Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Quote of the Day

Today’s tea party-ized Republicans speak less for Wall Street or Main Street than they do for the seething resentments of white Southern backwaters and their geographically widespread but ideologically uniform ilk. Their theory of government, to the extent that they have one, derives from John C. Calhoun’s doctrine of nullification — that states in general and white minorities in particular should have the right to overturn federal law and impede majority rule. Like their predecessors in the Jim Crow South, today’s Republicans favor restricting minority voting rights if that is necessary to ensure victory at the polls.

The remarkable resurgence of these ancient and despicable doctrines is rooted in the politics of demographic and cultural despair. A series of focus groups that Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg conducted of evangelical and tea party Republicans (who, combined, constitute a majority of party members) found that they entertain a widespread and fatalistic belief that the United States is well on its way to becoming a socialist state by virtue of the growing number of non-white Americans’ dependence on government. Encapsulating the groups’ perspectives, Greenberg writes: “Their party is losing to a Democratic Party of big government whose goal is to expand programs that mainly benefit minorities.”

It does not register with these Republicans that Obamacare, which facilitates more widespread access to privatized insurance, is nowhere as socialistic as Medicare and Social Security. It seems that some believe that Obamacare is socialistic because they fear it will chiefly benefit the welfare queens of Republican lore, while Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries include millions of deserving people just like them — the disproportionately elderly and white Republican Party’s members.

– Harold Meyerson
"A Tea Party Purge Among the GOP"
The Washington Post
October 15, 2013

At 11th Hour, GOP Blinks in Standoff – Jonathan Weisman and Jennifer Steinhauer (The New York Times, October 16, 2013).
Senate Passes Bill to Reopen the Government and Raise the Debt Ceiling – Chris Moody and Olivier Knox (Yahoo! News, October 16, 2013).
Republican Party's 'Humiliating' Defeat Raises Prospects of Lasting Party Split – Dan Roberts and Paul Lewis (The Guardian, October 16, 2013).
Here Lies the Tea Party, 2009 - 2013Truth-Out.org, October 16, 2013).
Was the Point Republicans Made in the Shutdown Worth the Price? – Jerry Seib (The Wall Street Journal, October 16, 2013).
The Irrational Fear of President Obama – Jonathan Capehart (The Washington Post, October 16, 2013).
Government Reopens After Congress Ends 16-Day Shutdown – Andrew Taylor (Associated Press via Yahoo! News, October 17, 2013).
Shutdown is Over, But There Will Be a Next Time – Diane Winston (Religion Dispatches, October 17, 2013).

Related Off-site Links:
House Republicans Implode as Tea Partiers Force Boehner to Kill His Own Debt Ceiling Bill – Jason Easley (PoliticusUSA.org, October 15, 2013).
U.S. Warned of Credit Downgrade as Republicans Inch Closer to the Brink – Dan Roberts, Paul Lewis, and Dominic Rushe (The Guardian, October 15, 2013).
China Presses U.S. to Lift Debt Limit as Tea Party Says Butt Out – Ian Katz and Michael C. Benderon (Bloomberg.com, October 15, 2013).
House GOP, News Media Fail to Inform American Public on Budget Deficit – William Pfaff (TruthDig.com, October 15, 2013).
The Compassion Shutdown – Eric Fought (EricFought.com, October 15, 2013).
Republicans Are Delusional About U.S. Spending and Deficits – Dean Baker (The Guardian, October 14, 2013).
The South is Holding America Hostage – Michael Lind (Salon, October 13, 2013).
Obamacare: The Rest of the Story – Bill Keller (The New York Times, October 13, 2013).
Shutdown: New Phase in a Very American Coup – Sam Webb (People's World, October 11, 2013).
Role of the U.S. Catholic Bishops in the Shutdown: Holding Government Funding Hostage in Battle Against Contraceptive Coverage – William D. Lindsey (Bilgrimage via The Progressive Catholic Voice, October 10, 2013).
Single-Payer Prescription for What Ails Obamacare – Amy Goodman (TruthDig.com, October 9, 2013).
Has GOP Already Defeated Obamacare? State Opt-Outs Leave Millions of Poor Without Health InsuranceDemocracy Now! (October 3, 2013).

See also the previous Wild Reed post:
Quote of the Day – October 5, 2013

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