Friday, October 09, 2015

Dear House Republicans: We Make Our Own Hells

"So this is hell. I'd never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture-chambers, the fire and brimstone, the burning marl. Old wives' tales! There's no need for red-hot pokers. Hell is—other Republicans!" - paraphrasing Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit

This is what you wanted, Republicans.

You've spent almost 40 years driven by a political narrative that government simply doesn't work, that the federal government is bloated and unmanageable and bad for people.  "Government is the problem" is the essential message left over from the Ronald Reagan era, what the GOP campaigned on over these decades, and that mindset has given you a party full of elected officials eager to break the whole thing down to prove it.

This has led to one great embarrassing fact the entire world can no longer ignore: Your own party is now an ungovernable mess.  The Republican Party, having gotten to where it cannot govern the nation - that it refuses to govern despite trying to hide the damage done - is now at a point where it cannot govern itself.

Party discipline is next to non-existent.  Any semblance of seniority or merit no longer matters.  Nobody sane wants the leadership positions, and the ones that do cannot appeal to a voting base and subset of fellow politicians who abhor that sanity as though it were weakness.  What was once a coveted high seat of power - the Speakership of the House - it's become a mousetrap with a Sword of Damocles hovering overhead.

I never could bear the idea of anyone's expecting something from me. It always made me want to do just the opposite. - No Exit

The House Republicans are driven by one true narrative: Beat the Democrats. Drive Obama Out of Office in Disgrace.  No Compromise.  No Shame.  That the Democratic Party wants government to work for people is part of the Republican rage against government: Dare not allow the Democrats to be ever proven correct.

Instead of standing for ideas, for reforms, for action, the Republicans are now in defense of dogma, for obstruction and delay and denial.  The only action the base of the party wants is a full government shutdown to press their social agenda.

And those insurgent radicals truly believe the shutdown will give them everything they want. Unlike the last two four times our nation's gone through this since the Gingrich takeover of the House back in 1994.  And these radicals truly believe the doom-sayers terrified of the government defaulting on debts are wrong and that the nation's finances are untouchable.  And these radicals truly want it all to fail because they've been told all this time that government NEEDS to fail.

Instead, we're all seeing what this obsession with destruction is doing.  It is tearing their own political party the Republicans apart from the inside.  Their refusal to govern is making it impossible to govern themselves.

Can Americans accept leadership from a party incapable of finding its own leadership?

One of the ironies in No Exit: there's a door to Hell.  It can let people out.  It's not guarded.  It's not even locked.  The characters in Sartre's play are too emotionally twisted and spiteful towards each other - and themselves - that they refuse to even try walking out.

This is your Hell, Republicans.

I'd welcome you to it, but you're all still intent on dragging everyone else in with you.

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

Now some of them are saying that the speaker need not be currently serving in the house, floating such names as Newt and Ted Cruz. Not that she'd do it in a million years, but I suggest they recruit Ronda Rousey. Imagine her closed-door meetings with McCarthy, Gowdy, and Issa...

-Doug in Oakland