July 27th, 2012 by Zachary Shahan
If you follow the Washington Post, or are a political junkie, perhaps you’ve already seen this story, but if you haven’t, it’s a must read. A couple of moderate, centrist, or even conservative political scientists recently tore into the extremist Republican leadership of today, spelling out the simple fact that Congress and our whole political system and society are being held ransom by increasingly extreme Republicans.
Here’s the intro to the Washington Post piece:
Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, was recently captured on video asserting that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. Of course, it’s not unusual for some renegade lawmaker from either side of the aisle to say something outrageous. What made West’s comment — right out of the McCarthyite playbook of the 1950s — so striking was the almost complete lack of condemnation from Republican congressional leaders or other major party figures, including the remaining presidential candidates.
It’s not that the GOP leadership agrees with West; it is that such extreme remarks and views are now taken for granted.
We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.
The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.
The whole story is worth a read, as it gets into the real details of the matter. Check it out: Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.
Image: Republican balloons via Shutterstock
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