Republican extremism

Republican members of the House of Representatives leading the right wing extremist movement include Mark Meadows — North Carolina; Steve King — Iowa; Raúl R. Labrador — Idaho; Jeff Duncan — South Carolina; Justin Amash –Michigan; Paul Broun — Georgia; Thomas Massie – Kentucky; Matt Salmon and David Schweikert – Arizona; Phil Gingrey — Georgia; Louie Gohmert — Texas; Michele Bachman — Minnesota; Steve Pearce — New Mexico  (posted 10/4/13)

Here Are The 144 Republicans Who Voted To Send The U.S. Into Default

10 Past Republicans Who Would Never Make It in Today’s Insane GOP

Conspiracy Theories Explain the Right

Many in G.O.P. Offer Theory: Default Wouldn’t Be That Bad

The Conservative Crackup: How the Republican Party Lost Its Mind

Conservatives With a Cause: ‘We’re Right’ By ASHLEY PARKER, New York Times,  September 30, 2013 — …what gives House Republicans the idea that they can triumph in their push to repeal, or at least delay, the Affordable Care Act when so many veteran voices in their party see it as an unwinnable fight? “Because we’re right, simply because we’re right,” said Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa…Representative Steve Pearce, Republican of New Mexico, described the task facing his colleagues as perhaps quixotic, but ideologically critical…

G.O.P. Extremists Defy Description by John Cassidy, TheNew Yorker.com, September 30, 2013…there is a significant minority within the Republican Party, both on Capitol Hill and at its grass roots, that would have preferred to stick with the suicide option to the bitter end…this faction, which is, by far, the most energetic group in the G.O.P…shares something with earlier right-wing movements, such as the John Birch Society…the religious fundamentalism that motivates many American right-wingers…instinctive white-on-black racism that has long tinged American conservatism…History suggests this is a dangerous road to go down. Once an elected government is deemed illegitimate, in whatever sense, normal democratic politics, with its give and take, is difficult to sustain. And that, of course, is what we are now witnessing

Republicans Facing a Test of Unity By ASHLEY PARKER, New York Times,  September 26, 2013 — conservative advocacy groups have emerged as central players — exerting outsize influence, investing tremendous time and resources.… number of key conservative organizations…ForAmerica, a Tea Party group…Heritage Actionthe political arm of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research organization… Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group backed by the Koch brothers… The Club for Growth…Senate Conservatives Fund

Marlin Stutzman and post-policy nihilism  By Steve Benen, maddowblog.msnbc.com, October 3, 2013 — …the last time Republicans shut down the federal government [1994]…then-Speaker Newt Gingrich…admitted in November 1995 that he closed the government in part because President Clinton hurt his feelings on Air Force One…We don’t yet know if a similar moment will come to define this Republican shutdown, but I’d like to nominate this gem as an early contender. “We’re not going to be disrespected,” conservative Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., added. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”…congressional Republicans are now defined by a post-policy nihilism…Republicans are being driven by a mindless radicalism. There’s no meaningful policy goal in mind; there’s no substantive motivation; there isn’t even a strategic end goal. There’s just a primal instinct and a right-wing id causing a national crisis.

Grayson blames shutdown on GOP literally drinking on the job By Josh Eidelson, Salon.Com, October 1. 2013   … Rep. Alan Grayson charged that Republican House members have been literally intoxicated while casting votes on the continuing resolutions that set the stage for today’s government shutdown…Grayson also blamed today’s shutdown on Republicans’ “anarchist ideology” and “blind hatred of government,” …“They are literally offended by the idea that people would get the care they need to stay healthy or alive even though they can’t afford it,” charged Grayson. “They regard it as some kind of crime against nature.”

Permanent Republican minority By Harold Meyerson, Washington Post, October 1, 2013  ……What’s behind this two-decade drive to employ the obstructive power of a governmental minority to undo the policies that a majority enacted or to unseat an elected president? Plainly, the gap between the Republican Party and the rest of the nation has widened. And as that gap has grown, Republicans have become more insular and more desperate — a toxic combination for a functioning democracy…The current Republican hold on the House is the product of the lily-white, gerrymandered districts that GOP legislators crafted after the 2010 Census..All this leaves only two ways that Republicans can affect public policy at the national level: They can embrace minority rightsthat is, they can move to the center… Or they can try to maximize the power of their minority status by trying to disrupt the nation to the point that the majority will be compelled to support Republican positions. Rationality dictates the first choice, but rationality doesn’t hold much sway in today’s GOP…Is this course sustainable? Ultimately, no. Eventually, the number of millennials, voters of color and fed-up moderates will rise to the point that 218 sufficiently white and conservative House districts can no longer be crafted. How much havoc Republicans can wreak until then, however, is anybody’s guess..

