Thursday, February 10, 2011

the State of the Republican Party

Mitch Daniels, the effective governor of Indiana, recently wrote an op-ed. He went into detail about how serious the economic situation of America is, and how important it is that we lay a strong foundation for growth in the future while reducing our debts. I think all Americans agree that these are the most important challenges facing our nation, and that sentiment is why the Republican Party won a landslide election in November. To accomplish these challenges, Daniels proposed that we called a temporary truce on contentious issues like abortion, gay marriage, etc so we can focus on the economy. Leave culture warrior issues for another day.

Since taking the House of Representatives, what have the Republicans focused on? Most of their efforts have been spent redefining what "rape" actually is so they can try to restrict abortion rights for poor women (which is silly anyway, because poor women can still get food stamps or welfare, so money not spent on food and housing can go towards abortions). They've also expended a huge amount of effort trying to put in constitutional amendments to define "marriage" as between a man and a woman. From an economic standpoint, the only thing the GOP has done is promised to cut 32 billion or so in spending this year. That amounts to roughly 0.9 % of our yearly federal budget.

Republicans came to office in November promising to focus on jobs and the economy, to reduce the size of government, to balance the budget. They've done none of these things, and I don't have much hope that they will. They've fallen back on the old battles that the Bush administration focused on while the country melted all around him. My skepticism vis a vis the new libertarian-conservative revival of the Republican Party that we saw last year seems to have been well placed, unfortunately.

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