Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Why the Drama?

Yesterday, we discussed the tendency on Capitol Hill to obsess over manufactured crises while largely ignoring the real ones. Instead of ending the economic destruction of austerity and curbing the global security threat in climate change, the 21st Century Know Nothings in Congress continue hunting for scandals (where none will actually be found). We also saw this yesterday.

Yes, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) actually went there. But wait, there's more! We also have fresh new impeachment rumors!

"It’s certainly a possibility," [Rep. Jason] Chaffetz [R-Utah] said, as quoted by the Salt Lake Tribune. "That’s not the goal but given the continued lies perpetrated by this administration, I don’t know where it’s going to go. ... I’m not taking it off the table. I’m not out there touting that but I think this gets to the highest levels of our government and integrity and honesty are paramount."

Oh, and that's not all. There's even more. Apparently, Republicans' bold new direction on immigration policy continues to win over new fans (or not).

Pablo Pantoja, up until fairly recently, has served as the state director of Florida Hispanic Outreach for the Republican National Committee. Yesterday, he became a Democrat and made a contribution to the ACLU.

What precipitated the shift? Here's how Pantoja himself explained his perspective:

"It doesn't take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today. I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them. [...]

"A researcher included as part of a past dissertation his theory that "the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ." The researcher reinforces these views by saying "No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against."

And on top of all this, Republicans also have this new Arizona poll to ponder.

Far more Arizonans support same-sex marriage than oppose it, according to the latest Rocky Mountain Poll released Tuesday.

The poll showed that 55 percent of Arizona voters favor the idea of allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally, while just 35 percent said they are opposed.

Large majorities of women, Hispanics and voters under the age of 55 support same-sex nuptials. A plurality of voters over the age of 54 — 46 percent — supports gay marriage, while 40 percent of the group is opposed.

Whoops. So much for winning the "culture wars".

While these "culture war" battles continue to whip the G-O-TEA base into a frenzy, they're turning off everyone else. That's the problem for the Republican Party. "The base" wants more and more "red meat", so G-O-TEA politicians try serving as much "red meat" as possible to avoid future primary challenges. Yet in doing so, these politicians increasingly alienate all the rest of their constituents.

Most Americans now support comprehensive immigration reform, full LGBTQ civil rights, gun safety reform, action on climate change, and investment in our future. Yet because the G-O-TEA base still rabidly opposes all these things along with President Obama, we're instead seeing a rush to the partisan witch hunt.

In January, Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Remember Him?) declared he was "tired of the drama". So why not just end it already? Think about that.

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