Leading up to the 2008 presidential election, the country—while tumbling down the hill into an economic swamp—was still dominated by the two political parties. Sure, the Democrats had run the table: They snatched the presidency from the jaws of the Republicans and also in 2008 solidified their hold on Congress, winning more seats in the House and Senate.
Since Barack Obama's inauguration, however, the two-party system has been upended. In just two year's time, the Republican Party is on the path to oblivion and bordering on irrelevancy. Much of the blame (or credit, depending on whose camp you're in) can be placed squarely with the Tea Party. Instead of looking at the Tea Party extremists as competitors, the Republican Party opted to coddle them; acted as enablers when the racist Tea Partiers shouted down members of Congress during the health care debate.
Tactically it will turn out to be a huge error by the Republican establishment. Sarah Palin and her loyal nutjobs are only too happy to toss overboard establishment Republican candidates. See especially the Tea Party support of Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in New York's 22nd Congressional election last year, throwing moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava to the wolves. Senate candidate and extremist Marco Rubio in Florida also benefited hugely from Tea Party support. The Tea Baggers forced Republican stalwart Charlie Crist to run as an independent. These two examples should have served as warning signs for Republicans. The Tea Party isn't just out to topple the Obama administration: It'll happily destroy Republicans too. And the Tea Party isn't going away.
In fact, just this week the "unofficial" Tea Party Grand Dame Michele Bachmann got approval from the House to form a Tea Party caucus (though which House members other than Bachmann who will sign up remain a mystery.) Rightly the Democrats were only too happy to help Bachmann set up her little cabal. Anything to shine a light on what the Tea Party really stands for will only help the Democratic Party. Surely Harry Reid is thanking the Tea Party for helping give Sharron Angle—a extremist in the true sense of the word and undeniable idiot—the Republican nod in Nevada. Instead of Reid fighting to save his political life, he's jumped to a huge lead. Hey Republicans: With friends like the Tea Party....
Clearly, many Republicans thought the Tea Party, spawned during the health care debate, would simply help topple the Democrats' agenda. Let 'em organize, so thought the Republican leadership, it'll help sink the Obama agenda and help sweep us into power. The reality is that this November's midterm elections may not turn out nearly as bad for the Democrats as the entire punditry has predicted. I've written about this here, but no matter what the outcome in November, one thing is certain: The Republican Party must be abolished.
Why? Am I simply espousing a liberal fantasy? Sure, the thought of John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and the real lowlife, bottom feeders of the Republican Party—Sen. Jim DeMint, Rudy Giuliani, Marco Rubio, Arizona Rep. John Shadegg, and Texas Rep. Joe "Sorry, BP" Barton—scrambling to find a new political home is amusing, the real reason the Republican Party must be abolished is simple: It's expendable.
If you're a liberal/progressive, even one who doesn't claim party affiliation, you vote for the Democratic candidate almost 100 percent of the time (if you vote). However, if you're a conservative who believes in "small government" (code words for anarchy), why pull the lever for the Republican candidate when the Tea Party candidate will out-conservative the Republican? Those moderate Republicans who believe in things like the environment, health-care reform but also yearn for low taxes and less government might as well join the Sen. Ben Nelson wing of the Democratic Party. Hell, he even voted against extending unemployment benefits; he's essentially a Republican. What distinguishes him from Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine? Very little.
The vote to extend unemployment benefits in the Senate is a classic example of why the Republican Party should fold up its "big tent" and remain only as an example of a failed political party in history text books. The GOP has not just become the Party of No, it's become an example of how a party shouldn't run the country. Republican leaders in the House and Senate have worked dubiously in the past two years to keep Americans unemployed and the economy stagnant. This isn't pundit bloviating, simply a fact. They've voted time and time again to kill any and all bills and measures intended to reverse George W. Bush's economic train of misery. Obama, in the eyes of Congressional Republicans, can do nothing right. The party is only too happy to see the U.S. get clobbered at home and abroad to score political points. That tactic alone should be a wake-up call to Americans to punish the party; it doesn't deserve to lead. The GOP should implode, become a marginal party on the fringes of American society like the Libertarian Party or the LaRouche movement.
It's not just liberal bloggers who believe Republicans aren't governing. Look at Rep. Peter King of New York. He unwittingly (it seems) let slip a Republican tactic during an interview. Speaking about what Republicans stand for, he said:
I don’t think we have to lay out a complete agenda, from top to bottom, because then we would have the national mainstream media jumping on every point trying to make that a campaign issue.
Of course once the GOP establishment found out he'd spoken out of turn, they made him back track, but the damage was already done. The strategy employed by the Republicans since getting their asses handed to them in 2008 was out there for the entire world to see.
Another example of why the Republican Party should be abolished comes with their stance on the recently passed Wall Street reform bill. Naturally, the GOP sided with Wall Street from the get-go, with House Republican Leader Boehner likening the largest economic collapse in U.S. history to relevancy of a "ant." Does Boehner really believe this kind of nonsensical statement is just what the American voting public is looking for its leaders to make? Vote in the Republicans, and we'll bury our collective heads in the sand is apparently the GOP rallying cry.
And let's not forget Republican Texas oil whore Joe Barton apologizing to BP when Obama mandated the company pay for the Gulf cleanup. How can anyone look at the Republican Party and deem it a necessary voice in governing? Well, not many if you look at the recent polls. Although the Democrats are looked on unfavorably by a majority of Americans, the Republicans are loathed even more for their tactics of obstruction and irresponsibility. A recent Gallup poll metes that out; Democrats have now jumped to a six-point lead in a 2010 generic poll.
I'm not advocating one-party rule but for people (voters) who've aligned themselves with the Republican Party, it's time to make a choice. If you're a moderate to moderately conservative Republican, side with the Blanche Lincoln–Ben Nelson–Mary Landrieu wing of the Democratic Party. If you're a government-is-evil, regulation-is-bad, environment-hating Republican, side with the Tea Party.
Though the Reagan presidency is viewed on by many as a disaster, the years he governed were the last time the Republican Party had any relevance. The new player in governing just very well might be the Tea Party. Though Tea Party candidates, if elected, will give Americans nightmares and turn this country into a Fascist state, they can do some good: spark the implosion of the ineffectual, unnecessary Republican Party.