Birmingham, AL - There is an ancient proverb about a man in a boat in a rushing stream, and all he has is a pole. As he rushes down the stream and through the whitewater rapids, there is stone after stone, and a simple bump by his frail craft against any one of them will destroy it. Somewhere far ahead of him he knows there is a massive cataclysm of water pouring over the cliff, but he is so busy worrying about the present that he can’t worry about what is around the next bend in the river, let alone miles ahead. So all he can do is push himself away desperately from each rock, hoping the next one doesn’t sink him.
The Republican Party, it seems, has become much like that man in the raft.
It is true that there are many crises. The White House is not in the GOPs hands. The GOP might lose the senate, and public opinion has shifted against them in many areas. Not to mention that the country is starting to move slowly towards the great Niagara at the end of the run, the death of a truly capitalistic and free state.
The GOP has become, in many ways, a prisoner of small thinking. When the new congress came in in 2010, Mitch McConnell famously said that now his one goal was to be certain Barak Obama was a one term president. Instead of trying to find ways to better protect the rights of an unborn child to life, to end the surveillance state that exists in this country, and to begin the march back to capitalism, the GOP was concerned about making Obama a one term president, which they failed at. Fortunately however, the 112th Congress was able to rename over 40 post offices.
Today, the entire Congress is in the hands of the Republicans. But the great battles being fought are not how we are going fix the ever expanding debt problem, but rather something that should have been easy to solve, who will be the next Speaker of the House.
There is always public anger about something congress is doing. (Their approval rating generally hovers under 20%.) But instead of the public outcry coming from the bureaucracies because they are being gutted, Kevin McCarthy is busy running around on television creating scandals by saying the panels investigating Clinton were only there to hurt her poll numbers. Because that is a long term goal.
There is a presidential election coming up in a year. And there are real things that need to be worked through. How will we roll back the disaster of socialized medicine that is Obamacare. How will we be certain that guns remain in the hands of the populace as a check on the government, and how will we continue to fight to end the radical practice of abortion on demand. But right now the GOP is too busy arguing over little things, too busy nitpicking over brush strokes to see the larger picture. It has gotten too busy with incidentals and not enough with the grand theory of everything. I can offer little hope at this moment that this will change in the near future.
Numbers are good for a GOP victory in the White House in 2016, but any president that reaches there will have come through a clown show of a primary, and few of the candidates have much more than personality that they are riding on. The problem isn’t only there, the entire party seems to be worried too much about the next rock, instead of the waterfall that is surely coming.
Such a party is not truly ready to govern.
Andrew C. Abbott