Republican party losing power and influence in U.S.

While I suppose that Mr. Frank Kaiser’s imagery of the president of the United States running his country over a cliff with “his foot on the Constitution” was amusing to him and other conservatives, it’s just more of the same, baseless character assassination that has been directed at Obama since his first election run in 2008 when Sarah Palin and her tea party shock troops attempted to brand him as a friend of terrorists, a socialist and a Kenyan Muslim.

Humor takes the pain away from uncomfortable situations, so I hope Mr. Kaiser is resting more easily now. Unfortunately, the United States of America isn’t, and as opinion polls have clearly demonstrated, a majority of the American public blames the Republican Party and its policies most for the chaos and dysfunction. Mr. Kaiser would have to be living under a stone sphere to not know this.

The legislative “solution” to the fiscal cliff challenge was most definitely a kick-the-can-down-de-road proposition rather than an authentic occasion for partisan back-slapping. Both sides failed miserably to address the nasty and pressing business at hand. So why did the GOP take such a thorough trouncing in the polls?

I choose to believe that it’s because there are so many other subjects that the extreme conservatives who now control the Republican Party just will not deal with rationally, let alone courageously: reproductive rights, gay rights, contraception, global warming, the theory of evolution, outsourcing, foreign policy, gun control, Harry Potter…..with them it’s all raw emotion and self righteous indignation combined with a pseudo patriotic militancy and a dash of religious zeal. Cooperation and compromise are deadly sins punishable by excommunication from the party, and obstruction is the order of the day.

The good news is that the militant intransigence of their policies has not been a catalyst for the accumulation of more power and influence by the conservative extremists who make up only about 10 percent of the U.S. population. Instead, it has led to an erosion in both the public perception and the political power of the GOP. Their electoral humiliation on 11/6/12 and their recent hard times in public opinion polls are a harbinger of things to come.

The party of the angry old, heavily armed, southern white guys is on its way down, and it will continue to bleed relevance as the electoral demographic shifts in the U.S.. I think the GOP will become more desperate and dangerous in the coming months and years, and I’m very much afraid that democracy, compassion and common sense in the political arena will take a terrible pounding in the process. But in the long run, the social regressives/repressives and the middle-class-bashing cheerleaders for billionaire conservative contributors will find themselves disempowered and returned to the societal fringes from whence they came and where they belong. It can’t come soon enough for America.
Dean Barbour
Manuel Antonio

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