Two faces of Republicanism
To the editor:
The suggestion to make “Pushmi-Pullyu,” the Dr. Dolittle animal with a head on both ends, the new Republican mascot is an excellent idea! A creature with two faces is a perfect fit for today’s GOP.
There’s Mitch McConnell, who is earning kudos from The Journal and others for showing that the two parties can get together and negotiate. Yet five times McConnell blocked motions to begin bipartisan talks to reconcile House and Senate budgets – talks that should have been taking place in conference committee since April. Republicans blocked these talks a total of 19 times.
There’s Ted Cruz who spoke for 21 hours in the Senate about the need to shut down government and eat green eggs and ham to end Obamacare, and then showed up at rallies to complain about things in government being shut down.
Republicans may complain about the small faction of extremists in their party who always refuse to negotiate, yet led by Speaker Boehner, they stick together to do the bidding of that minority.
There’s the 174 conservative members of the Republican Study Committee whose budget contains the chained CPI for Social Security and the Paul Ryan vouchers-for-Medicare plan. They are outraged that Obama would harm seniors by considering their CPI proposal.
One face of the Republican Party pushed for outrage at the “Obama shutdown” and demanded Obama end it. The face on the other end pulled the rug out from under House members seeking to avoid a shutdown. They changed a standing House rule so that no member – except Eric Cantor – would be able to present a motion to accept the Senate’s clean continuing resolution. They changed the rules to prevent the majority of House members who were in favor of reopening the government from voting to do that. The show must go on.
Now that the “Obama shutdown” is over, Republicans are bragging about how they held firm, fighting for fiscal responsibility, while costing the U.S. economy $24 billion and reducing GDP growth. Ted Cruz is making speeches about how upset the American people are that the shutdown ended. Republicans say they brought attention to problems with Obamacare, but for years they avoided opportunities to improve parts of the law by voting over 40 times to repeal the entire program. The new mascot prefers to perform for its biggest fans rather than do the work required to deal with specific problems that may benefit the entire crowd.
It’s difficult to keep track of which face is talking. But if the Republican Party keeps pulling our legs while threatening to push us off a fiscal cliff, they will likely find their mascot on the endangered species list, if not extinct, after the next election.