GOP is drowning itself in its own resentment

donald-trump-and-Paul-Ryan-AP-640x480-1

(AP)

Here’s my thesis:

The primary cause of the multiple maladies afflicting the modern Republican Party is its reliance on resentment as its animating force.

That resentment has many targets: Resentment against minorities; against immigrants; against the Washington, New York and Hollywood elites; against government; against change; against political correctness and anyone in either party having the temerity to try to lead, and most of all resentment among many that they are being pushed aside and rendered irrelevant in their very own country.

Much of that resentment is understandable; some of it may even be justified. The problem is that by its nature, an overwhelming culture of resentment can be against many things but it can be in favor of nothing.  It looks backward with longing, not forward with hope; it leads always to no, never to yes, which explains why today’s resentment-addled GOP has no answers, and why it cannot come to agreement about anything, not even among its own membership.

Some in the party, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, have at least recognized the problem even if they have as yet no solution to it. “I have made it a mission of my speakership to raise our gaze and aim for a brighter horizon,” Ryan said recently. “Instead of talking about what politics is today, I want to talk about what politics can be. I want to talk about what our country can be.”

That’s fine talk; the problem is that his own people are deaf to it. As he was forced to acknowledge this week, Ryan’s “Confident America” agenda is going nowhere in the House that he ostensibly leads because he cannot get enough votes within his own caucus to endorse it.

The reason is simple: What resentment craves is validation, not resolution. And the validation of resentment is all the explanation that you need for Donald Trump.

To be fair, it’s not as if the House has been doing nothing. They’ve spent the last few days on what they’ve dubbed “IRS Week,” passing a series of bills designed to express their contempt for the federal tax-collection agency and its employees. Those bills are going nowhere, but that isn’t really the point. Nor does it matter to House Republicans that the target of their hatred is an agency struggling to administer and enforce a complex tax code written by Congress, using grotesquely outdated technology that Congress refuses to update, with an inadequate budget and workforce that a resentful Congress has insisted on slashing in recent years.

No management handbook ever written tells you that the way to improve customer service is to cut staff, run off good employees, make your remaining employees feel unwanted and despised and refuse to give them the resources they need to do an adequate job. So if your goal is to solve the problem, if your intent is to produce a more efficient, responsive, service-oriented IRS, the type of steps taken during “IRS Week” make no sense whatsoever.

But if your goal is to vent your frustration and resentment on a helpless whipping boy so that you can feel better about yourself, I guess it makes all the sense in the world.

 

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1429 comments
RantNRave
RantNRave

"Headley,  I mean I don't expect you toaccept all of the arguments of critics of the Western democracies, but I'm surprised - if you've had any education"


@Donnie The Pinko


Let's see your VITAE GENIUS ............


Put up or shut up !


Cause you ain't the brightest bulb in the chandelier !


K


RantNRave
RantNRave

"Lol. Might as well have been. Look, Hedley, it's ok. You have your heart in the right place about a lot of the issues, for the most part. We'll leave aside foreign policy."


@Donnie The Pinko


Who  voted you the FOREIGN POLICY EXPERT on here??


I demand a RECALL !


heeheeheeheeheeheeheehee


RantNRave
RantNRave

"Its worth noting the one major country where Obama's numbers aren't so good.

Russia. Where i'm sure he takes a beating on Russian state media nightly "


@Hedley


BTW


Putin ain't no FOOL !


Putin: Obama is a 'DECENT,' 'VERY RESPONSIBLE'  man


Russian President Vladimir Putin PRAISED President Barack Obama as a "decent man" on Thursday for admitting the worst mistake of his presidency involved a national security-related decision.

Firstly, it once again confirms that the current U.S. president IS A DECENT MAN, because to say such a thing is not easy. And that's very good that my colleague possesses the courage to make such statements," Putin said, according to reports of his annual call-in show where he traditionally sits for up to four hours answering Russian citizens' questions."



 
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/04/putin-calls-obama-decent-man-221960#ixzz45qIbB5TP


RantNRave
RantNRave

"Obama needs to ride a horse shirtless?" @KUTGF



"or no clothes at all?@Peachs


Obama has too much class !


Obama radiates an ethos of integrity, humanity, good manners and elegance that I’m beginning to miss, and that I suspect we will all miss a bit, regardless of who replaces him.


Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

the “Frankfurt School”, or Institute for Social Research, set up by a group of Marxist intellectuals in Germany in 1923, affiliated to the University of Frankfurt and independently of the Communist Party, which has been influential in the development of Marxist theory ever since.


No. They wouldn't have a bias or anything.

honested
honested

@Hedley_Lammar 

Meanwhile, there is a nice piece in this month's issue of Foreign Affairs explaining (to even his most ardent defenders) how putin's current international saber rattling has more to do with weakness at home and an attempt to divert attention away from economic collapse.

Why doesn't he just concentrate on making the lives of his fellow russians better than making life more miserable for anyone else?

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@Hedley_Lammar 

Lol!

Come on, Hedley, just admit that you're out of your league on this one.

You're not going to be able to make intelligent statements about something like the Frankfurt School with a quick cut and paste from Wikipedia.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Donnie_Pinko @Hedley_Lammar Wasn't from Wikipedia


The truth is you claim bias when presented with numbers you don't like. The poll results below being a case in point.


What you fail to realize is that you are the one doing the cheerleading. Or at least cheerleading too.


Do you not think a bunch of Marxists at some think tank or University might see things in their own terms ?

