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Excerpt: "Two weeks before the Iowa caucuses, the Republican crackup threatens the future of the Grand Old Party more profoundly than at any time since the GOP's eclipse in 1932. That's bad for America.... The underlying conflict lies deep into the nature and structure of the Republican Party. And its roots are very old. As Michael Lind has noted, today's Tea Party is less an ideological movement than the latest incarnation of an angry white minority - predominantly Southern, and mainly rural - that has repeatedly attacked American democracy in order to get its way."

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)



Why the Republican Crackup Hurts America

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

21 December 11

 

wo weeks before the Iowa caucuses, the Republican crackup threatens the future of the Grand Old Party more profoundly than at any time since the GOP's eclipse in 1932. That's bad for America.

The crackup isn't just Romney the smooth versus Gingrich the bomb-thrower.

Not just House Republicans who just scotched the deal to continue payroll tax relief and extended unemployment insurance benefits beyond the end of the year, versus Senate Republicans who voted overwhelmingly for it.

Not just Speaker John Boehner, who keeps making agreements he can't keep, versus Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who keeps making trouble he can't control.

And not just venerable Republican senators like Indiana's Richard Lugar, a giant of foreign policy for more than three decades, versus primary challenger state treasurer Richard Mourdock, who apparently misplaced and then rediscovered $320 million in state tax revenues.

Some describe the underlying conflict as Tea Partiers versus the Republican establishment. But this just begs the question of who the Tea Partiers really are and where they came from.

The underlying conflict lies deep into the nature and structure of the Republican Party. And its roots are very old.

As Michael Lind has noted, today's Tea Party is less an ideological movement than the latest incarnation of an angry white minority - predominantly Southern, and mainly rural - that has repeatedly attacked American democracy in order to get its way.

It's no mere coincidence that the states responsible for putting the most Tea Party representatives in the House are all former members of the Confederacy. Of the Tea Party caucus, twelve hail from Texas, seven from Florida, five from Louisiana, and five from Georgia, and three each from South Carolina, Tennessee, and border-state Missouri.

Others are from border states with significant Southern populations and Southern ties. The four Californians in the caucus are from the inland part of the state or Orange County, whose political culture has was shaped by Oklahomans and Southerners who migrated there during the Great Depression.

This isn't to say all Tea Partiers are white, Southern or rural Republicans - only that these characteristics define the epicenter of Tea Party Land.

And the views separating these Republicans from Republicans elsewhere mirror the split between self-described Tea Partiers and other Republicans.

In a poll of Republicans conducted for CNN last September, nearly six in ten who identified themselves with the Tea Party say global warming isn't a proven fact; most other Republicans say it is.

Six in ten Tea Partiers say evolution is wrong; other Republicans are split on the issue. Tea Party Republicans are twice as likely as other Republicans to say abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, and half as likely to support gay marriage.

Tea Partiers are more vehement advocates of states' rights than other Republicans. Six in ten Tea Partiers want to abolish the Department of Education; only one in five other Republicans do. And Tea Party Republicans worry more about the federal deficit than jobs, while other Republicans say reducing unemployment is more important than reducing the deficit.

In other words, the radical right wing of today's GOP isn't that much different from the social conservatives who began asserting themselves in the Party during the 1990s, and, before them, the "Willie Horton" conservatives of the 1980s, and, before them, Richard Nixon's "silent majority."

Through most of these years, though, the GOP managed to contain these white, mainly rural and mostly Southern, radicals. After all, many of them were still Democrats. The conservative mantle of the GOP remained in the West and Midwest - with the libertarian legacies of Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft and Barry Goldwater, neither of whom was a barn-burner - while the epicenter of the Party remained in New York and the East.

But after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as the South began its long shift toward the Republican Party and New York and the East became ever more solidly Democratic, it was only a matter of time. The GOP's dominant coalition of big business, Wall Street, and Midwest and Western libertarians was losing its grip.

