‘a grand old cult’

Richard Cohen (Washington Post): Someone ought to study the Republican Party. I am not referring to yet another political scientist but to a mental health professional, preferably a specialist in the power of fixations, obsessions and the like. The GOP needs an intervention. It has become a cult.

To become a Republican, one has to take a pledge. It is not enough to support the party or mouth banalities about Ronald Reagan; one has to promise not to give the government another nickel. This is called the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” issued by Americans for Tax Reform, an organization headed by the chirpy Grover Norquist. He once labeled the argument that an estate tax would affect only the very rich “the morality of the Holocaust.” Anyone can see how singling out the filthy rich and the immensely powerful and asking them to ante up is pretty much the same as Auschwitz and that sort of thing.

….. Something similar has happened with global warming. It has become a conviction of much of the GOP that you and I, with our cars and factories and leaf blowers and barbecue pits, are off the hook – innocent of cooking the atmosphere. That being the case, it therefore is not the case that anything has to be done about it. Only much of science, common sense and your average walrus differ, but the GOP soldiers on. This is a version of Nancy Reagan’s pledge: Just say no.

….the net effect is to establish an intellectual barrier for admittance to the presidential race: Independent thinkers, stop right here! If you believe in global warming, revenue enhancement, stimulus programs, the occasional need for abortion or even the fabulist theories of the late Charles Darwin, then either stay home – or lie.

This intellectual rigidity has produced a GOP presidential field that’s a virtual political Jonestown. The Grand Old Party, so named when it really did evoke America, has so narrowed its base that it has become a political cult…..

Full article here

Thank you Loriah

15 Responses to “‘a grand old cult’”

  1. July 5, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Now the New York Post is following me on Twitter. I guess because I sent a tweet to Rupert telling him he should feel blessed to have been able to come to America and earn a fortune and should stop trying to destroy our country.

    I am so honored. Hee hee.

    July 5, 2011 at 10:28 am


  3. July 5, 2011 at 11:47 am

    This is an excellent piece of analysis. I have the feeling that we are at a very momentous time and that’s good news. All of the distortions and lies that the GOP and anyone else have been using to manipulate this country for 40 years are out in full view. The people of America have a choice to look at what “is” in our country and start working together on solutions or continue to believe in a fantasy. The gap is getting bigger and bigger between those that follow Fox News and the GOP line without checking it out or thinking about it and those that can see the BS and are truly trying to understand what is going on and find answers.

    I read a comment somewhere – I don’t have the link for it and haven’t checked the information exactly, but they said this was how our economy worked:

    The Panic of 1819
    Panic and Depression 1832
    Panic and Depression 1836
    Six Year Depression 1837-1843
    The Panic of 1857
    Panic and Depression 1869-1871
    The Panic of 1873
    The Panic of 1893
    The Panic of 1901
    Panic, Global Crash and Depression of 1929

    50 year safe economy, first ever large middle class, under liberal New Deal crushing regulation.

    S&L Panic of the 1980’s.
    Global Crash and Great Recession of 2008

    My father and mother grew up in the Depression and when I was a child my family had their own mini-depression. I wasn’t raised with abundance. But we have a generation or two now that has been raised with that assurance that prosperity will always be there and it’s always party time — they don’t have to be responsible for the environment or anything else.

    President Obama is the perfect man to lead this country now for so many, many reasons, but the relevant one here is that he has been telling everyone that we are in this together and need to work together to find solutions. And that we CAN find those solutions. He empowers people in a truly magnificent way.

    There are many reasons people are upset with the President, but that is one reason. It must be someone else’s fault. Not theirs! Now this whole country has to deal with their feelings instead of denying them in some way or projecting them on someone else. They can’t avoid what is going on any longer.

    All I can say is that I thank God we do have the only adult in the room leading this country. With all my heart I send much love and appreciation to President Obama.

  4. 10 utaustinliberal
    July 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I read this article through a link from a TOD’er on twitter and Richard Cohen has it right. This is no longer a party, this is a cult being led by a hateful man; Grover Norquist who appeared on The Colbert Report last week and recited his BS pledge for Stephen. Stephen asked him what if your mom needed healthcare or her wages were declining and the only way to help her was to raise the debt ceiling, close tax loopholes and stop giving oil companies tax subsidies, would you allow the GOP to back out of the pledge and do what’s right for the country? He said no. He said NO! Stephen was shocked and taken aback at what a despicable person he was. I mean that was his mom! His flesh and blood who gave him life and cared for him. That told me all I need to know about Grover Norquist and all those GOP Presidential candidates and GOP congressmen/women who signed the pledge.

  5. 11 EDP4BHO
    July 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    If I’d still had coffee in my mouth, it would have been on my keyboard at this:

    ” Someone ought to study the Republican Party. I am not referring to yet another political scientist but to a mental health professional, preferably a specialist in the power of fixations, obsessions and the like.”

    Whew Lord, is this not the truth. This after reading an article about the increase in KKK and Nazi members running for office since Barack Obama became President. One Nazi who got a good number of votes, died after being shot by his ten year old son. Oh well, dem’s the breaks

    I am at home today, thus my name shows up. I will be anonymous tomorrow. Hope TOD’ers are doing well and rested after the holiday.

