October 10, 2015

IF YOU'RE GENUINELY ANTI-GOVERNMENT...

Republican Party's Big Question: To Fight or Govern? (GERALD F. SEIB, Oct. 8, 2015, WSJ)

John Murray, who was a top adviser to former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor--himself a victim of a tea-party insurrection in the last election--frames the GOP choice this way: "Is this about ideological warfare, or is it about a vision to govern by conservative principles?"


...then governing well is evil too.  Ultimately, the wingnuts oppose the very notion of the Republic.



MORE:
Archconservatives' Real Enemy Is Democracy (Francis Wilkinson, 10/09/15, Bloomberg View)

The difference between the Ultras in the House and the mainstream Republicans they delight in humiliating isn't so much about tactics as democracy. The Ultras bulk up on the former -- holding their leadership hostage, pushing the party to hold the nation's credit hostage, or government funding hostage -- but they have little use for the latter.

Barack Obama was re-elected to the White House in 2012 by a margin of roughly 5 million votes. To mainstream conservatives this is unfortunate. But it's also a fact. Not just a Democratic fact, but a small-d democratic one. The people spoke at the ballot box, and that voice cannot simply be annihilated. What's more, there are a couple hundred years of government precedent and a written Constitution to guide the balancing of conflicting interests between the president and his party and the Congress and its majorities.

But the Ultras are not big on balance. Or, really, democracy. To them, Obama is not the duly elected president of the United States, the nation's highest officer. He is an affront and an obstacle. Since he is not an archconservative Republican, and they so fervently wish that he were, they simply deem him illegitimate.

The Ultras are called "outsider" and "anti-establishment" and "anti-government." And they are in various ways. But they are mostly anti-democratic. They reserve their greatest contempt for compromise, even with members of their own party. Compromise is the viscous stuff that enables diverse interests to be accommodated and government to function. It's the stuff of American pluralism and representative democracy, fluid enough to carry multiple views but still sticky enough to make one of many.

The Ultras are at war with Democrats, with Republicans, with government itself. But mostly they are war with perhaps the greatest, if least heralded, of American political ideals: half-a-loafism. In a 50-50 nation, they don't want small bites. They want it all. Never mind that they represent a rump of one party.

Posted by at October 10, 2015 8:26 AM
  

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