Once more we have a guest post from Larry Hodgden
Larry is a retired Viet Nam era veteran of the USAF. He and his wife of 40 years, Sharon, have three children and seven grandchildren who keep him very busy. Family, education, church and politics have been a lifelong passion.
This political fighting has got to end before we go “over the cliff”. I’ve never seen such extreme division between political factions and the obstinacy of one group precludes any opportunity for progress in solving our country’s serious problems. Yes, I’m talking about what’s left of the Republican Party and their Tea Party faction which is now calling the shots. How else can you explain the inability of House Speaker John Boehner to control his caucus and accomplish anything productive during this session of Congress? When he had the opportunity to strike a deal with President Obama on the debt negotiations, he was rebuked by his Tea Party members so now we’re faced with “going over the cliff”.
This Tea Party Crowd in Congress has made it impossible to compromise on any issue with their “No tax pledge”, regardless of the importance to the future of this country. A great example would be when Obama proposed infrastructure projects which would put people to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges. If the Tea Party gets their way the Party platform will call for “cutting regulations” (that worked great under Bush), would “rein in the EPA” (who needs clean air and water anyway), and would “eliminate the Department of Education” (sure, let’s keep em barefoot, pregnant and IGNORANT).
Mitt Romney has already been pulled far to the right by the primary process and the Party’s ultraconservative base which is why he now wants to block access to Planned Parenthood, end a woman’s Right to Choose, stop men and women from marrying a partner of their choice, all of which he supported at an earlier point in his career. If Romney is elected, he will face the same problem presented by the Tea Party as President that John Boehner now faces as our Speaker.
As the former GOP (Grand Old Party) begins its convention it would be helpful to examine how far to the right this party has been dragged by its extreme elements. Even Ronald Reagan, who pragmatically raised taxes 14 times in his eight years, would not support the obstructionism shown by this crowd. From the 50’ through the 90’s, often with a divided government, Republicans and Democrats were able to work out legislative solutions to some very serious problems facing our country. Those days are over with the Tea Party holding the purse strings..
The moderate voices of the Republican Party have faded away. Gone are the days when Republicans like Eisenhower could propose an interstate highway system, when Reagan and Tip O’Neil, a Democrat, could agree on a solution for Social Security. I, for one, miss the old GOP. So now while the Republicans are going through this identity crisis, I guess we’re all waiting for an answer to the old game show question, “Will the real Republican Party please stand up?”