The watershed event was Newt Gingrich's takeover of the House, in 1995. Suddenly, it seemed, the GOP had a personality transplant. The gentlemanly conservatism of House Minority Leader Bob Michel was replaced by the bomb-throwing antics of Gingrich, Dick Armey, and Tom DeLay.

Almost overnight Washington was transformed from a place where legislators tried to find common ground to a war zone. Compromise was replaced by brinkmanship, bargaining by obstructionism, normal legislative maneuvering by threats to close down government - which occurred at the end of 1995.

Before then, when I'd testified on the Hill as Secretary of Labor, I had come in for tough questioning from Republican senators and representatives - which was their job. After January 1995, I was verbally assaulted. "Mr. Secretary, are you a socialist?" I recall one of them asking.

But the first concrete sign that white, Southern radicals might take over the Republican Party came in the vote to impeach Bill Clinton, when two-thirds of senators from the South voted for impeachment. (A majority of the Senate, you may recall, voted to acquit.)

America has had a long history of white Southern radicals who will stop at nothing to get their way - seceding from the Union in 1861, refusing to obey Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s, shutting the government in 1995, and risking the full faith and credit of the United States in 2010.

Newt Gingrich's recent assertion that public officials aren't bound to follow the decisions of federal courts derives from the same tradition.

This stop-at-nothing radicalism is dangerous for the GOP because most Americans recoil from it. Gingrich himself became an object of ridicule in the late 1990s, and many Republicans today worry that if he heads the ticket the Party will suffer large losses.

It's also dangerous for America. We need two political parties solidly grounded in the realities of governing. Our democracy can't work any other way.


Robert Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written thirteen books, including "The Work of Nations," "Locked in the Cabinet," "Supercapitalism" and his latest book, "AFTERSHOCK: The Next Economy and America's Future." His 'Marketplace' commentaries can be found on publicradio.com and iTunes.

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+53 # fredboy 2011-12-21 10:19
Forgive the crude schoolboy imagery, but the Republicans have roamed the nation and its airwaves with their cracks up for far too long. Time for the party to reassess its real purpose, image, and impact and clean up its act. Time to put our nation--our nation--first, not their wallets.
 
 
+8 # wsh 2011-12-21 15:56
Robert said this:

"We need two political parties solidly grounded in the realities of governing. Our democracy can't work any other way."

And I agree....the Democratic Party, and the Liberal Party.

I might just take a Republican ballot this year and vote for Newt...just to expedite the inevitable Republican slide if he represents his Party.
 
 
+74 # Barbara K 2011-12-21 10:31
You nailed it, Mr. Reich. Also, the teabaggers have destroyed the Republican Party altogether. They are a bunch of spoiled, bratty, children who don't know a thing about running the government or how it works. They think holding the American People hostage over getting more money for the devils they serve will make them heroes. They are in for a big surprise come next election. They are there to serve the People, not Corporations. If they can't do that, they need to pick up their toys and go home. They act like a bunch of schizzophraenic clowns.

NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN !!

Our freedoms depend on it.
 
 
+25 # bugbuster 2011-12-21 11:19
As you point out, bad citizenship of the South goes back to the Civil War. Maybe it would have been better had the Confederacy prevailed and become a different country. Maybe it's not to late to reconsider the outcome of the Civil War and make them an offer.
 
 
+12 # CL38 2011-12-22 01:57
I've often thought that the country would be better off if the far right lived in one part of the country and liberals and Democrats in another, etc. Each area could create it's own laws and people could choose where to live, based on the policies and laws of each area.

I'm tired of these far right racist radicals trying to control every area of every citizens lives with their insane attitudes and beliefs.
 
 
0 # tclose 2011-12-25 23:32
Actually, differences of the South from the rest of the nation was evident well before the Civil War - going back to actions taken at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. See the excellent treatment by author Colin Woodard in his book "American Nations" (just published). He shows that the original formation of cultural characteristics making up different parts of the country still persist in the present political behavior of, for example, the South, compared to other parts of the US.
 
