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“Obstruction And Destruction”: Republicans Will Be Destroyed If The Far Right Keeps Clinging To Its Unachievable Agenda

While Washington waits to see who the next speaker of the House of Representatives will be, the far right seems to be doing everything in its power to destroy the Republican Party.

When current Speaker John Boehner announced at the end of September that he would retire, he said that he did so because the controversy surrounding his leadership wasn’t good for his party. Other Republican leaders called on House Republicans to work on “healing and unifying” in the wake of the leadership upset. Unfortunately, the opposite is happening, and the badly needed party unity looks like it may be an elusive goal.

Instead of working with party stalwarts to find common ground, the far right continues to campaign against candidates for speaker they consider to be too “establishment.” The New York Times reported that their latest target is Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Boehner’s current draft pick to run for the House’s top spot. Ryan hasn’t even decided if he will enter the race yet, but is already being criticized for being “too liberal.” Ryan’s positions on immigration and his past work to find consensus on fiscal issues seem to be the cause for the ire against him.

The criticism is misplaced and calls into question the intentions of those who are lobbing it. Ryan has long been one of the most conservative members of the House. Additionally, as the vice presidential nominee in 2012, he was standard bearer for his party. To categorize Ryan as “too liberal” for his party’s conservative base is a bridge too far.

As Rep Tom Cole, R-Okla., told the Times, “Anyone who attacks Paul Ryan as being insufficiently conservative is either woefully misinformed or maliciously destructive. Paul Ryan has played a major role in advancing the conservative cause and creating the Republican House majority. His critics are not true conservatives. They are radical populists who neither understand nor accept the institutions, procedures and traditions that are the basis of constitutional governance.”

It would appear that the goals of the far right are not governance, but rather obstruction and disruption. Without fail, it has consistently pursued policy goals for which there is no likelihood of consensus and has viewed any type of compromise as a defeat and a betrayal of conservative causes. This stance is not realistic in a democratic government, nor is it responsible. The far right forgets that the foundation of democracy is based on compromise and that the principal job of a member of Congress is to participate in activities that keep the government operational. Threatening government shutdowns and turning the House into a chaotic mess because the most conservative members don’t get their way is an abdication of this basic duty.

That’s bad for the American people who elected them, but even worse for the Republican majority that’s trying to govern them. The far right’s obstructionist activities have made their party look divided and ineffective. It’s possible that their interference with the speaker’s race could leave the party in an even more vulnerable position without an effective leader. If the party can’t “heal and unify,” as its current leaders have suggested it should, how can it move forward?

Politico reported that Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., said the far-right movement isn’t about pushing conservative ideals, but rather about changing the way the House works. If that’s truly the case, Ryan’s idealism shouldn’t matter. In reality, it seems the far right is more interested in pursuing its unachievable policy agenda at any cost. And while that may seem like good politics right now, it may ultimately be the party’s undoing.

 

By: Cary Gibson, Thomas Jefferson Street Blog, U. S. News and World Report, October 16, 2015

October 18, 2015 Posted by | Conservatives, House Republicans, Paul Ryan, Speaker of The House of Representatives | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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