Saturday, June 09, 2007

Looking at today’s Republican Party with eyes wide open

Yesterday Andrew Sullivan had a great post up about the collapse of the immigration bill, or at least it started out as such with an explanation from Mickey Kaus:

Maybe it's about not being able to take the worst ideas from the left (instant legalization of illegals) and the right (second class guest workers), put them together, call it centrism, bask in fawning MSM coverage and ram it down the throat of voters who don't want it!

But Andrew feels the failure of the bill is the result of a much bigger collapse:

… maybe it's all about the collapse of the Republican coalition. My feeling is that this kind of bill requires a president to corral it through the Congress, a president who is able to persuade his own supporters and explain to the public why this kind of compromise is the best available. We don't have such a president right now. He is despised by the entire middle and left, and he has alienated the base of the right… The president's arrogant condescension toward his critics didn't help. And the passion was almost all on the extremes.

So Andrew sheds no tears for a bill he wasn’t convinced would dramatically increase national security and hopes that in the end this means that we can concentrate on border enforcement in the near future.

But what resonated with me in his post was the broader criticism he had of the Republican Party:

Politically, I tend to think this will hurt the GOP badly in the long term. The reason is not the cogency of many of the arguments; it's the patent cultural and social panic that animates the Republican gut. This fear of the other and need to demonize and objectify it is obviously the emotional core of the opposition. You can see it in their faces. If these immigrants were Poles or Italians or Irish, I can't see the Mickey-Dobbs-Limbaugh coalition getting so upset. I say that not from the basis of their arguments (which are largely respectable) but from the hysterical tone of their remarks. I guess as a gay man, I have come to recognize that tone. More and more members of minorities hear it coming from the GOP.

I wish I had a dollar for every time either my husband looked at me, or me at him, and asked: “How did we ever believe this party represented our values?” The last 6 ½ years have been a glaring reminder which party has provided a perfect home for all the bigots, racists, and religious zealots whose goals for their party and their country seem to be nothing more than oppression and demonization of minorities.

Andrew ends his post by saying he believes it is all going to come back to haunt them. I end this post by saying, I sure as hell hope so. Share

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