I've felt this way for a while, but it's now official. After reading this column written by Ezra Klein (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/07/13/13-reasons-why-this-is-the-worst-congress-ever/) I can't hold back anymore. I hate the Republican party.
Before I proceed, I think it's important to note that my political views are fairly conservative, although I'm offended by the focus on social issues in modern Republican politics. I believe that people should take responsibility for themselves and their family. I think government makes far too many laws, especially in response to isolated incidents. While I hate the simplistic, and quite frankly wrong-headed, analogy of government as a business, I believe that we should look for efficiencies whenever we can and find ways for government to work better for its citizens. I believe that people should pay off their debts and should take responsibility when they can't (on a personal note: I qualified for some regulations that would have taken me off the hook for a percentage of my student loans but I'm paying them off in full because I believe that since I borrowed the money I should pay it back). I believe in the Republican philosophy that I grew up on, and my belief in that has hardly changed as I've gotten older.
However, I can't ignore the destructive nature of partisan politics in Washington, DC any longer, and the vast majority of that falls at the feet of the modern Republican Party. As Klein notes, Ornstein and Mann have written extensively on how Congress has become "the broken branch" and they place probably 90% of the blame on the Republican Party's tactics. But the philosophy of "party above all" and their stated commitment to making President Obama a one-term president has taken this country down a dangerous path and one where it's hard to see any way to recover. Maybe the clearest example of this comes from the debt ceiling fight and how it stalled the recovery. A partisan bickering match cost American citizens more money than we'll ever know, and damaged our country further than anyone cares to admit. Klein's graph tells the whole story better than I ever could.
But no one cares - it's all about making sure my team wins and screw everyone else. Look at the recent healthcare articles in the Patch comments section, which has until recently been a nice oasis away from the partisan bickering, but is now filled with the same partisan slap fights that infect every other news site I know. No one cares about right and wrong, it's all about yelling at the other side and calling them communist socialist secret Muslims. No one cares about the good of the country, it's all about making sure our team wins even if that means passing laws the violate the basic right to vote (see: Pennsylvania). The ends justify the means, but unfortunately the real end game is the downward spiral of what used to be the greatest country on the planet. But it's ok, as long as people wear ridiculous American flag apparel on July 4 and talk about how much they love America and the troops no one will notice the damage that is being done.
I know this is where I'm supposed to type "But Democrats do it too!!!" as a way of showing I'm non-partisan and being balanced while ignoring all the empirical evidence to the contrary. And I'm sure Democrats deserve a percentage of the blame, but there are two reasons I don't care. First, Ornstein and Mann (who fall somewhere between non-partisan and conservative on the ideological scale) very clearly lay out the case for why it's the fault of the Republican party. Second, I've never considered myself a Democrat and I still don't. I find too many of their positions consistent with rewarding people who refuse to take care of themselves and their families. I don't care what the Democrats are doing, I care that the politicians have corrupted my party to the point where it is unrecognizable from what it was even 20 years ago. I care that Gov. McDonnell, a man who wants to be a standard-bearer for the Republican party, lacked the political courage to stand up to the right wing of the party and gave up on "Bob's for Jobs" the first time he faced any pushback. I care that Eric Cantor is willing to take the country down to realize his personal dream of becoming Speaker of the House. I care that, while the Republican party isn't a party of racism and discrimination, racists and those who would discriminate feel comfortable in the party. I want my party back, and until they stop talking about their love of America and start showing that they want it to be the greatest country on the planet again I'm done with them.
You wanted it, you got it. You get Boehner. You get Cantor. You get Romney. You get the people who wanted government out of healthcare and are moving to Canada. You get the people who want the government out of Medicare. I don't want to be associated with these people, and I doubt they want to be associated with me anyway. Who am I other than a RINO in the modern party?