I couple of weeks ago I mentioned that President Obama's recent budget offer to cut Social Security benefits as part of some clownish Grand Bargain basically marked the end of his presidency. If Republicans didn't have 41 votes in the Senate and if the House was not hopelessly infected with Tea Party Derangement Disease.....then perhaps Obama could help to do something meaningful in his second term....but no such luck.
Asked why a gun background check amendment failed to break a filibuster vote orchestrated by Senate Republicans, co-sponsor Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) responded.....
"In the end it didn’t pass because we're so politicized. There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it,” Toomey admitted on Tuesday in an interview with Digital First Media editors in the offices of the Times Herald newspaper in Norristown, Pa.
It's not often that politicians speak the truth publicly....about anything. Too risky. After all, if one Senator speaks truth....it might lead to another Senator speaking truth, and then another....and pretty soon truth would be busting out all over. And that just cannot be allowed in a democratic republic where a handful of oligarchs make all major decisions for 308 million Americans. Protocol must be followed. That is why a gaffe by a D.C.'er is described as a moment when the truth is inadvertently told. It's a very twisted place.
Pat Toomey said Republicans would not vote for background checks....not because gun background checks on all gun purchases aren't the right thing to do....but because those Republicans "did not want to be seen helping the president." Even though universal background checks would be good for America, (40% of guns purchased are done so without running a background check on the purchaser), of more importance to Republican Senators voting no was the perception that a yes vote would be regarded as an attempt to "help the president."
You may remember how Florida's Charlie Crist and New Jersey's Chris Christie were treated by Republicans and conservatives after appearing to be civil and willing to work with the dreaded Obama. Crist was compelled to leave the GOP and join the Democratic Party and Christie, (high approval ratings in a blue state), Republicans and conservatives said afterwards, had just blown any chances he had to run for president as a Republican.
What has happened in the last decade or so....and what Pat Toomey accidentally told the truth about recently....is that the loathing of liberals by the AM radio crowd and the Foxians has spread, epidemically, to Congress. The only policy which holds the various freakish members of the conservative coalition together is hatred of all things liberal. Though true liberals recognize that President Obama is, at best, a centrist pragmatist.....Republicans and conservatives have, nevertheless, successfully labeled Obama as a crazed liberal.
That's what all the circus-like Tea gatherings were about in 2009-10. It didn't matter that most, if not all, of Obama's policies were taken verbatim from previously-offered Republican policies. Obama was going to represent dreaded liberalism, even if he and liberalism had little in common. Why? Because Democratic presidents in the modern era are simply lightning rods for conservative and Republican hatred of all things liberal. Rightly or wrongly, once tagged with the "L" word, Obama became radioactive to all conservatives and Republicans. It's not Obama they hate...it is liberalism they hate. That's what Toomey was driving at when he suggested that Republicans agreeing with Obama on anything, even when Obama's ideas are GOP ideas, would be interpreted by the "we hate all things liberal" crowd as a total capitulation to the liberalism they loath.
Why hate liberalism so much? Let me venture an answer.
Liberals are not faith-based, they insist on science-based and empirical information and solutions. Up to one-half of all Republican voters are faith-based....believing in invisible beings and biblically-explained cosmic dramas involving those invisible beings. Faith-basers resent liberals because liberals consider faith-based evidence to be no evidence at all.....and that offends the faith-basers. See: global climate change, traditional marriage amendments, etc.
Liberal policies are extremely popular with the American people. That fact makes conservatives hate those liberal policies....and liberals....all the more. Social Security and Medicare, unemployment insurance and child labor laws, minimum wage, clean air and clean water........are all popular liberal policies. And conservatives and Republicans hate that they are popular. Rather than accept these programs as popular, and moving on...Republicans decided to continually demonize those programs. Why? Republicans and conservatives simply must despise all things liberal or anything associated with liberalism.
It makes me a bit sad to say it, but, you know, I must.....today's Republican Party has twisted itself up into a hate-liberalism cult of mass destruction. So deep is the hate of liberalism that rather than be associated in any way with the dreaded "L" word, GOP cult members would watch America burn to the ground first.
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