 
+26 # tedrey 2011-12-21 11:20
They haven't changed in 150 years. Should have let them secede while we had a chance.
 
 
+18 # jwb110 2011-12-21 12:37
Quoting tedrey:
They haven't changed in 150 years. Should have let them secede while we had a chance.


I think we should offer the South the opportunity to secede again and then let them go.
 
 
+22 # MainStreetMentor 2011-12-21 11:26
Mr. Reich is right. The conflicting miasma of political viewpoints which comprise the current RepubTeacan Party will become a train-wreck in the coming election year. It’s inevitable when such disassociated factions each believe they are “in control”. The incompetent Squeaker of the House, (at best possessing weak, borderline leadership skills), is attempting to herd cats, where the Tea Party faction is concerned. A major issue, of course, is that part of America is one of the cars being pulled by that about-to-wreck political train. The only way to stop it is with a barricade of votes.
 
 
+12 # reiverpacific 2011-12-21 11:36
This is a good illustration of why the "99%" expression so readily adopted by OWS (which I support thoroughly) is a bit of a myth.
The idiot ultra-Libertari an but mindlessly obfuscative Tea-Buggers are hardly likely to identify themselves as such, like the average latter-day Repug'.
Are there ANY of the old-style classic Republicans who stood for fiscal responsibility left, or are they also party-pariahs as being not radically conservative enough in the current wave of mean-spiritedne ss and "brinkmanship" as Mr Reich puts it?
I'd really like to her more on that from somebody.
 
 
+33 # Wyntergreen 2011-12-21 11:44
"Gingrich himself became an object of ridicule in the late 1990s, and many Republicans today worry that if he heads the ticket the Party will suffer large losses."

Well, we can only hope. And it seems that the best thing the Democrats and President Obama have going for them is the ultimate fringe nature of the Tea Party backed candidates and the fact that the major contenders for the Republican nomination are basically unelectable in a general election. I must admit that I even salivate at the thought of Romney being the standard-bearer . I think those Southern Baptists might have a hard time voting for a Mormon. And, of course, if they stay home, all sorts of good things might happen. But then, the Right Wing cheats, so one can never be sure. Get out there and vote folks! And work the precincts!
 
 
+31 # RMDC 2011-12-21 11:48
The republicans became the party of southern racism in 1967 when Nixon launched his "southern strategy" -- a campaign to label the democrats as the part of civil rights and themselves as the champions of white supremacy. Also don't forget that Reagan declared his candidacy in 1979 in Philadephia, MS, the headquarters of the larges KKK chapter and the place where Cheney, Goodman, and Schwerner were murdered. He appeals to southern white racists were quite open.

Newt has always been an overt racist. The rest of them are just to stupid to know what they are. They just go along with teaparty slogans and have no idea what the implications of these are.

Yes, the republican party has degenerated to its base. But it is hard to say what its future will be. By all rights, it should disappear but this is Amerikkka and the true base of the population may be a lot more racist and right wing than many of us would like to believe.
 
 
+27 # BradFromSalem 2011-12-21 12:09
Republicans, Bye Bye. Time for a political realignment. We have had shifts, but no realignment since the Civil War.

The Democrats are near a split into Progressives and sane conservatives. Republicans are already split into the insane Tea Pots and sane conservatives. Those Tea Pots are destined to become an historical footnote. Their ideology will continue to push them out of the mainstream. The two sane Conservative groups will gel into a single coalition. Democratic Progressives will be able to claim about an equal number of voters as the new Conservative coalition.

Political realignments are critical to maintaining the vibrancy of American Democracy. Without them we are doomed to facing the bloody uprisings foretold by Jefferson.
 
 
+24 # colmo04 2011-12-21 12:19
Very interesting, informative, revealing history and analysis. Thank you Mr. Reich. Perhaps we ought to offer these southern state the opportunity to secede now, unopposed, if they's like. But where would the money come for their retirements, disabilities, unemployment, health care, food stamps... they eat up these services disproportionat ely while screaming "socialist" at our President.
 
