The Shrinking GOP – More Exclusion, More Insensitivity

Posted in General by TBartine on October 21, 2009 No Comments yet

In a recent ABC/Washington Post Pollonly 20% of respondents said they would identify themselves as Republicans.

While we have certainly examined this trend before, it seems we must keep revisiting it in hopes that, sooner or later, everyone will understand the very simple reason behind the GOP’s downward spiral.

It’s simple:

- All since January of this year: A staffer for Tennessee State Rep. Diane Black (R-Gallatin) sends out a racially insensitive email…she doesn’t apologize, and isn’t terminated.    Representative Roy Blunt (R-MO) tells a monkey joke at a the 2009 Values Voters Summit…and then makes it clear that he’s talking about President Obama.  Kansas Republican legislator Bill Otto puts a clip on YouTube called “Redneck Rap” where he criticizes the President and then refers to opossum as the “other dark meat.“  Diann Jones, a Texas GOP official, criticized a tax on guns as “Another terrific idea from the black house and its minions.“  Audra Shay, at the time running to be head of the Young Republicans, encouraged and laughed along with racist jokes on her Facebook page and made her own joke about Obama “in a noose“…even after these comments went public, she won the position.  GOP activist Rusty DePass responds to a news story about an escaped gorilla…joking that it is “just one of Michelle’s ancestors – probably harmless,“ and the Republican Party does not apologize.  The chairman of the RNC, Michael Steele, says that he is going to lure African-Americans to the Republican Party with “fried chicken.”  When asked why he is the only senior official from Louisiana not to rebuke a judge for refusing to marry an interracial couple, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) would only respond, “I don’t think that’s the case,” then got on an elevator, declining to make further comment.  Don’t wonder very long why many of the 40.9 million black people in the United States are not identifying themselves as Republicans.

- All since January of this year: Senator Kyl (R-AZ) says that maternity shouldn’t be covered by health insurance, because he and other men “don’t need it.“  Senator Al Franken (D-MN) sponsors his first bill, which states that government contractors that attempt to force female employees not to report harassment and rape, should be penalized…and 30 Republican senators vote AGAINST it.  Republican Robert F. McDonnell, the man running to become the governor of Virginia…wrote a thesis claiming that women should not work, and should stay in the home, and that government credits for child care expenses are part of the “problem.”  The National Republican Congressional Committee said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) should be “put in her place“…and not a single female Republican legislator (or male Republican legislator, for that matter) was willing to denounce the statement.  No fewer than three high ranking Republican “leaders” are discovered to be cheating on their wives, brazenly, and are all connected to the bizarre, “weirdly-Christian,” C Street house, where it appears infidelity was not only encouraged (using the justification that as ‘men of power,’ they DESERVED to do it), but it was also allowed to occur in the building and was covered up by other members.  Don’t wonder very long why many of the 150.6 million women in the United States are not identifying themselves as Republicans.

- All since January of this year: Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich called Justice Sonia Sotomayor a racist during the confirmation hearings…and another Republican made the “Ricky Ricardo” reference that she’d have “some ‘splainin’ to do.“  Former GOP congressman Tom Tancredo called Sotomayor a member of the “Latino KKK.”  The RNC put out a press release for Hispanic Heritage Month that had obviously just been run through a translator program and was rife with translation, grammatical, and spelling errors…and the ad they put out featuring prominent Hispanics, didn’t include Justice Sotomayor.  Two RNC officials defended Senator Jim DeMint’s failure to “bring home” funds to South Carolina…by saying he was just acting like “a jew” with our country’s “pennies.”  Representative Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) wrote the forward for a new book which claims there is a “Muslim conspiracy” to take over our government, and Myrick and other Republicans held a press conference to ask the Sergeant Of Arms of the Congress to investigate any Muslim interns.  Republican Representatives and Senators cheered on a Tea Party gathering in Washington, D.C…despite the fact that many protesters held sign bearing anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, and anti-foreigner slogans and images.  RNC Chair Michael Steele claimed, ridiculously, that gay marriage would hurt small businesses.  Representative Steve King (R-IA) said gay marriage is socialism…and later claimed that the Hate Crimes legislation to protect homosexuals would protect other, what he called, “perversions“…and then he compared homosexuality to bestiality, necrophilia, and pedophilia.  Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) is now trying to get gays to support him in the fight against health care reform…despite the fact that he has called the “gay agenda” the “greatest threat to our freedom that we face today,” and also once said, “Lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in southeast Oklahoma that they’ll only let one girl go to the bathroom. Now think about it. Think about that issue. How is it that that’s happened to us?“  Don’t wonder very long why many of the 44.3 million Hispanics…and the 5.5 million Jews…and the 8.8 million gay/bisexual/transgendered people…and the 6.5 million Muslims in the United States are not identifying themselves as Republicans.

And these incidents…are just the SOME of the RECENT ones involving politicians and other political officials.  I’m not even including the race-baiting and fearmongering from the presidential campaign, nor any of the numerous incidents involving the right-wing media.

In the end…it’s simple mathematics.  Each of us was taught in grade school that America is a “melting pot.“  The problem is…it’s not stirred very well.  There are clumps: enclaves of single-race, single-religion, single-creed people all across this country.  Within those caches of homogeneity, people often fall into the simple trap of forgetting that, while within their clique all may share very similar profiles and opinions…the rest of the nation varies considerably.  For example, when you have lived most of your life in a small town or suburb where everyone is white, goes to the same evangelical church, votes Republican, watches FOX News, and opposes homosexuality…it may be hard to imagine that there are a VAST number of American who are not white, go to some other church (or don’t attend at all), vote Democrat (or Independent, or not at all), think only fools watch FOX News, and support (or simply show tolerance towards) gays.

Those people also live in America, and millions of others representing every possible race, ethnicity, sexuality, creed, and lifestyle…and they are full citizens with full lives, equal rights, and one vote apiece.  And forgetting that they vote, not just in the polling place but with their wallets, will lead to the continued withering of the Republican Party.  It’s simple math…and simple politics…and there’s no excuse for the GOP not knowing this.