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@Hedley_Lammar @Donnie_Pinko 

Lol. Might as well have been.

Look, Hedley, it's ok. You have your heart in the right place about a lot of the issues, for the most part. We'll leave aside foreign policy.

You just also are a fanatical clinger to the narrative of the system to which you're partial, and you're a naive one, by which I mean that you don't have the training in the history of economic or political thought to address that system's real weaknesses. Instead you simply regurgitate its propaganda whole cloth.

But it's ok, you're at least on the right path with a lot of issues.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Donnie_Pinko @Hedley_Lammar  You just also are a fanatical clinger to the narrative of the system to which you're partial, 


I could make the same statement about yourself.


and you clearly don't have much training in the history of economic or political thought.


Nor do you. Maybe in theory. But a little short when put into practice.


Marxism sounds great on paper. But when tried has been a horrible failure. A fact you cannot escape.



Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

Headley, 

I mean I don't expect you to accept all of the arguments of critics of the Western democracies, but I'm surprised - if you've had any education - that you seem to dismiss with a sneer even the notion that there could be such a thing as a critical position towards the gap between the ideals of the Western democracies and their reality.

Which shows a stunning ignorance of about 70 years of critical thought in social and political theory.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Donnie_Pinko if you've had any education


Quick with the insults today comrade. Got a case of the Mondays


Listen Karl Marx is dead. And so are his ideas which all led to terrible failure and human suffering.


You might as well get over it.


As far as any gap goes. Im sure there is plenty of cheerleading going on. But i'm betting it doesnt come close to what we see with things like state run media.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@Hedley_Lammar @Donnie_Pinko 

Quick with insults today? 

-

Well, I just saw that you dismissed the Frankfurt School tout court below as not even warranting serious consideration.

Laughable statements like that - which one would expect from a Bill Buckley or a D$ck Cheney - don't suggest that you've had very much exposure to political theory on a sophisticated level.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Its worth noting the one major country where Obama's numbers aren't so good.


Russia. Where i'm sure he takes a beating on Russian state media nightly 


They are playing the same game North Korea does.


Problems ? Economy tanking ? 


It's America's fault. Certainly not Putin's ( or Kim Jong Un's )

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@Hedley_Lammar 

Russia. Where i'm sure he takes a beating on Russian state media nightly 

--

So, Obama's low numbers in Russia have to be the result of state propaganda, but his high numbers in imperial satellite countries like UK, Australia are a natural reflection of the people's genuine appreciation for him? 

See the contradiction?

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Hedley_Lammar Plllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaassssseeee

Anyone with two grey cells to rub together knows Obama's personal fondness poll numbers have never aligned with his performance.

Look no further than the direction of the country polling and the historic mid-term election results for proof.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Donnie_Pinko @Hedley_Lammar  So, Obama's low numbers in Russia have to be the result of state propaganda,


Most likely so.


No I dont


They have a free press in those countries comrade. Big difference

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Donnie_Pinko Does the UK and Australia have restricted media offerings with content controlled by the government?  I wasn't aware of that.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@JohnnyReb @Hedley_Lammar Anyone with two grey cells to rub together knows Obama's personal fondness poll numbers have never aligned with his performance.


Your opinion.


The polls suggest most don't feel as you do.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@Hedley_Lammar @Donnie_Pinko 

None of these countries have a 'free press' in the sense that counts - freedom from a dominant ideology that skews all reporting and coverage in a direction that's favorable to the reigning ideology.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Hedley_Lammar @JohnnyReb your post suggests you deny the facts.

Note I'm not disagreeing with his fondness numbers, but just that they are not a true indicator.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Donnie_Pinko @Hedley_Lammar None of these countries have a 'free press' in the sense that counts -


Well. 90 percent of their media isnt owned by the state comrade.


The rest is just your usual nonsense.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Peachs Amazon Prime lets you relive the thrills. 

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@Hedley_Lammar @Donnie_Pinko 

That shows great naivete on your part there Hedman.

Seriously Hedder, you seem to be a minimally educated person in some regards. Have you seriously NEVER read any critical theory at all about the gap between the ideals of Western 'democracy' and the reality, either Frankfurt School or somebody like Chomsky on the manufacturing of consent in the supposedly 'free press' of the West? 

Nothing at all?

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Donnie_Pinko Ooooh, playing the "nuance" card at 11 am?  Shouldn't that be held back for drunk o'clock blogging?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Donnie_Pinko @Hedley_Lammar Seriously Hedder, you seem to be a minimally educated person in some regards.


LOL


Frankfurt School ? Really ?


LOL


You might as well ask why Karl Marx thought capitalism = bad

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

The point being, its not what Britts think of Obama, but he assumes they care.


According to this they care a great deal what Obama thinks


http://www.businessinsider.com/obamas-approval-ratings-around-world-2015-6


Europe has supported Obama since the moment he became president. Although his ratings have slipped slightly over the last seven years, he still has the confidence of 83% of France, 76% of the United Kingdom, 73% of Germany, and 58% of Spain.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@Hedley_Lammar @Peachs 

Yeah, still enjoying some residual high numbers in the empire's satellite countries. But it's funny that Obama's popularity in Israel and Russia have tanked. 

What does that tell you? 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Nick_Danger 

Just saw your comment...

You work so hard to find the darkest possible interpretation of something.

I've put the extortion tag on an assortment of characters of late.

Donald Trump, the Saudi government, Vladimir Putin...

to name but a few. We're living in a dark world, Nick.