 
+28 # ABen 2011-12-21 12:21
The current iteration of these 'borderers' (18th Century English term for this crowd)was signaled by the Teabagger mantra of "take back our government" together with the tacitly racist, xenophobic, and homophobic phrases that accompanied the mantra. The ridiculous attempts to portray OBama as somehow not American were simply racist rants in slightly less revolting verbiage. The rational Republicans I know (there are still many) are embarrassed/dis gusted with this crowd. If the GOP had not been taken over by anti-government , bomb throwing wing-nuts, Jon Huntsman would be at the top of the primary polls--he is barely in single digits. Vote Democratic until the GOP comes back to a reality that includes all Americans rather than just a self-centered, petulant bunch of intellectual and emotional juveniles!
 
 
+12 # dorianb@fuse.net 2011-12-21 22:06
ABen: Very well thought-out comment. To say "All Republicans" think like these Teabaggers makes no sense, As you point out, there are rational Republicans such as John Huntsman whose single digits in the polls show he does not subscribe to their racist, anti-women, homophobic views and distain for the impoverished. ill and unemployed.assi stance. Tea Party politicians are an anachronistic throw- back to the days of master-slave and anti-human rights that denigrated all human beings. You are so right that this group is anti-intellectu al and I might add anti-humanistic . They are an embarrasssment to rational Republicans and to all Americans. So many Americans feel a sense of pride and gratitude that we live in a country that has government programs to assist the poor and those in need. We do not want these things taken away and we do not want a symbiotic relationship between Church and State. The Tea Bag people are appealing to the worst instincts in human beings and someone has to put a stop to it.
 
 
+15 # squawcraw 2011-12-21 12:21
The TEAParty's motto should be "Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what MORE your country can do for you". It's all about THEM and THEIR grandkids and to he11 with everyone else. They got theirs so they don't care what happens to the less fortunate (i.e. the ones they call lazy and worse). The TEAParty is the political embodiment of Supply Side Economics: instead of money, the TEAParty is trying to concentrate the political power at the top (i.e. the "extreme right") so that it's "wisdom" can "trickle down" to the rest of us. Once again they are urinating on our legs and trying to tell us it's raining. Total, unmitigated Baloney! And the scariest part about it is that many TEAParty leaders and elected politicians are like Kamikaze pilots: they are willing (and in some cases eager) to commit "political suicide" to get what they want. How do you negotiate or make deals with people like that?
 
 
+6 # angryspittle 2011-12-21 12:22
Maybe we should have just let the fucking retrograde reptiles leave in 1861, keep their damn slaves, wallow in their ignorance and bigotry, and then make them crawl when they would have begged to get back in once the "stupid" crippled their economy and left them in the same economic shape as Haiti.
 
 
+18 # DLT888 2011-12-21 12:22
I don't give a darn about the Republican party. It can have its funeral and I'll dance on its grave.
 
 
+7 # DLT888 2011-12-21 12:24
We need to break down both parties and start all over again with two REAL parties for the people. Or some other form of government we haven't thought of yet, I don't know. I'm just so sick of Dems and Repukes, and it all sounds the same to me now.
 
 
+8 # Martintfre 2011-12-21 14:25
Actually we don't need to break down anything - it is a simpler and more constitutionall y sound solution that needs to be followed - Stop using the power of government to prop up any political party.

End the $75 million from tax payers for national nominating parties when the nominee has been chosen months before -

End the Ballot access laws that habitually wipe out third parties and independents.

End the tax payer subsidies for their primaries - let the damned parties pay for their own primaries.

If you want healthy political process then quit propping up the morally sick and weak incumbencies that we have - open it up to a free market place of ideas and people who support them.
 
 
+10 # BradFromSalem 2011-12-21 15:04
I agree with your sentiment, but all that will do is totally eliminate any outside parties except for the two (or one) supported by the moneyed interests. And that will occur even if there is complete transparency.

