"To those millions of Americans who have finally begun paying attention to politics and watched with exasperation the tragicomedy of the debt ceiling extension, it may have come as a shock that the Republican Party is so full of lunatics ... The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy." -- Michael Lofgren, a life-long GOP Congressional staffer who retired early and fled his party after the debt-ceiling fiasco.
"In my opinion, it [(the Republican Party]) no longer bears any resemblance to the party of Ronald Reagan. Mindless partisanship has replaced principled conservatism. What passes for principle in the party these days is, "What can we do to screw the Democrats today?" -- Republican Bruce Bartlett, domestic policy adviser to President Reagan and a Treasury Department official under President George H.W. Bush.
"The response of many responsible Republicans to these ideological trends [(of the Tea Party]) is to stay quiet, make no sudden moves and hope they go away ... A party that is intimidated and silent in the face of its extremes is eventually defined by them." -- Michael Gerson, chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush from 2001-06 and senior policy adviser.
"Too many Republican leaders are acquiescing to a poisonous 'demagoguery' that threatens the party's long term credibility," says veteran GOP House member Bob Inglis (R-SC). In an interview with the Associated Press, he suggested that party favorites like Sarah Palin and right wing talk show hosts like Glenn Beck are the culprits. Regarding the claim made famous by Palin that Obamacare would create "death panels," Inglis said voters eventually will discover that you're "preying on their fears" and turn away.
"I've been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters -- but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead." -- David Frumm, speechwriter for George W. Bush.
That was then. I can't imagine what they are saying now.
It's no secret that I have been very critical of today's Republican Party and its extreme wing, the Tea Party. Was it ideological demagoguery? Considering demagoguery means rhetoric which "appeals to the emotions, prejudices, and ignorance of the less-educated people of a population in order to gain power and promote political motives," that is patently not the case. Why? If you follow my columns, you would see a consistent pattern where true facts are used to support my assertions. True facts may seem to be redundant, but the use of the qualifier -- true -- was to distinguish it from misleading facts which is the staple of today's Conservative party.
Is it hyper-partisanship? That does deserve examination, but considering what these prominent Republicans and seven others said in their own words, that's not it either. What's left? Just the simple truth.
I wonder what rational, unsullied Conservatives are saying about the recent litany of scandals. Yes, there are many. Before Benghazi, IRS and the AP scandal, there was Solyndra, which Michelle Bachman said, "makes Watergate look like child's play." Scandal pusher and chairman of the Oversight Committee, Darrel Issa, came up dry trying to pin corruption charges on Obama.
Onward to "Fast and Furious."
Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) said, "This is far worse than Watergate." Again no pay dirt.
After costly investigations and hearings led by Darrel Issa, Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama were exonerated.
Four others -- the Sestak bribe, alleged national security leaks by the White House, Obama's birth certificate, work permits for immigrants under 30 -- were also dubbed "worse than Watergate."
Really, isn't everything being worse than Watergate a bit of a stretch? They all turned out to be tempests in a tea pot as will Benghazi and the IRS. Even Newt Gingrich cautioned the GOP of scandal overreach based on his own experience in 1998 when he led a pitchfork charge for Bill Clinton.
Why this penchant for scandals? Mitch McConnell's Senate Minority obstruction didn't make Obama a one-term president. Economic performance (2.5% GDP growth, up from 8.9% and a plummeting deficit down from $1.9 trillion and Oakhurst's business revival reported by Tiffany Tuell) isn't hurting Obama. Tom McClintock thinks this is America going in the wrong direction. Republicans don't have any ideas. Utah Republican Senator Bob Bennett said, "[(There are many]) slogans on the Republicans side, but not very many ideas." I suppose the only arrow left in the anti-Obama, anti-Democrat quiver is scandal mongering.