Opinion: A party of vengeance, not governance

(AP)

If you ask me, the best thing the Republican Party could do to improve its standing with voters would be to demonstrate at least a minimal ability to govern.

That’s not asking too much, right? The party controls all three branches of the federal government, yet it can’t repeal and replace Obamacare, its infrastructure investment plan has never made it past the rumor stage and their odds of enacting a major tax-reform bill are about the same as getting Mexico to pay for that damn wall.

We’re witnessing total and complete incompetence, everywhere you look. So the obvious question becomes, what do you learn from all this failure? What lesson do you take away from it?

Logic would dictate that if you’re interested in becoming a party that is capable of governing, your first step would be to start electing people who are themselves interested and capable of governing, right?

Nope. Quite the opposite. The Republicans have undertaken a generation-long purge of such people that now seems to be accelerating rather than receding. They hunt down the RINOs in their midst with all the passion and discretion of Puritans hunting down witches. Politics is no longer treated as a mechanism of self-government or as a means of achieving policy goals, but as an outlet for expressing a deep cultural resentment, and for wreaking havoc and revenge on those what done ’em wrong.

So last year, GOP voters tossed aside what some had described as the strongest presidential field in GOP history, chock full of governors and senators, so that they could embrace the likes of Donald Trump, a man who knows nothing about how to govern but everything about how to stir resentment.

In Alabama on Tuesday, they voted to nominate Roy Moore, an ultra-right, gay-hating, Muslim-bashing throwback, to serve as their U.S. senator. In Tennessee, Sen. Bob Corker — one of the saner, more reasonable members of the GOP caucus — announced this week that he would not run for re-election, probably because he fears a challenge from his right and because Washington increasingly has no place for a conservative of his temperament and skills. He too is likely to be replaced by a Republican far more adept at voicing resentments than in enacting legislation.

The lesson that the GOP seems to be drawing is that if your party can’t and won’t govern, you should elect even more people who can’t and won’t govern.

You see that dynamic play out on issues as well as personalities. The GOP had seven years to produce a policy to replace Obamacare, yet it never came close to doing so. Why? Because they never really saw it as a fight about policy in the first place. Obamacare wasn’t so much a health-care law as it was a symbol of President Obama and their own hated impotence, and they want it wiped from the legislative landscape in much the same way that others want to see Confederate monuments removed.

Viewed through that perspective, the repeated failure to repeal and replace Obamacare doesn’t become cause for reflection about improving the party’s incapacity to draft policy or get bills passed. It certainly doesn’t open the door to a more bipartisan operating style. Instead, the base views it as further proof of betrayal by their party leadership, and further evidence of the need for more Roy Moores and fewer Bob Corkers.

Steve Bannon could not be more thrilled.

Reader Comments 0

1441 comments
Jack Warner
Jack Warner

Lol. We own the US jay. Maybe you should do some research on how many republicans hold office from local to the federal govt

Elizabeth Slattery
Elizabeth Slattery

That's true for all elected officials, in no way limited to any party

Mary Anne Carpenter
Mary Anne Carpenter

AJC JUST LIKE THE HILL #FAKENEWS #FRAUDNEWS #FAKEPOLLS STORIES EVERY SINGLE DAY #SHAMEONYOU #CORRUPTION

Mary Ann Gardner
Mary Ann Gardner

Not being run any differently then when the Dems ran things - thank you AJC for your daily hate piece

Thomas Bound
Thomas Bound

Do you mean to suggest that it is not the Republican plan to prove that they cannot govern? I mean, the degree of incompetence Republicans have shown this year seems hard to explain away other than as intentional.

Thomas Bound
Thomas Bound

Chris Policronis The ol' Pee Wee Herman defense. Except he's funny.

Bill Wight
Bill Wight

you're a speciakl kind of libtard stupid!

Thomas Bound
Thomas Bound

Bill Wight So you have to be "stupid" to admit the undeniable fact of how incompetent and impotent Republicans have proven to be with one-party control of the government? \U0001f602

Thomas Bound
Thomas Bound

Bill Wight Helpful hint: when calling someone "a speciakl kind of libtard stupid", or any flavor of "stupid," you might not want to misspell the word "special." Misspelling such an easy word makes you look stupid.

amanchris
amanchris

Amen.  Brilliant analysis.  I never understand why citizens keep voting to elect people who hate government, or why people who hate government work so hard to be elected to it.  "Shutting is all down" is the only strategy or plan they have.


Nala L Doowtrop
Nala L Doowtrop

Put doctors back in charge of healthcare instead of big pharmacy and the insurance companies.

Karen George
Karen George

Our Presidnt is doing just fine. If democrats would stop pushing violence and socialism America would recover from obama's kingly reign.

