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What's up with the GOP?!

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell's (R-Va.) sanitized celebration of Confederate History Month got me thinking about a sanitized version of a common question that I'd like to ask the Republican Party: what the frig?! By itself, McDonnell's seven-paragraph insult could be written off as the actions of a pandering politician currying favor with his local base. Unfortunately, it is one more piece of evidence that there's nothing grand about the Grand Old Party these days.

There's the lunatic fringe of the Tea Party movement. The legitimate concerns of Americans worried about skyrocketing deficits and the role and size of government have been hijacked by birthers, truthers and 10th Amendment types. Former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) added that requisite anti-immigrant spice at the February confab in Nashville. And when a crowd of these folks stormed the Capitol last month, Republican members of Congress egged them on. I can understand GOP leaders wanting to ride this bucking bronco. Their passion and enthusiasm could lead them to electoral gold in November. But there are long-term consequences for pursuing this strategy.

"I do not recognize myself in the Republican Party anymore," lamented Chris Currey, who describes himself as a "worried, old, middle of the road Republican" on FrumForum. "We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, and yet we act and behave as if we are the party of Nathan Bedford Forrest." He concludes, "If nothing happens, we might win an election or even two, but in the long run we will lose America." And they'll deserve to if they keep this up. Still, ultimately, it will be America that loses. The republic is ill-served by a two-party system in which one of the parties is bereft of a positive alternative to the majority party and is enthralled by a shrinking and increasingly reactionary base.

By Jonathan Capehart  | April 7, 2010; 4:42 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Congress's job approval rating is around 13% right now. The Confederacy is probably more popular.

Posted by: ath17 | April 7, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Indeed. One wonders if even an Eisenhower could win a Republican primary today? Judging by the contempt shown by Republicans for Colin Powell, I would say not.

Posted by: sprachnroll | April 7, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

President Obama has put his finger on the emerging danger of nuclear warheads falling into the hands of terrorists state-sponsored or otherwise. The world leaders must contemplate ways and means to safe guard against a future disaster in any part of the world.

Posted by: suprakasl | April 7, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is a party that has succumbed to a mental disease. It developed out of Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy and veered into instability when carpetbagging Newt Gingrich was elected from Georgia and carpetbagger Dick Armey from Texas.

They mean to win at any cost to the country and, aren't both historians? You think they would have more persepctive, not less, on what and how they are trying to do to "take back" the country.

They just cannot accept being out of control. Democrats do not act like this when their guy is not in the White House. Let's please stop that lie.

I just heard on CNN today (Rick was off and I could stand to watch it) that the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing has been forgotten by student in that state, due to lack of teaching about it. I challenge social studies teachers across the country to have a class about that and what caused it before the end of the school year.

More like that is coming if we continue to allow the religious right in Texas to write our country's school textbooks.

Posted by: edismae | April 7, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

President Obama has put his finger on the emerging danger of nuclear warheads falling into the hands of terrorists state-sponsored or otherwise. The world leaders must contemplate ways and means to safe guard against a future disaster in any part of the world.

Posted by: suprakasl | April 7, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I just saw Jesse Jackson doing an interview, and he said somethign that literally stopped me in my collective tracks. They were discussing the dust-up in Virginia over the civil war anniversary. He said in so many words that
our valorous men and women serving in the
military are fighting and dying for all Americans, not red ones, not blue ones,
but all Americans. That puts all this
vitriol in perfect perspective, does it not?

Posted by: patriotgmalou | April 7, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

don't forget Rep Poe's comments that likened health care to 'chains and slavery'.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | April 7, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

NewsBusters: Washington Post Assaults Bob McDonnell With Seven Hit Pieces In One Day

Posted by: StewartIII | April 8, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Hey, NewsBusters is right: the Post did!

And McDonnell deserved every one.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | April 8, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse

What's wrong with the GOP? It's become the party of the mentally defective: Bachmann, Palin, DeMint, Bunning, King, Foxx... The party has been taken over by what was once its lunatic fringe. Moderate, sensible, Republicans have been either pushed out or relegated to the sidelines.

Posted by: Gatsby10 | April 8, 2010 5:48 AM | Report abuse

The do nothing party of "NO" has become a collection of crackpots.

Posted by: orange3 | April 8, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

This is an anti-intellectual nation. Too many of us -- perhaps more than half the population -- value conformity, close-mindedness, political and historical illiteracy and false patriotism over critical thinking and evaluative judgement. The GOP and its utterly amoral, cynical leadership have taken advantage of this anxiety and ignorance for short term gain. My biggest concern is the ultimate result of all this -- a GOP so irrational, hate filled, and anti-democratic that they will finally take that last step to total dictatorship the next time they are in power. Someone onces said the black sun of facism always rises in America but sets in Europe. I fear that is no longer the case. I fear for our country.

Posted by: DBCarren | April 8, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Oh Come on! It was so easy. Its not "Whats Up with the GoP?" its "What Ailes the GOP?"

Posted by: gdwtch52 | April 8, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

This is the maturation of Richard Nixon's "southern strategy" and Ronald Reagan kicking off his presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Add the warm embrace to the radical "Christian" right and we have today's GOP. Enthusiastically embracing wrongheadedness for the convenience of votes was a predictably ill-advised short-term strategy. Now they're seeing the results.

Posted by: CardFan | April 8, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I think the GOP can be summed up in the GUISE of JOHN McCain.
"I really never thought of myself as a MAVERICK"

Come on...... The GOP has gotten into this pattern of spewing ideals that demonstrate they are out for themselves - they stick their fingers up in the air, take a measure of the wind, and CHOOSE a side.

McCain - maverick or not

Palin - For the bridge or not

Romney - He agrees with his healthcare plan or not

Steele - Obama plays the race cared - and WHOOPS Steele realizes that position may be helpful to his own cause so he adopts it

Giuliani- for trying terrorists in NEW york, then is against it when Obama is for it

AND ALMOST ALL GOP - for the Wall Street Bail out - now they were "Misinformed" and also - "REPEAL THIS HEALTHCARE PLAN - then oh maybe we won't repeal it-just make a few adjustments."


The GOP is now the party of NO IDEAS but the party of SHAPESHIFTING. They say to voters "TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT ME TO BE and I WILL BECOME THAT PERSON"

There is no character left in the party, just a bunch of CHARACTERS.


They are long on rhetoric, and very short of actual SPECIFICS of their plans.

Posted by: racerdoc | April 8, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans are the party that says "Government doesn't work", then they get elected and prove it.

Posted by: dncevans | April 8, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

to all,

the DIMocRATS will THIS FALL become the PERMANENT minority party, as this is a "Center/Right country" & likely always will be.

BHO couldn't win dogcatcher, if the 2012 election was tomorrow. - if you don't understand that, you are as "brain-DEAD" as Princess Pelosi, Harry Reid & others of that clue-LESS sort are.

fyi, i travel about 20 states in my current job & the one thing that is common "out in the world,beyond the Beltway" is ANGER & DISGUST with BHO & the DIMocRAT extremists.= all of the current crop of DIMocRATS in Congress are seen as FAILURES & MANY (including Prince Harry Reid) will be turned out of office this NOV.- it won't even by close.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 9, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

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