Recognizing the problem is the first step

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

David Lightman of McClatchy News wrote in the Arizona Daily Star on Tuesday, Weak compromise reflects a politically hobbled process:

While last-minute compromises are hardly new, such agreements
historically came amid momentous debates on matters such as civil rights
and war. The current drama involved what should be a routine task,
funding and running the government.

The system of doing what for 200-odd years was normal governing is crumbling.

"When some officials turn political stances into articles of religious
faith and refuse to compromise, the system becomes dysfunctional,"
presidential historian George Edwards said.

I have been warning about this for years. The modern-day GOP is not your father's GOP. The "party of Lincoln" has long since ceased to exist. It has become a politico-religious cult that is an anti-government insurrection. A large number of Tea-Publicans are Christian Reconstructionists and Dominionists who want a theocracy, not a democracy. That is fundamentally (no pun intended) anti-democratic and un-American.

In April 2012, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein wrote an op-ed, Let's just say it: The Republicans Are The Problem in the Washington Post.

The premise of their op-ed was the same as in their new book, It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism:

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for
more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In
our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it
was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that
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.

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.

Greg Sargent echoes this theme today in The Morning Plum:

If yesterday’s events were such a horrific defeat for the GOP, as many
conservatives are telling us, it’s only because Republican leaders have
spent months or years drumming it into GOP base voters’ heads that the
most modest of tax increases on the very richest among us would
constitute a sellout of deeply sacred principles. . . For many House Republicans, this idea — and the broader refusal to
compromise at any cost — seems to have become a deeply held and guiding
governing principle. [religious dogma]

* * *

The other day I speculated
that House conservatives may simply no longer be capable of playing a
constructive or meaningful role in the conversation over how to put the
country on a stable economic and fiscal footing. The events of the last
few days do little to dispel that impression. With the debt ceiling
battle looming, the only chance of future governing compromises may
reside in the ability to build coalitions weighted towards House
Democrats that also include crossover Republicans. The worst is yet to
come.

Recognizing the problem is the first step. Stopping these radical extremist insurrectionists from destroying America is the responsibility of all of us.

UPDATE: I meant to include Andrew Sullivan's recent similar assessment:

Andrew Sullivan recently wrote, ‘Unfit For Government,’ GOP Is Party Of ‘Constitutional And Economic Vandalism’:

“Between the humiliating and chaotic collapse of Speaker Boehner’s already ludicrously extreme Plan B and Wayne La Pierre’s deranged proposal to
put government agents in schools with guns, the Republican slide into
total epistemic closure and political marginalization has now become a
free-fall,” Sullivan [writes].

“This party, not to mince words, is unfit for government. There is no
conservative party in the West – except for minor anti-immigrant
neo-fascist ones in Europe – anywhere close to this level of far right
extremism. And now the damage these fanatics can do is not just to their
own country – was the debt ceiling debacle of 2011 not enough for them?
– but to the entire world.”

* * *

We need a new governing coalition in the House – Democrats and those
few sane Republicans willing to put country before ideology. But even
that may be impossible.

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