The Grand Old Party seems to be on a path to party self-destruction.  Oh, they may hang on for a decade or more but eventually the Republican Party is either going to move back to the political center, where the American people actually are in their thinking, or they will be taken over by their fringe-wingers and cease to be serious players in American politics.

The Huffington Post lays out the current state of GOP reality in a terrific article that spells out America’s bad mood and growing lack of confidence in the Republican Party.  According to an ABC/Washington Post poll released Monday the American people are horrified with the performance of one of the nation’s two major parties.  And this spells big trouble for the GOP.

The Democratic Party is more and more in line with the center of American political thought, while the GOP continues to bleed national support.  Esquire explains in, 13 Things That Define the New American Center that the American center holds the majority.  There are major areas of agreement in the center of our politics: Same Sex Marriage; Abortion Rights; Separation of Church and State; support for Background Checks for Guns; and Increasing the Minimum Wage.

And now, at the cost of $300 million a day, the GOP shuts down our government (with truly weak and confusing reasons) and threatens to throw our nation into defaulting on our debt.  Default will mean having our credit rating downgraded again — it was last downgraded when the GOP threatened default in 2011 — and will result in spiking interest rates for the American people and businesses.  Economists overwhelmingly predict that an American default on our debt will plunge our nation  back into recession.

It’s hard to know just where this current crisis is going to land us.  The American people are basically optimists, and most of us (including Wall Street!) continue to believe that what we’re currently seeing is gamesmanship being played out in Washington, and that it will stop in time to avoid too much damage to the country.  But, maybe not.

It has become pretty clear that the GOP has no intention of permitting our economy to grow in a healthy way.  They have put up roadblocks at every turn.  They have insisted on economic austerity, long after even Europe has abandoned the misguided idea as a failure; they refuse to fund investments in our future economy such as infrastructure and education; they continue to defend the discredited theory of Trickle-Down economics by insisting that we cannot ask the super wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes.

But we’re now in an even lower place politically, when the majority of lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans both, do not want default or shutdown … but appear helpless to stop the minority of Tea-Publicans in the House of Representatives from plunging the nation into dangerous territory.

American Democracy cannot survive when a small minority of House members, acting as domestic terrorists along with their special interests on the right, can halt progress in our nation by threatening the nation with devastation if they don’t get laws overturned that they don’t like.  That is not Democracy.

Maybe it is time for the President to give history a real legacy for his presidency.  If the GOP’s determination to institutionalize Congressional gridlock cannot be broken to allow for economic recovery, then perhaps the President needs to instead define his place in history as the President who saved our Democracy — by standing up to the bullies in the House and affirming that America will not be ruled by a minority of rabid extremists.


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