Thursday, February 2, 2012

Who Are the Real Mutants?

The current GOP is a freak show, and the center ring showcases a parade of people trying to out nutcase each other. If you first set foot on earth today you would think that the GOP has historically thought that every problem can be solved by cutting taxes on the rich, the poor are free loaders we need to stop babying, that corporations are people, with the legal rights of people but few of the responsibilities, that raping the environment is necessary to create jobs, that money is the same as free speech, that immigrants are criminals, that science is based on faith not reason and can be disregarded, that government should stay out of our lives - except on matters of a woman's reproductive organs, your sexual orientation and religion, that gun rights are the most important rights, and that Jesus was a conservative.

But it hasn't always been that way.

"Moderate Republicans are savaged as RINOs — Republicans in name only — as if they emerged from an ugly mutant strain.
Yet, in fact, as a new history book underscores, it is the Gingriches and Santorums who are the mutants. For most of its history, the Republican Party was dominated by those closer to Romney than to social conservatives like Rick Santorum, and it is only in the last generation that the party has lurched to the hard right.

Dwight Eisenhower cautioned against excess military spending as “a theft from those who hunger and are not fed.” Richard Nixon proposed health care reform. Ronald Reagan endorsed the same tax rate for capital gains as for earned income. Each of these titans of Republican Party history would today risk mockery for these views.
“Much of the current conservative movement is characterized by this sort of historical amnesia and symbolic parricide, which seeks to undo key aspects of the Republican legacy such as Reagan’s elimination of corporate tax loopholes, Nixon’s environmental and labor safety programs, and a variety of G.O.P. achievements in civil rights, civil liberties, and good government reforms,” Kabaservice writes. “In the long view of history, it is really today’s conservatives who are ‘Republicans in name only.’ ”
Read more:     Where Are the Romney Republicans?      NY Times