Where the G.O.P.‘s Suicide Caucus Lives Posted by Ryan Lizza, NewYorker.com, September 26, 2013 – Excerpt — On August 21st, Congressman Mark Meadows sent a letter to John Boehner. Meadows is a former restaurant owner and Sunday-school Bible teacher from North Carolina. He’s been in Congress for eight months. Boehner, who has served in Congress for twenty-two years, is the Speaker of the House and second in the line of succession if anything happened to the President…Meadows wanted Boehner to use the threat of a government shutdown to defund Obamacare, a course Boehner had publicly ruled out…Meadows won his election last November by fifteen points…His district is eighty-seven per cent white, five per cent Latino, and three per cent black. Before Meadows sent off his letter to Boehner, he circulated it among his colleagues, and with the help of the conservative group FreedomWorks, as well as some heavy campaigning by Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Mike Lee, seventy-nine like-minded House Republicans from districts very similar to Meadows’s added their signatures…Not everyone thought it was a terrific … Karl Rove railed against the idea in the Wall Street Journal. The conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer dubbed the eighty Republicans the “suicide caucus.” And yet, a few weeks later, Boehner adopted the course demanded by Meadows and his colleagues. The ability of eighty members of the House of Representatives to push the Republican Party into a strategic course that is condemned by the party’s top strategists is a historical oddity…These eighty members represent just eighteen per cent of the House and just a third of the two hundred and thirty-three House Republicans… just eighteen per cent of the population. Most of the members of the suicide caucus have districts very similar to Meadows’s…The average suicide-caucus district is seventy-five per cent white, while the average House district is sixty-three per cent white… even within the broader Republican Party, they represent a minority view…In previous eras, ideologically extreme minorities could be controlled by party leadership. What’s new about the current House of Representatives is that…Boehner has lost his ability to control his caucus, and an ideological faction, aided by outside interest groups, can now set the national agenda…Through redistricting, Republicans have built themselves a perhaps unbreakable majority in the House. But it has come at a cost of both party discipline and national popularity. Nowadays, a Sunday-school teacher can defeat the will of the Speaker of the House.

Staunch Group of Republicans Outflanks House Leaders By JONATHAN WEISMAN and ASHLEY PARKER, New York Times, October 1, 2013…outside their districts, and sometimes even within them, few have heard of the conservative cadre of House Republicans who have led the charge to shut down the government… a hard-core group of about two dozen or so of the most conservative House members who stand in the way of a middle path… For nearly three years, Mr. Boehner has been vexed by an ungovernable conservative group made of up ideologically committed conservatives from safe House seats… the influence of the group is sparking an internal backlash, as a growing band of moderate and institutional Republicans are demanding that Mr. Boehner stand up to the conservatives to reopen the government and reach bipartisan accommodations in the future….

5 Reasons Republicans Are Beginning To Worry They Could Lose The House In 2014 by Jason Sattler, nationalmemo.com, August 19, 2013

American Right-Wingers Are No Longer Conservative — They’re Extremists – excerpt By Joshua Holland, AlterNet, April 17, 2013

Departure of GOP operatives could imperil debt-limit talks By Lori Montgomery, Washington Post, August 8, 2013 

Has the G.O.P. Gone Off the Deep End? By THOMAS B. EDSALLJuly 17, 2013

Inside Groundswell: Read the Memos of the New Right-Wing Strategy Group Planning a “30 Front War” By David Corn | Thu Jul. 25, 2013

How Obama’s Election Drove the American Right Insane By David Nei­w­ert [2], John Amato [3] Poli­Point Press [1] posted on Alternet.org, May 25, 2010 — The fol­low­ing is adapted from “Over the Cliff: How Obama’s Elec­tion Drove the Amer­i­can Right Insane,” [4]due out next month from Poli­Point Press.On the day Barack Obama was elected pres­i­dent of the United States… those who opposed Obama pre­cisely because he sought to become the nation’s first black pres­i­dent — it went well beyond the usual despair….So maybe it wasn’t really a sur­prise that they responded that day with the spe­cial venom and vio­lence pecu­liar to the Amer­i­can Right…We are see­ing lit­er­ally hun­dreds of inci­dents around the coun­try — from cross-burnings to death threats to effi­gies hang­ing to con­fronta­tions in school­yards, and it’s quite remark­able. I think that there are polit­i­cal lead­ers out there who are say­ing incred­i­bly irre­spon­si­ble things that could have the effect of undamming a real flood of hate. That includes media fig­ures. On immi­gra­tion, they have been some of the worst. There’s a lot going on, and it’s very likely to lead to scape­goat­ing. And in the end, scape­goat­ing leaves corpses in the street…

