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Juan Cole, wielding the deadly ax of unexpected comparisons, has written a stinging rebuke of GOP greed and inflexibility that should not be missed.
While his entire piece is worth reading, the below selection is, for me, the most essential:
At a time when Pope Francis I has called for the Church to be less rigid in its attitudes toward e.g. gays as persons, and when President Hassan Rowhani of Iran has sought a more reasonable tone toward the US and Israel, our hard line Republicans have become more and more blinkered.
The Grand old Party of Scrooge likewise cut $4 billion a year in food stamps. Having deregulated the banks and encouraged the demon instrument of derivatives and driven the country into the ground with their economic policies, the Republicans now want to heap further punishment on the very people they have made homeless. Before the apogee of GOP policy in 2008, 11 percent of Americans were poverty-stricken and food insecure. Every year since the Great GOP Depression of the 21st Century, the percentage of food insecure people in America has been over 14. The GOP, having advocated baby-killing through the abolition of Obamacare, now wants to engage in baby-starving.
Not since British landlords actually exported food from Ireland for profit during the Great Famine of the 1840s have we seen this kind of hard-heartedness in an elite.
Cole continues to examine GOP intransigence, and extremism, by highlighting its positions on a number of issues, including gun control, the Egyptian military coup and continued desire for war against Iran.
However, it's his exploration of the GOP's domestic "mean-spirited" interests that pierce the heart of contemporary Republican doctrine.
I too have lived to see the Pope and Iran's president to appear more reasonable and flexible than half of our country's elected leadership.
Which says just as much, perhaps, about the GOP as it does those who continue to vote them into power.