Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Inside the GOP

One of the more famous quotes attributed to Ronald Reagan goes like this:
"Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican."
Called Reagan's 11th Commandment, in the short term this advice helped Republicans win elections by effectively silencing Liberal Republican criticism of Far Right Republicans. In the long term though, this effectively doomed Liberal Repubicans by silencing them.

Reagan's 11th Commandment rapidly evolved into a code of silence. Republicans will go to great lengths to avoid criticizing each other. This code of silence crippled the Republican Party's ability to police corruption within its own ranks. Republicans will deny any wrongdoing by other Republicans even when their corruption is obvious to all, as it is in the case of John Ensign and David Vitter.

Because this code of silence has become so pervasive, it's extremely interesting whenever a Republican breaks ranks and starts talking about the inner workings of the GOP. Today, Representative Bob Inglis of South Carolina did just that in an interview with David Corn in Mother Jones.
It was the middle of a tough primary contest, and Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) had convened a small meeting with donors who had contributed thousands of dollars to his previous campaigns. But this year, as Inglis faced a challenge from tea party-backed Republican candidates claiming Inglis wasn't sufficiently conservative, these donors hadn't ponied up. Inglis' task: Get them back on the team. "They were upset with me," Inglis recalls. "They are all Glenn Beck watchers." About 90 minutes into the meeting, as he remembers it, "They say, 'Bob, what don't you get? Barack Obama is a socialist, communist Marxist who wants to destroy the American economy so he can take over as dictator. Health care is part of that. And he wants to open up the Mexican border and turn [the US] into a Muslim nation.'" Inglis didn't know how to respond.
Read the rest of the article at Mother Jones.

The Republican Party has taken a wrong turn, fueled by a combination of disinformation, ignorance, and strict rules that prevent self-critical examination by Republicans of their own agenda. This development has become dangerous to the Republican Party, and may become dangerous to the safety of this nation if it allows the GOP to be taken over by violent extremists who do not respect the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

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