Putting party politics before country in the era of GOP post-policy nihilism

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Screenshot-6It is well documented that the current 113th Congress is by far and away the "less-than-do-nothing Congress," surpassing its previous low-water mark in the 112th Congress for lack of legislative achievements in addressing the pressing needs of the American people. The TanMan, Weeper of the House John Boehner, has cemented his status in American history as the "Worst. Speaker. Ever."

The lack of response to the pressing needs of the American people by this Tea-Publican controlled Congress is not a bug but a feature. As Greg Sargent said last year, "a number of us on the left have been arguing that the GOP seems to be in the grip of a kind of “post-policy nihilism,” in which Republicans are no longer being guided by any real policy “asks,” and instead are chronically positioning themselves only in opposition to the president."

“[W]hat you’re seeing clearly demonstrated here is a kind of policy nihilism on the part of the GOP that helps explain why addressing the country’s problems has become all but impossible.”

Dave Weigel at Slate said "Call it Nihilist Populism: connecting with voters on the belief that government can't really do anything well, and that their mistrust is well-earned, and then prioritizing bills that make this statement over bills that can pass."

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "nihilism" as:

Screenshot from 2014-02-18 09:08:03

In short, the modern-day Republican Party believes in nothing — not traditional morals, ideas, beliefs, etc., and does not believe in society's political and social institutions. This nihilism is fueled by the right-wing propaganda of the conservative media entertainment complex which promotes the iron triangle of modern conservatism: Ignorance – Fear – Hate. It is the source of our political paralysis and policy stasis. It is a malignant cancer on the American body politic.

Which brings me to the latest post-policy nihilism of the GOP. The TanMan, Weeper of the House John Boehner, has decided to put party politics before the pressing needs of the American people. Boehner has effectively declared that "This Congress is done working for this year. We are not doing anything else. Turn out the lights, let's go home." Congress is done working — In February.

Robert Costa at the Washington Post reports, GOP leaders plan to put big-ticket legislation on hold:

After a tumultuous week of party infighting and leadership stumbles, congressional Republicans are focused on calming their divided ranks in the months ahead, mostly by touting proposals that have wide backing within the GOP and shelving any big-ticket legislation for the rest of the year.

Comprehensive immigration reform, tax reform, tweaks to the federal health-care law — bipartisan deals on each are probably dead in the water for the rest of this Congress.

“We don’t have 218 votes in the House for the big issues, so what else are we going to do?” said Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), an ally of House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio).

GOPropagandist Frank Luntz added: “It is an acknowledgment of where they stand, where nothing can happen in divided government so we may essentially have the status quo [stasis]. Significant immigration reform and fundamental tax reform are probably not going to happen.”

Let's be clear: The Tea-Publican party is so dysfunctional and so divided that it chooses to do nothing to address the pressing needs of the American people, rather than expose its political dysfunction and ideological divisions in an election year. The GOP is putting party politics before country in the era of GOP post-policy nihilism.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll in January found that just 19 percent of Americans have confidence in congressional Republicans to make the right decisions for the country, while 80 percent do not. This is a political party deserving of an electoral rout and political death for purposefully harming the American people.

Our political paralysis and policy stasis doesn't have to be this way. As the Beltway high priests of centrism, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, wrote in April of 2012, Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem.:

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.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.

* * *

If our democracy is to regain its health and vitality, the culture and ideological center of the Republican Party must change. In the short run, without a massive (and unlikely) across-the-board rejection of the GOP at the polls, that will not happen.

Their implied solution is my direct point: This is a political party deserving of an electoral rout and political death for purposefully harming the American people. Kick 'em all out! Our democracy will "regain its health and vitality."

Kickemallout

One response to “Putting party politics before country in the era of GOP post-policy nihilism

  1. Frances Perkins

    No false equivalency either. The mainstream media seems obsessed with false equivalency.