Befaithful Coker
Befaithful Coker

And the likelihood of that happening giving they have the power and we cannot get anything passed is what?

Lindsey Gregory
Lindsey Gregory

LMAO a majority in the house and Senate and nothing to show for it but a pile of failed legislation, lawsuits and controversy. A failure in every way possible.

Karen George
Karen George

Tell that to the million who now have jobs.

Wanda Williams
Wanda Williams

I'm proud of President Trump. At least we now have a President in the WH who defends America. We haven't had one in the WH in eight years.

Wanda Williams
Wanda Williams

Lindsey Gregory were you beamed down\U0001f602\U0001f602\U0001f602\U0001f602

Debra Fish
Debra Fish

The government does not earn any money. What they spend is taken from hard working taxpayers. When the democrats and leftist media whines that the government will lose revenue, they mean that less money is being forcibly taken from those who work to be passed back and for the between congress, media, lobbyists and businesses like the baby slaughter house that sells off baby parts.

Corey
Corey

Welcome to democracy.The government is not a for-profit corporation. Bless your heart. No government in the history of the world has existed as a profit organization. Government is a contract among the citizenry to provide services to advance civilization and to do that, the people agree to finance the government's role in advancing civilization. Find a utopia where the government has no role in or is derelict in the role of advancing civilization and please relocate there. Somalia has pristine beaches I hear.

Stephen Scruggs
Stephen Scruggs

Democratic Terrorist Party. Vote them all out. They are traitors to our country.

Debra Fish
Debra Fish

Democrats always looking for handout while republicans want obs.

Bob Smith
Bob Smith

I love bookman's opinions, they always remind me how stupid democrats are.

Steve Reasons
Steve Reasons

Lol.....that's funny. How about a President. You loser liberals are morons.

Bill Shelley
Bill Shelley

Go home, Steve-your village is missing its idiot.

Steve Reasons
Steve Reasons

This coming from a moron. Oh Bill, you're missing your hair. Bernie supporter. Says enough !

Salina Alexander
Salina Alexander

Jimmy there is no such thing as black entitlement, we all know the truth. It amazes me how u all seems to be the "be All, know All, u all r never wrong about anything.

Shane Schutte
Shane Schutte

If only people would realize it's not the governments responsibility to provide us with everything. Maybe America needs to take pride in themselves and provide for their own needs instead of living off the government

Tony Whaley
Tony Whaley

Then what are taxes for? Make universal healthcare part of the govt's fiscal equation.

Renita Mason
Renita Mason

Umm if the government wasn't for helping the people they govern then what's the point of having a government. If that's the case then we should have no government and let people fend for themselves. If people need help then they should be able to get it. I'm not saying make it a living to live like that but come on now. There are far more people not abusing the system than there are abusing it.

Jeffrey Parker
Jeffrey Parker

Renita Mason needs a history lesson in Government/Civics.

Kahrin Bennett
Kahrin Bennett

Jeffrey Parker this is like the third time I have seen you write this. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Jeffrey Parker
Jeffrey Parker

Kahrin Bennett You have not seen me write the above post 3 times. You may be right about one thing, in that Renita Mason may have meant her comment in a way different than how I took it.

Shane Schutte
Shane Schutte

Renita Mason We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Tony Whaley
Tony Whaley

Shane Schutte In the developed world, the US has some of the lowest taxes around.

Tony Whaley
Tony Whaley

Shane Schutte Promote the general welfare.

Shane Schutte
Shane Schutte

Tony Whaley maybe in general but certainly not in certain classes. Sorry but taxes effect me every year

Cedric R Sumner
Cedric R Sumner

That history lesson would have easily shut your mouths at the number of times and years the government had no problem helping White people advance in every aspect of life; to include, giving away money, land, and other benefits for free. But only to White people. Now that it was compelled to drop discrimination, now it's a problem? Stop it.

Tony Whaley
Tony Whaley

Shane Schutte Taxes affect everyone!

Shane Schutte
Shane Schutte

Tony Whaley I disagree! There is a large number of Americans that don't pay federal taxes

Sophia Brooksie
Sophia Brooksie

Trump has a republican house and senate, he's still unsuccessful and clearly even they disagree with your sentiments.

Shane Schutte
Shane Schutte

Ok and your point? Have I ever said I agree with them? It's time American quits being coddled. We are so stuck on entitlements. Time for term limits.

Corey
Corey

You are aware that most people agree with you in your very first sentence. However, let's stroll down memory lane and view footage from Pre-War on Poverty Atlanta's Butter Milk Bottom and Appalachia America. Google Atlanta's Butter Milk Bottom 1950s and 1960s. The images are jaw-dropping.