A horror story in Washington: The future of the Republican Party
Published: Monday, October 14, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013 22:10
In the past two weeks of the government shutdown, blame has been thrown towards both sides of the isle. However, it would appear that most Americans have picked a group to blame: those dear old Republicans. Yes, Obama and the Democrats aren’t perfect politicians either. However, at least they haven’t thrown a hissy fit over the funding of Obamacare, which went into effect even with the government shutdown. This article will not merely detail the government shutdown, but will ask, with a current Republican approval rating of 28 percent, also known as the lowest rating either party has received since they began conducting polls in 1992, is the future of the Republican Party anything but a dead end?
Let’s talk about the big Republican names out there in politics who represent the face of the Republican party. Mitt Romney, who a year ago was the biggest Republican out there, has mostly seceded from the political sphere, leaving it pretty wide open as to who should be considered important in the upcoming 2014 and 2016 elections. While many have been feverishly chanting “Hillary 2016,” as if they were Hermione Granger trying to memorize a spell, Republicans don’t have a clear frontrunner. Names that have been tossed around are Chris Christie (Governor of New Jersey), Paul Ryan (House Representative from Wisconsin), Rand Paul (Senator from Kentucky) and Ted Cruz (Senator from Texas who hates Obamacare), in addition to the losing nominees last time around: Michele Bachmann (House Representative from Minnesota), Rick Perry (Governor of Texas), and Rick Santorum (former senator from Pennsylvania). Other names to note are Eric Cantor and John Boehner, the Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively.
The word limit on this article does not allow for a firm discussion of all the ridiculous things these Republicans have said over the years. However, this connects to an important point that Republican candidates often struggle with being conservative enough for Tea Party conservatives, yet moderate enough for those Republican-leaning independents. For example, Christie is praised for his work with Hurricane Sandy disaster relief and his fiscal policies that have allowed for no rate increases in income tax, sales tax and corporate business tax. However, he has also made the critical error of saying homosexuality is not a sin when signing a bill that banned gay conversion therapy in New Jersey and thanking Obama for his help with Hurricane Sandy disaster relief. Since agreeing with Muslim Overlord Obama can be a bit much for some Tea Partiers, Christie should obviously be concerned. After criticizing Boehner for stalling on Hurricane Sandy funding, Christie wasn’t invited to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) which many consider to be the starting point for Republican presidential nomination. The organizer of the event commented on Christie’s exclusion, saying to MSNBC, “...he didn’t deserve to be on the all-star selection... hopefully next year he’s back on the right track and being a conservative.”
Why are Republicans attacking themselves within the party? With a majority in the House of Representatives and holding a majority in governorships and state legislatures, the Republican party is a powerful force in the United States. To many outsiders, it does appear to be struggling as it fights for the interest of extreme conservatives and moderate Republicans. The most healthy alternative would be for the obstructionist Tea Party to bow out of the Republican party, giving the latter an opportunity to actually appeal to voters and allowing the Tea Party to continue with its intense conservative agenda.
Most of the voters Republicans are losing are young voters who are concerned about social issues. (Personally, Obama swayed me in 2012 because my uterus was going to shrivel up and die if Mitt Romney was to lead the charge regarding legislation on it). With many voters concerned about same-sex marriage, abortion and other social issues, Republicans, even with great ideas for the economy, won’t get heard if they are promising to defund a strong public health initiative like Obamacare on day one in office (something that is also basically impossible). It’s time for Republicans to stop catering to extremist views if they expect to make any changes in government in terms of economic, government or military policy. To prevent further government shutdowns, a unified Republican party should be the priority for its leaders.