is not working for the American people is because Republicans are the problem.
For political observers who are not on the neo-conservative payroll, it is obvious that the obstructionist Republicans who refuse to compromise on any issue are the sole reason for dysfunction in Congress, and there are three fundamental reasons they choose intransience over compromise. The first is rooted in the Republican ideology that government and the people exist to enrich the one percent of Americans controlling the lion’s share of wealth in this country, and any agenda that does not favor wealth will meet an early death in Congress. The second reason is the Republican hatred of President Barack Obama that is founded in racism and disbelief that Americans dared to elect an African American man instead of a white neo-conservative to lead the country. The third reason is more difficult to quantify, but one can suggest that it is extremism with its basis in opposition to President Obama and a desire of fanatics to return to pre-Civil War America where minorities were property and guns were the law of the land. Republicans have, in effect, become an anti-American extremist sect that will take down the government and the American people before they will move one iota from their dysfunctional extremist position.
The Post article pointed to a recent comment by Representative Allen West (R-FL) who asserted on video that there are 78 to 81 Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party, and how there was no outrage or condemnation from other Republicans or the remaining presidential candidates. As the article pointed out, it is not all that unusual for an extremist nut-job to make outlandish and unsubstantiated remarks or assertions, but that West’s intemperate comments are taken for granted and to some degree expected and condoned as legitimate political tactics portends just how far extremism has become the norm for the Republican Party.
Before George W. Bush was president, it was not unusual for both parties to give some ground in the interest of the people and to address the challenges of running the country. Indeed, Democrats conceded many positions during the Bush administration to keep the government functioning even though Republican policies were not economically sound, and to maintain America’s standing as a unified nation in a time of crisis. However, since the election of Barack Obama, Republicans have adopted a zero-tolerance for compromise and began the President’s term promising to obstruct any legislation including their own ideas. It is the first time in American history that one political party is more than willing to bring the entire country down before they will compromise, recognize “conventional understanding of facts, evidence or science, and more importantly, acknowledge the legitimacy of its political opposition.”
The gridlock in Washington is entirely the fault of Republicans who were all too anxious to take any steps to deny President Obama a second term and oppose every initiative unanimously, and at the beginning of the 112th Congress sought to repeal any achievement to delegitimize the President and his policies. America’s first credit downgrade in its history arrived because Republicans were unwilling to take a balanced approach to debt reduction by raising revenue in conjunction with spending cuts, and Republican budget proposals reflect that unbalanced approach will be the order of the day if Republicans win the White House and both houses of Congress. The ideological gap has been blamed on extremists in the teabag caucus, but the GOP was already lurching to the extremist right before the 2010 elections by refusing to govern; even from a minority position.
It is unclear why it took a mainstream media outlet like the Post so long to conclude the Republicans are the problem. Perhaps it is the real possibility that, as it stands today, the Republican Party is on pace to preside over an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions this country will never recover from whether they control both houses of Congress and the White House or just stand ready to obstruct any serious solutions to the nation’s problems. It is bad enough that Republicans oppose any progress beyond the Bush disaster, but they have signaled their intent to make Bush policies look extremely liberal to the point that their hero, Ronald Reagan, would be tried and convicted as a Communist enemy of the American people for being too liberal for today’s extremist Republicans.
It is evident that Republicans are not inclined to govern this country, and instead are willing to hand control over to wealthy industrialists who have no other intent but to subvert the Constitution and its procedures that dictate how the country is governed. Americans who do not follow politics may believe that both sides are guilty of creating gridlock and a dysfunctional government, and it is due to the media’s lack of reporting and the constant barrage of right-wing media support for extremists. The Post article’s authors cannot be accused of being liberal pundits because both are political scholars who have observed and studied Washington politics for 40 years and they represent both sides of the political divide.
As long as Republicans refuse to work for all the American people and remain steadfast in adhering to their extremist agenda of signing pledges to oppose sound economic policies, eschewing compromise for intransience, and returning to 14th century sensibilities in a 21st century world, democracy will eventually give way to a feudalistic society controlled by a few wealthy families and governed by theocrats to keep the population under control. Maybe now that one major newspaper has finally made an accurate appraisal of why America is in decline and why government is dysfunctional, others will follow suit because the alternative is unthinkable, but becoming more probable every day.