Saturday, January 9, 2016

Where Did the Republican Party Go?

Let's face it, the right wing thinkers have taken over the Republican party with real disastrous consequences for the party and in some cases for the people of states they control.  In some of these cases there are much bigger issues that stretch beyond their limit spheres but the is a cancer sweeping the nation and I don't know if there is party leadership to bring it back to a normalcy that is what our country stands for and always has.  Many times they argue they want to take the country back, to what?  Here are some interesting, scary and dangerous examples.  

Gov Rick Snyder of Michigan starting in 2012 began to exert executive power and take over municipalities that were suffering in the down Michigan economy.  He appointed emergency managers and one city was Flint.  In Flint one of the cost savings measures was to take water from the Flint river rather as they had been from the Detroit water system that brings in water from Lake Huron.  The chemical make up of river versus lake water is different and river water has to be treated in a different way to go through the old pipes that deliver water in Flint.  The emergency manager, over the protests of local elected officials, changed to river water and did not pay for the new necessary treatment.  Now in Flint there is a water crisis usually reserved for the developing world but what is amazing is that for a long time the people of Flint were drinking polluted water from their taps which included lead.  Lead is a neurotoxin that will have a lifelong impact on child development and the local water has poisoned these kids.  A pediatrician and hydrologist both warned of this, local elected officials pleaded with the state to do something the Governor was silent.  When challenged he said the water was fine, but he knew it was toxic and recent released emails prove it.  It wasn't until Rachel Maddow brought the story to national attention did the Michigan government work to rectify the situation and still moving slowly. These are all facts.  They still haven't called for Federal help but FEMA has sent a couple of people to monitor the situation even though until the Republican governor calls for help they can do very little.  Meanwhile, children have been poisoned and there still is no water.  This is the result of serious government arrogance on the part of a tea party governor who appeared to wanted to punish the citizens of Flint for questioning his non-democratic practice of overriding local elections.  How is this possible?

Then we have the Republican governor of Maine.  Recently complaining that New York black drug dealers come to Maine and sell their drugs and impregnate white girls saying they have names like D-money and Shifty.  Clear implications of his statement is that black people coming to Maine are going to sell drugs and rape white women.  Amazing.  This is a leader in the Republican party.  

Let's go south, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice has decided the the United States Supreme Court is not a higher authority than himself and has tried to outlaw marriage for people of the same sex. He ordered probate judges in the state not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a move that defies the ruling of the United States Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex unions. This is the product of people like Senator Ted Cruz and former Gov Mike Huckabee's ridiculous notion that the states can ignore the Supreme Court.  It is remarkable that the leadership of the party on the Federal level have not said a thing about it.  Nothing.  But what do we expect when people running for President in that party have no understanding of civics.

Then we have Texas Governor Greg Abbott.  You might remember him, he sent the Texas national guard out this past summer to keep an eye on the US Military doing training in Texas and other states because conspiracy theorists said it was an attempt to take over Texas.  (let's not forget Texas is part of the US so......)  A military exercise that has happened many times caused Abbott to wring his hands and cry about tyranny.  So this week another great leader of the party proposes a Constitutional Convention to wrestle power from the Federal government.  His proposed amendments basically destroy the power of the federal government to act as a nation when it comes to policies that effect citizens.  One of the issues is the Supreme Court rulings that Abbott doesn't like.  What is funny is that he argues we have to preserve the Constitution but in effect his idea destroys it.  Some, again, running for President under the rules of that Constitution agree with him.  Amazing.  One thing that could be a result of Abbott's proposal if it were to play out is that states could have slavery, limit the right to vote to only certain people (men, land owners, Christians?) It is remarkable that no one in the leadership of the party calls these guys out.  But there it is.  

And these are all elected officials but it is not the only.  President Obama this week unveiled a series of executive actions to limit access to guns by criminals and people with mental illness.  Before anyone knew what he was going to say dozens of members of Congress tweeted that it was unconstitutional and that it was taking people guns away.  Neither were true but of course fact don't matter in this new post-fact world.  But even after the President outlined clear and legal enforcement of existing laws, members of Congress continued to suggest that the President was over stepping his authority and that he should focus on existing laws.  Again, nothing from the party to suggest they were lying.  

Now when we move beyond elected officials we can talk about Fox News, the voice of the right and largest mouthpiece for the nonsense driving this discussion.  When the President spoke about his plans on guns Andrea Tantaros accused him of faking his tears having a cut onion at the podium.  Seriously because talking about dead 5 year olds isn't enough for the people of Fox News to bring them to tears.  This heartless and I would argue evil nonsense that permeates our public discussion is not debate.  It leads to all kinds of crazy.  

Enter Trump.  I won't go on about him but everyone should take a moment and think what a Trump candidacy would look like in say 1980, or even 1992?  Would the GOP have allowed this man even on the stage?  Would the people fight to get to see him?  Would anger and hate drive their decision making?  I think not.  The GOP has abdicated their politics to the hateful nature of right wing radio and a Fox News that hates the President, minorities, Muslims, and women more than anyone loves the country.  We live in a world where a major party is lead by people who poison children, make racist statements in official meeting and want to save the Constitution by gutting it.  And the silence is deafening.  I challenge those who call themselves Conservative to do something about it.  I know this will lead to a second President Clinton and I will be happy to see her inaugurated, but in the end I think it is important that the party of Lincoln sound intelligent and working for all Americans (even if they are wrong) including D-money, Shifty and those of us who cry when we hear children have had their heads blown off by gunfire. 

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