Now is the time to lance the boil of Republican extremism once and for all. Since Barack Obama became president, the extremists who have taken over the Republican Party have escalated their demands every time he’s caved, using the entire government of the United States as their bargaining chit.
In 2010 he agreed to extend all of the Bush tax cuts through the end of 2012. Were they satisfied? Of course not.
In the summer of 2011, goaded by an influx of Tea Partiers, they demanded huge spending cuts in return for raising the debt ceiling. In response, the President offered an overly-generous $4 trillion “Grand Bargain,” including cuts in Social Security and Medicare and whopping cuts in domestic spending (bringing it to its lowest level as a share of gross domestic product in over half a century).
Were Republicans content? No. When they demanded more,
The future of immigration reform could well to be decided in the next three weeks. And this will occur not in the halls of Congress but in Congressional Town Hall meetings across the nation. Anti-immigrant activists are hoping for a replay of the Tea Party’s successful August 2009 attacks on health care reform; by triggering loud public confrontations with Congressmembers in normally placid Town Hall meetings, conservative activists led the media to wrongly conclude that reform lacked public support. But in 2013, progressives are prepared. Immigrant rights activists believe they can use the Town Halls to expose the strength of their support and propel immigration reform to passage. Considering that both sides are prepared and the key element of surprise is lacking, whose activist strategies will prevail?
As even President Obama acknowledges, the passage of immigration reform comes down to whether Speaker John Boehner will allow a House vote. A majority of House members would support the Senate bill if given the chance,
“I remember my Mom’s heartbreak when she could not afford to give my younger brother the treatment he needed when we learned he had a hip disease,” the man said. “It was my Mom – the wife of a WWII veteran — who taught me something I still believe today: This country is the greatest in the world. America’s greatness is largely because of how we value the weakest among us. Quality healthcare services must be accessible and affordable for all – not just those in certain ZIP codes or tax brackets.”
That’s music to the ears of progressives, maybe even Top-40ish in its soothing, harmonious familiarity. The dissonant note is who actually spoke the words: Rick Scott, the Republican governor of Florida, who swept into office on an uncompromising anti-Obama, stop-health-care-reform platform, and was one of the first to sign on to lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Imagine a plot to undermine the government of the United States, to destroy much of its capacity to do the public’s business, and to sow distrust among the population.
Imagine further, that the plotters infiltrate Congress and state governments, reshape their districts to give them disproportionate influence in Washington, and use the media to spread big lies about the government.
Finally, imagine they not only paralyze the government but are on the verge of dismantling pieces of it.
Far-fetched? Perhaps. But take a look at what’s been happening in Washington and many state capitals since Tea Party fanatics gained effective control of the Republican Party, and you’d be forgiven if you see parallels.
Tea Party Republicans are crowing about the “sequestration” cuts beginning today (Friday). “This will be the first significant tea party victory in that we got what we set out to do in changing Washington,” says Rep.