  6. 12 tally
    July 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    The GOP has been a cult for a while, and Grover Norquist is Jim Jones.

    Republicans love to wrap themselves in the American flag, and profess their unending, deep love for their country, yet hate the US Government with every fiber of their being. That, in and of itself, is the ultimate CULT disconnect.

    These people have drunk so much GOPKool-aid™ they think all science is a myth, and the world is only 6,000 years old. How on Earth do you have a rational conversation with people like that?

    Perhaps we need to start with something they can wrap their heads around: JOBS.
    Let me lay down some facts that EVERYONE needs to spread far and wide:

    One of the biggest GOP lies going around is, “The Government doesn’t create jobs.” When, in fact, the US Government (Fed/State/Local) is the largest employer on PLANET EARTH, with more employees world-wide than any privately held company. Not only does “The Government” CREATE jobs, it does it in the most economical/cost-effective way possible, because it is NOT a private company who has $12 million (+ annual bonuses) CEOs to feed and care for (United Health Care), but doesn’t sell stock, and profit isn’t the bottom line, only the QUALITY of it’s services.

    All the Republicans want to do is CUT GOVERNMENT. Think about that for a minute. Why would they want to do that? Because their donors KNOW that the USGov is the largest employer, and they want some of that action.

    One of the main Republican mantras is “Leave it alone and the Free Market will take care of it.” The only thing is, the free market already has, which is why the USGov has all those jobs – they’re the ones who can do it the most cost effective way, and protect the people/give high quality service at the same time, because there is no PROFIT.

    So the GOP wants to cut government spending so it CANNOT do it’s job, and it becomes ineffective at funding those jobs, so some private company can come in and take it over, and MAKE A PROFIT. But then, that leads to shortcuts, outsourcing, DEREGULATION, and a lack of on the job safety in a race to the bottom. Fewer and fewer people doing the work of many, so that corners are cut, people are overworked, all for corporate profit – and the result can be deadly on a massive scale (please see 9/11 and 19 men boarding aircraft with box cutters when airport security was contracted with private companies.)

    The GOP wants to privatize everything so they and their corporate masters can make more money. This is NOT about creating jobs. This is about CUTTING them, and shipping them to India, China, or anywhere where the pay is the lowest.

    FACT: American infrastructure is crumbling. There are millions of people who could go to work tomorrow fixing all of that – and not just construction work, but the administrative workforce that goes along with those jobs locally. Those jobs are in the Government’s purview, but it needs funding.

    FACT: We have a doctor shortage. There are millions of students who would go into the medical field if they could only afford it. The Government could easily fund these students if there was the tax money to do it. However, the GOP is all about privatizing our Universities, and that doesn’t bode well for students, since grants and scholarships are only available to students who can generate cash – mostly athletes.

    FACT: We have fallen behind in the tech and science sectors because of lack of funding. Again, the private sector (PHARMA) has pulled ahead because of lack of funds to government funded programs. This has also resulted in placing money and profit over safety and human lives. It’s more cost-effective to make a drug that kills than test it properly, (made even easier by a Supreme Court that is ruling against being able to even file a class-action suit, and giving corporations more rights that human beings in who they can sue for damages and death.) Manufacture a tire that falls apart, and pay the fine. The profit is more, so where is the incentive to strive for better quality or save lives?

    When profit wins over quality of the product or service, we all lose. But the GOP has been dismantling and underfunding our education system for decades to the point we have one of the highest illiteracy rates of any industrialized nation. Civics and government are no longer taught in schools, only a fraction of a watered-down history ever sees the light of day, and now school books are being printed that inserts Creationism, and Intelligent Design into the curriculum. Mythology taught as fact.

    FACT: People need jobs. We need things fixed. The Government can hire people and put them to work. The more people who work, the more people are spending money thus stimulating the economy and paying taxes. The more tax revenues the Government collects the more money Government has to create programs and services we need to hire more people to run them, who then spend more money into the economy, creating more demand for goods and services – EVERYONE WINS, except the über-greedy who have sold their soul to the highest bidder. They won’t lose anything except perhaps their write-off on their second and third homes. They will however, stop being carried on the backs of the rest of us, and have to pull more of their own weight. Boo-frakkin-hoo.

    If deregulation, tax cuts for the super-rich,tax loopholes, and corporate tax rebates created jobs, we’d have zero unemployment and the most vibrant economy on the planet by now because these policies have been in place for over a decade, yet anyone with a functioning brain stem can see that is not the case, and our folly has melted over into a global crisis. Still the Republicans makes an art form of denial and want to double down on all of it.

    The GOP has no interest in people, or investing in in America’s future. It’s only interested in MONEY, and is not only trashing it’s own house, it’s hell-bent on burning down the entire neighborhood, and surrounding villages, all because of their blinding, personal greed and poisonous hatred for one man.

    • July 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm

      Tally this is FINE ART- you have broken it down for ANYONE to understand, absolutely spot on and clearly stated. thank YOU!

      Chips, I would love love love it if you could find your way clear to post Tally’s excellent summary as a New Post.. as I would love to be able to link to it for Twitter and Facebook.. and pass it on to the masses (if you agree)

  7. July 5, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    That would answer the question I was trying to figure out. How to put this easy to understand information on my Facebook. Tally this is great, thank you.

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