What has happened to the leadership of the Republican Party? Are there no longer any statesmen/women in the GOP? Does the party have any leading figures who believe in the Bill of Rights?
The GOP’s leadership has been taken over by a group of shrill demagogues who cozy up to birthers, talk of rescinding the 14th amendment and want to deny peaceful American Muslims the right to practice their religion. In terms of decency and principle, this season may mark the lowest ebb for the Republican Party since the McCarthy era of the 1950s.
There is no divisive issue the party won’t exploit, no wedge it won’t use as it seeks votes and tries to separate the unum into pluribus. If you listen to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), head of the Republican Senate Campaign Committee, gleefully talk about exploiting the emotions surrounding the so-called 9/11 mosque in New York, you can see how low the party’s leadership has sunk.
There is no good reason for a mosque in NYC to concern the vast majority of Americans — especially nine years after the Sept. 11 atrocities. But Cornyn can’t wait to continue the shameful harangues against Islam.
Newt Gingrich — who won’t be out-demagogued by Sarah Palin or anyone else — has gone so far as to compare the Cordoba Initiative to Nazis.
Rick Scott, trying to win the GOP primary for governor of Florida, has an ad attacking President Obama for supporting the Cordoba Initiative’s right to build a mosque two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center. What in the world does that issue have to do with being Florida’s governor?
A few Republicans have called on the leaders of the party to stop the shameful attacks on the Cordoba Initiative. Mark McKinnon, former adviser to George W. Bush, praised Obama and criticized the leaders of his party, pointing out that they are “reinforcing al-Qaida.” But McKinnon is little known and not among the party’s elected leaders:
From the standpoint of political strategy, the most interesting thing about the GOP’s anti-Muslim bigotry is this: It betrays a lack of answers to the nation’s pressing problems. For more that a year, Republicans in the House and the Senate have been predicting big gains in the mid-term elections, as they pointed to Democratic votes they claimed most citizens rejected: stimulus, health care, Wall Street reform.
If those votes are so unpopular and pave the way for GOP success in the mid-terms, why do they feel the need to whip up anti-Muslim hostility?