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August 31, 2010

Responsible Republican - The Ultimate Oxymoron

By Dave Lefcourt

A good definition of the word oxymoron would be responsible Republican. The idea of a responsible Republican just doesn't exist. Republicans are intransigent, obstructionists, reflexively opposed to government. Democrats may be spineless and weak kneed, but recognize the need for government. Republicans contribute nothing to effective government and the legislative process, just cutting taxes, the sine qua non of their beliefs


One won't find it in the dictionary, but a good definition of the word "oxymoron" would be "responsible Republican".

Of course the thesaurus uses words such as incongruity, disunion, discordant, contradictory, to describe the word. But rather than get caught up in semantics, the idea of "responsible Republican" just doesn't exist.

In particular, when discussing some of the more pertinent issues facing this nation i.e. the wars, the economy, health care reform, the environment, financial regulation, immigration (just to name a few of our contemporary issues) just where have been the Republicans?

In a few words, Republicans have been intransigent, obstructionist, reflexively opposed to anything that the Democrats or Obama have proposed.

Throw in the archaic filibuster rule in the Senate (just issuing the threat of its use) and serious legislative enactment of laws and regulations become impossible. Not to say some Democratic proposals don't fall far short of the mark i.e. contaminated by outside financial influences that preclude real reform. Think of the health care reform debate and the final legislation enacted whereby a Medicare type, single payer plan was never on the table and considered as an option with Democrats and Republicans beholden to the private health care industry that protected and expanded its dominance and monopoly rather than providing a less costly alternative.

So there is the significant impact and influence of big moneyed and special interests not only preventing serious reforms from ever taking place, but from even being considered (a primary issue that transcends either party).

But let's be clear; Republicans contribute nothing to effective government and the legislative process. They have one overriding issue they favor the sine qua non of their commitment to the legislative process and that's cutting taxes.

At one time Republicans were in the forefront of the isolation movement and against all foreign entanglements. That of course was before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Today there is hardly a proposal made by the Defense Department or funding the nation's wars that they oppose.

Their current mantra is the deficit and keeping all the Bush tax cuts that are due to expire at the end of the year, including the tax cuts for the richest 1%. The seeming contradiction that ending the tax cuts for the super rich would contribute to lowering the deficit seems lost on these myopic Neanderthals.

They continue to believe in unfettered laissez faire capitalism and unrestricted deregulation by the government. They seem incapable of recognizing capitalism can not exist without government intervention to save it from its excesses. They seem mute in recognizing that the unregulated financial behemoths perpetrated the financial meltdown and the subsequent economic great recession.

So Democrats may be spineless and weak kneed, but at least they recognize the need for government. They have lost their way in being able to implement effective government that benefits the people. Obama isn't the second coming of FDR to the chagrin of many of us.

Meanwhile Republicans, (along with their tea party cohorts in mindless boisterous revolt) are ruthlessly looking to November hoping to regain a majority in one or both houses of Congress. If they succeed Congressional inaction and dysfunction should reach new heights.

But Democrats and Obama will have nobody to blame but themselves if this comes to pass.

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