It is with deep regret that I retroactively declare the death of the Republican Party on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, after the Party contracted an infectious and fatal disease called Tea Party Obstruction Mania. On this appalling and gloomy day heavily influenced by the Koch Brothers financial empire, this extremely radical Tea Party movement captured seventeen (17) of the 63 House seats gained by the Republican Party in the 2010 election. Unfortunately, however, this highly contagious disease transmitted by the Tea Party infected the Republican Party to such a degree that the Party has been unable to recover. Further prohibiting recovery from this disease was the Tea Party’s influence over 29 of the 50 State Governorships as well as 25 state legislatures.
As a result, the Republicans have virtually cleansed themselves of moderates and are poised to further move the country sharply to the right if they win the 2012 election. The source of the party’s demise is a mysterious illness that may be the single most important contemporary political development that resulted in the termination of the moderate Republican in national politics.
Left to mourn the anticipated death of the Party is the legacy of Ronald Reagan. When Ronald Regan was President elected in 1980, the Republican Party included a significant number of moderate Republicans in Congress who limited how far right the party could move. For example, Reagan at first wanted to turn the Medicaid program into a “block grant” to the states eliminating the right to health care provided to the poor under federal law, but thanks to an alliance of Democrats and moderate Republicans, Congress refused and during the 1980s, began expanding the program to cover more low-income children and pregnant women. Rather than trying to privatize Medicare and Social Security, Reagan ended up stabilizing both programs through measures that enjoyed bipartisan support.
By the 1994 election, the Republican Party had moved further to the right but even in the mid-1990s, influential Republican moderates in Congress such as Senators John Chafee, Arlen Specter, Jim Jeffords, Nancy Kassebaum, and William Cohen, continued to serve as a stop-gap on conservative policy and as partners with a Democratic administration. Without the support of those moderate Republicans, Congress would never have enacted the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1997.
With the Tea Party influence in the 2010 election, American politics entered a new segment and the number of moderate Republicans in Congress began to die. Consequently, bipartisan cooperation became extremely scarce, and if Republicans take control of both Congress and the presidency starting in 2013, national policy will undoubtedly swing even more sharply to the right thus preventing any hope of a cure.
The Tea Party disease continued to spread with the Paul Ryan budget that was approved by the Republican House. It was no surprise that Republicans wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) without replacing it with any meaningful option or them wanting to turn Medicaid into a block grant that would result in more low-income people losing health coverage. It was surprising, however, that in addition to reducing the tax rates for the rich to levels not seen since 1931, they also voted to eliminate Medicare and replace it with a voucher program that would fall far short of providing the coverage that Medicare beneficiaries now have.
The Republican Party thought it could exploit the energy of the Tea Party, but these undeclared racists and radical anti-abortionists whose hate for President Obama were just too much for the Party to overcome and they finally succumbed. Beneficiaries include Papers Please Laws, Anti-Abortion Legislation, Legislation Banning Sharia Law, Anti-Union Laws, Voter Suppression Laws and Laws Prohibiting Women’s Health Rights.
Celebrations of delight will be provided by right-wing radical talk show host and racist, Rush Limbaugh, Fox and Friends, Birther Donald Trump, Tea Party flake Michelle Bachmann, Spineless Speaker John Boehner, and former short-term Governor Sarah Palin. Presidential Candidate Willard “Flip Flop” Romney will offer congratulatory remarks along with his commitment to staying the Tea Party course. Final burial will take place retroactively in the House Chamber.
Epilogue by Nonny Mouse: “The Republican Party was once a champion of civil rights, personal responsibility and a regulated government, and engendered people like Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower. Today, Mitt Romney’s father would not recognize the Republican Party his son would like to head, Ronald Reagan’s son says his father would be furious with what the Republican party has become – a party utterly dominated by the rich, the religious fanatic, the psychotic, and the jingoistic bigot. The last remnants of the decent, honorable Old Time Republican party are either senile or dead, what’s left is vitriolic, mean-spirited and downright stupid. There is no Republican Party any longer. It has the name, but it long ago lost its mind before it lost its soul. And I, for one, truly do mourn its passing.”