A couple of years ago, the hugely famous and widely admired analyst Charles Barkley lowered the boom on the GOP, declaring — on a golf course, no less — "I used to be a Republican, until they lost their minds."
Little has gone right for the Grand Old Party in the last couple of years, but evidence indicates they have yet to come to their senses.
Two recent examples: first, according to a newish blog from the McClatchey group of newspapers, Hot Off the Trail, it was the GOP who moved to keep an impeachment vote before the House, to give GOP reps a chance to rail at Democrats "rather than working with Republicans to deal with real issues of importance to the American people." Steve Thomma notes:
When Republicans controlled the House, they did impeach President
Clinton. And many Republicans thought it so important that they didn’t
want to delay it even temporarily while the United States bombed Iraqi
dictator Saddam Hussein.
Second, once again this week the GOP moved to quash attempts to take huge tax breaks away from huge oil companies (see WSJ story here).
This has a way of looking bad to a public upset about high gas prices. At The Next Right site, blogger Josh Kane plaintively asks: How did the GOP get stuck "defending big oil" again?
Every poll taken and every conversation with a
real person outside of DC shows gas prices as the number one issue in
the country… and today Senate Democrats schooled us on it. “Republicans
Defend Big Oil” is the basic message we sent the country after the
energy debates in the Senate today, we’ll really win elections on that
one. Here’s the AP’s opening paragraph:
Saved by Senate Republicans, big oil
companies dodged an attempt Tuesday to slap them with a windfall
profits tax and take away billions of dollars in tax breaks in response
to the record gasoline prices that have the nation fuming.
Anything that even gives a reporter the excuse to write that is political insanity.
Kane is absolutely right — and touchingly naive. It’s not coincidence that the GOP supports Big Oil. They got paid.
As documented (here) at Open Secrets, the oil and gas industries give the vast majority of their contributions to Republicans, about 75%, totaling over $160 million since l990.
Is that insanity? Maybe not. But it’s not nobility…