Conservatives’ Reality Problem by Tim­o­thy B. Lee…The world is messy and com­pli­cated, and under­stand­ing it often requires years of study and a will­ing­ness to con­sider evi­dence objec­tively regard­less of where it comes from. Yet the con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment has increas­ingly become a hos­tile place for peo­ple who think for them­selves, no mat­ter how deeply they under­stand their subjects. While many aspects of pub­lic pol­icy are the sub­ject of gen­uine ide­o­log­i­cal dis­agree­ments, there are also many issues where experts really do know things the rest of the pub­lic does not. A party that sys­tem­at­i­cally favors ide­o­log­i­cally con­ve­nient argu­ments and mar­gin­al­izes dis­sent­ing voices will inevitably make costly mistakes…We should all hope the con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment devel­ops a greater respect for exper­tise in the meantime.

The Crackpot Caucus By TIMOTHY EGAN, New York Times, August 23, 2012…Take a look around key committees of the House and you’ll find a governing body stocked with crackpots whose views on major issues are as removed from reality as Missouri’s Representative Todd Akin’s take on the sperm-killing powers of a woman who’s been raped. On matters of basic science and peer-reviewed knowledge, from evolution to climate change to elementary fiscal math, many Republicans in power cling to a level of ignorance that would get their ears boxed even in a medieval classroom.Their war on critical thinking explains a lot about why the United States is laughed at on the global stage, and why no real solutions to our problems emerge from that broken legislative body…Where do they get this stuff? The Bible, yes, but much of the misinformation and the fables that inform Republican politicians comes from hearsay, often amplified by their media wing…

Meet The Radical Republicans Chairing Important House Committees 

Andy Kohut goes deep on impact of the GOP’s ‘staunch conservatism’ By Eric Black, MinnPost.com,  03/22/13 Republicans’ image with the wider public is now dominated by the behavior and views of “a bloc of doctrinaire, across-the-board conservatives [that] has become a dominant force on the right.” …The Republican Party has moved further from the center of national public opinion than any party has since the McGovern era when the Democrats were viewed by Middle America as the party of “acid, abortion and amnesty.” The public now perceives the Republicans as “the more extreme party, the side unwilling to compromise or negotiate seriously to tackle the economic turmoil that challenges the nation,” Kohut says.…“The numbers prove it: The GOP is estranged from America.” Andy Kohut, Pew Research Center…“The Republican Party’s ratings now stand at a 20-year low, with just 33 percent of the public holding a favorable view of the party and 58 percent judging it unfavorable…Republicans’ image with the wider public is now dominated by the behavior and views of “a bloc of doctrinaire, across-the-board conservatives [that] has become a dominant force on the right.” The party’s base, which constitutes about 45 percent of all Republicans, holds “extremely conservative positions on nearly all issues: the size and role of government, foreign policy, social issues, and moral concerns,” writes Kohut. “They stand with the tea party on taxes and spending and with Christian conservatives on key social questions, such as abortion rights and same-sex marriage.” This group, whom Kohut dubs “staunch conservatives,” are “demographically and politically distinct from the national electorate. Ninety-two percent are white. They tend to be male, married, Protestant, well off and at least 50 years old.” One of the unifying elements of staunch conservatism is the emotional intensity of their dislike for Pres. Obama…the role of Fox News on the right is much more powerful than the role of liberal news sources on the left: …the impact of staunch conservatism on the Republican Party for the foreseeable future… Three: “they also help keep the party out of the White House. Quite simply, the Republican Party has to appeal to a broader cross section of the electorate to succeed in presidential elections.”

Antigovernment ‘Patriot’ Movement Expands for the Fourth Year in a Row, SPLC Intelligence Report  By Mark Potok,  Alternet.org March 7, 2013…Capping four years of explosive growth sparked by the election of America’s first black president and anger over the economy, the number of conspiracy-minded antigovernment “Patriot” groups reached an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012, while the number of hard-core hate groups remained above 1,000. As President Obama enters his second term with an agenda of gun control and immigration reform, the rage on the right is likely to intensify…

 

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