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When we're kids we try out identities.  Do we want to be viewed as tough or brave?  Do we want to be seen as smart or thoughtful?  Of course how we view ourselves is most impacted by how we want others to view us.  This process is particularly prominent in high school.  Who we choose to hang out with tells much about how we see ourself and want others to see us.  The process of self-exploration and identity choice continues and usually solidifies in college.  Naturally, there is the potential for a "life-altering" experience at any time in our lives.  But for the most part, our identity is pretty well fixed by the time we reach our early 20s.  By then we have reached a point of being comfortable with who we are and are willing to live with the consequences of that identity, both positive and negative.  When one reaches this point, in our society, he is said to have matured.  Unfortunately,  the GOP is composed of a group of adults who have yet to reach maturity.  They are still seeking an identity.

This wasn't always the case.  There was a time when the Republican Party consisted of a group of people who were clear and focused.  As a Democrat I didn't always agree with them, but I knew where they stood.  I also knew that they were open to compromise if it would ultimately lead to a viable solution to a problem.  While there have always been extremists in both parties, the majority have leaned in a more moderate direction, allowing for that compromise.  The Republicans were comfortable enough with themselves then, to be flexible and deviate from "party orthodoxy".  They were willing to take the heat from some within their constituency who might disagree.  Certainly, it wasn't always easy, and courage sometimes came with a price, but some of our nation's most important legislation was passed because of that courage.

Today the "art of compromise" has been discarded for the "art of distraction".  While at one time the goal in both the house and the senate was to identify problems, develop solutions and pass legislation to implement those solutions, the goals are quite different today. In today's congress hearings have become the distraction to replace legislative action.   I am aware that there are some who will claim that I am viewing the past through rose-colored glasses, but they are wrong.  I have been closely watching the work of congress for nearly six decades, and I have never seen a more distasteful, self-serving and destructive group of legislators than the current GOP.  They would rather switch than fight.  That is, their identity is so weak that they would rather completely reverse their positions under pressure, than fight for what they believe.  In fact, they are so afraid to offend those who do hold a strong position, that they would rather do nothing at all.  They haven't yet figured out what group they want to hang out with.  The GOP today is a party seeking an identity, yet they are afraid to make the hard decisions we all make when we move towards maturity.

This past Tuesday Eric Cantor paid the price for his lack of maturity.  The Tea Party has taken over much of the GOP because they are clear and focused.  As I said in my last blog post, to think that the Tea Party is meeting its demise is missing the point.  The fact is that the GOP has been so ideologically bankrupt, that the Tea Party is simply moving in and becoming the GOP.  If that transition becomes complete, the chance for compromise on any issue will fade with the sunset.

Remember the kid in school who was a bit of a nebbish but suddenly became tough because he allowed himself to be co-opted by the "black leather jacket" group.  We know he wasn't really tough.  But he had the cover of his new-found friends to protect him.  Is that what the GOP really wants?
Cross-posted on rationalpolitics.co

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Comment Preferences

  •  I see your point, but I don't think they're (4+ / 0-)

    really all that bothered by "identiy' per se.

    The GOP has a very very shitty agenda. It's been shitty, they know it's shitty, privatley they revel in its shittiness: they have a shittiness contest to see who can do or say the shittiest things.

    They know it is going to be opposed so they LIE CONSTANTLY about it, even though some can see it, they still lie all the fucking time. Lying is part of their identity they are comfortable with. One of their strengths.

    They are troubled by trying to figure out just how shitty they should be and by not wanting to be accused of this shittiness. They want to be shitty with impunity, without being told they are shitty people.

    For example, Glenn Beck, known shitty person laments the fact he can't say 'the N-word' without being called shitty:

    Regarding another poster, called “Fag the New Ni - -er,” SABO complained to Beck that he’s not allowed to say the name out loud.

    “You know it bothers me that you can’t say the name,” he said.

    “It bothers me. It bothers me,” Beck agreed.

    “I mean, we are such a politically correct environment that you can’t even say ‘fag the new ni - -er,’” said Sabo. “Why is that? It’s a word.”

    “I know that. But you know what the reality is,” said Beck.

    “The reality is that my stepfather used to call me ‘Little Ni - - er,” Sabo countered, “and I called him ‘Big Ni - - er.’”

    Shittiness Interrupted - Oh, the humanity...

    Repubs act like they do because they are liars with a hidden agenda that they aren't going to alter: they will merely try new ways of lying to continue towards their objectives of a destroyed federal government and millions of dead poor people.

    They don't have an identity crisis.

    They ARE the crisis.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 03:30:42 AM PDT

  •  Eric lost because the fucking assholes who would (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, nocynicism, LiberalLoner

    have voted for him as the Shittiest Candidate Available actually found an even shittier candidate and voted for him.

    If they could have voted for Ebola, they would have.

    Shit for brains.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 03:32:05 AM PDT

  •  The 19th Century (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, betorah
    There was a time when the Republican Party consisted of a group of people who were clear and focused.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 03:35:14 AM PDT

  •  They're hellspawn from the 9th circle of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Musial, LiberalLoner

    Hell.

    Their goal of to destroy us. They're winning.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 03:56:37 AM PDT

  •  GOP now has an identity and even a brand (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nocynicism, warprof, a2nite, LiberalLoner

    It may not be the one that they may want for the long term as the election of Brat probably scotches their outreach attempts at outreach to women and Hispanics.

    GOP is still trying to shill minorities and women according to the old Reagan formula of pushing social issues to the forefront while really passing legislation to benefit wealthy patrons.  Conservative social reform?  Reagan and both Bushes more or less ignored such issues though GWB came closer than his predecessors to trying to initiate the GOP social agenda.

    This game has worked well with Rushdoony disciples and Christian Dominionists who wish to have a theocracy with religious leaders and the Bible trumping secular law and the Constitution.  Such prospects hold little appeal to women and minorities.  Problem for GOP is their intellectual wing is now officially bankrupt and has no new ideas for the foreseeable future

  •  the constitutional system is more than just two (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, LiberalLoner

    elected branches and an unelected umpire branch. It is whatever is permitted. The military is a GOP institution, the legislative Court is the leader of GOP policy, the gerrymandered corrupt House, the corrupt senate minority, the fundraisers and PACs, the legislative Executive, the media, the fundamentalist churches, the solid South and its local institutions, the Catholic Church bishops, business, white males, gun owners, police. The identity is that of special interests as against the national interest, but packaged as a patriotic national interest, the nation as marketplace.

    If you want to know specifically who they are, read the S. Ct. decisions, McCutcheon told them that systemic control by a few hundred billionaires is free speech, and so they are the party of free speech. Shelby County told them they are the party of states rights, Heller the party of guns, Town of Greece the party of theocracy, etc. Fundamentally they are the party of overthrow of the Constitution, with the Dems a powerless dissenting minority.

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