Let’s face it, Republican’s are angry. You can’t even talk to one about President Obama or the Democrats without them devolving into some shouting and name calling. But is that where their anger should really be?
In November we saw something really interesting. The Republican Party was losing Latino and women voters quicker than our savings in 2008. A lot of really bad candidates helped with this, but also the alienating legislative agenda of the GOP contributed. It’s things like this:
Congress had a lengthy to-do list as the end of the year approached, with a series of measures that needed action before 2013 began. Some of the items passed (a fiscal agreement, a temporary farm bill), while others didn’t (relief funding for victims of Hurricane Sandy).
And then there’s the Violence Against Women Act, which was supposed to be one of the year’s easy ones. It wasn’t.
Back in April, the Senate approved VAWA reauthorization fairly easily, with a 68 to 31 vote. The bill was co-written by a liberal Democrat (Vermont’s Pat Leahy) and a conservative Republican (Idaho’s Mike Crapo), and seemed on track to be reauthorized without much of a fuss, just as it was in 2000 and 2005.
But House Republicans insisted the bill is too supportive of immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans — and they’d rather let the law expire than approve a slightly expanded proposal. Vice President Biden, who helped write the original law, tried to persuade House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to keep the law alive, but the efforts didn’t go anywhere.
A bill with very good support that helps victims out gets killed by the House GOP because it helps “others” too much. Not only that, letting the bill expire helps women who survive some of the most heinous crimes. This coming from the party that had such candidates as “women can’t get pregnant from rape” Todd Akin.
Is this how the GOP repairs the relationship with non-whites and Women? Not at all. Instead it reaffirms what Howard Dean said some years back about the GOP being the party of old, white men.
For the Republican Party to come back to a point of significance means they need to make some serious changes. Those changes won’t come from the current leadership. This bill is an example of that. It’s not that the House voted “no” on the bill. It’s that they never got a chance to vote because the Republican leadership didn’t like the bill. Forget what the people say; it’s all about what Cantor and Boehner say! How can we even begin to call that a democracy?
So how does the Republican Party fix this problem? Sadly there isn’t a clear path. They need to rid themselves of Boehner, Cantor and like thinking Republicans. They need to start expanding their tent, instead of shrinking it. They need to let the people be heard and not just their own, ideological beliefs. In other words it will wake a concerted effort of all Republicans around the country, ones in office and ones not. They need to pressure their elected officials to stop voting in such disastrous leadership and work to make things better.
Basically Republican’s anger should be placed towards their own party and not the Democrats or President Obama. The left hasn’t changed, the right has, and it’s that very change that is costing them in elections. They knew that they wouldn’t like what Obama would do in a second term, yet the Republicans are the ones who put up a disastrous candidate against him. That’s their own fault and no one else.
So if you can’t put the blame where it’s due, then plan on being angry for many more years. Right now there is no better future you on the right. And I don’t care who you are or what you do for a living. The power to change your own party starts at the ground level. You thought the Tea Party was the answer, but in fact that was nothing but a noise machine backed by the same old Washington insiders. You need a real grass roots movement to save your party and the longer you wait, the harder it is going to be.