Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Obstructionist Republican Party

What's left of the Republican Party has a new motto. It's "Just Say No" again, and again to anything proposed by the current administration. It could be argued that the Republicans are fulfilling their role as the loyal opposition. However, that argument is terribly thin because it is hard to know what the Republican Party stands for, if it stands for anything at all.

The main mission of the Republican Party seems to be to prevent President Obama from implementing any plan in any area. The Republicans voted against the stimulus package, and offered very little in the way of an alternative that made sense to anybody but fellow Republicans. They were against the bailout of the big three automakers which ought to be interesting the next time they're trying to get votes in Ohio and Michigan.

The essential nature of the current Republican Party position was eloquently stated in July, by Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. When talking with Republican activists regarding efforts to stop the current health care initiative he said, "If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him." If Senator DeMint were interested in serving the interests of the people of South Carolina, he might remember the large percentage of his constituency, which has either no health insurance or inadequate health care coverage. The senator from South Carolina may be prescient in his prediction of Waterloo, but it may be about his own party rather than the president.

The Republicans rightly raise concerns about the amount of money being spent by the Democratic Congress and the Obama administration. Unfortunately, the Republicans are adept at raising concerns, but short on offering realistic alternatives to solving the critical problems facing this country today. The continued absence of meaningful leadership within the Republican Party has allowed Sarah Palin to develop delusions about her ability to run for the presidency in 2012. Perhaps the Republican Party will get its just reward after all.