But, you are correct in your assessment that government does prop up the two party fraud. And we do need to open our political process to the free market of ideas. Unfortunately for you to do that, we need rules that prevent economic exclusion rather than no rules.
 
 
+22 # epcraig 2011-12-21 12:35
I remember when the Grand Old Party had three planks in their platform, civil rights, conservation and anti-trust.
The Republican Party lost those planks.
I stopped voting for Republicans.
 
 
+13 # ganymede 2011-12-21 12:49
Mr. Reich, Thank you so much for being a beacon of light clarity and sanity during these crazy times. It is beginning to look like the Republicans are imploding, and that we might actually have 'one party' governance for a year or two. We do need a two party system in order for democracy to work, but these rightwingers have brought their downfall on themselves, and the damage has to be repaired quickly. It's also a shame that the Tea Partiers have allowed themselves to be so badly used by some of the worse elements in our country.
I just hope that you will be part of the new Obama government.
 
 
+7 # James38 2011-12-21 13:31
The teaparty voter base is the white equivalent of the functionally illiterate black ghetto city kids. Both are the result - the victims - of a horribly dysfunctional education system, poverty, and of local segments of society and families that have been formed for generations on the same lack of education. The leadership of the Teabaggers is just the scum that floats to the top of that barrel-full of illiterates. It is difficult to the point of impossibility to reason with them, since they lack even the rudiments of history or reason or the ability to think for themselves. That sort of person must be educated out of the mess they are stuck in. They can "think" only in slogans and with emotions that are programmed into the only reality they have ever known.

What thinking US citizens must do is band together and vote for local and regional and congressional public servants and Representatives and Senators who will at least work toward constant and generous funding for education. Without this, the US risks a further slide into global irrelevance and worse. At this point we can not afford to indulge in pique at Obama for his various mistakes. l hear and read far too much of that. We need to vote for intelligent representation on all levels, especially to Congress, and re-elect Obama. This is about more than present politics, it is about saving the future of the US and the world. We have just enough of a majority to get this done if we all pull together.
 
 
+9 # BradFromSalem 2011-12-21 14:34
james,

You are insulting those people you call "functionally illiterate black ghetto city kids", when you make an equivalence between person that were targets of undeserved hatred and abuse. The ignorant Tea Pots revel in their stupidity and they don't seek release from their virtual prisons of illiteracy and hatred.
Black Americans fought in many ways for their freedom; the Tea Pots have no concept of freedom.

I am not accusing you of overt Racism. But do feel very strongly that your statement is, and must be called out as such.
 
 
-17 # Martintfre 2011-12-21 14:05
Thanks Robert Reich -- for telling the natives to stay on the reservation.

This talk of Freedom for all, Small government that won't in-debt future generations, to trimming back the FED to pushing back in opposition to stupid wars both domestic and abroad -- that is all crazy talk .. apparently we need big government Republicans that act and talk just like big government democrats.
 
 
+10 # Billy Bob 2011-12-22 00:39
Actually, I agree with you.

Reich is wrong. The further off the psychotic edge the few remaining members of the repug party go the better off the country is. Afterall, if the presumptive candidate of the repug party is one of the loons being paraded in front of us right now, not only will Obama easily win his re-election bid, but the ghost of willie horton will finally be put where it belongs.

The crazies are bad for the repug party because their obvious influence on it is becoming too obvious to hide. But, that's the facts. The reality is that most Americans are beginning to see the psycho right for what it is.
 
 
+15 # Texas Aggie 2011-12-21 14:19
Part of the problem is that no matter what sort of evidence you show the Tea Party types (not just the actual tp members), there is no way that they will change their minds. Faith is what brought them to where they are and, by the way, explains why so many religious fundamentalists are also tp's. Facts and data just don't enter into their worldview and they are oblivious to them.

Their faith is such an integral part of their being that if you break down their faith in just one small area, the whole structure collapses. For them to change would be to suffer a severe attack of cognitive dissonance, and it just won't happen. I don't know if they were faith oriented first and that made them right wingers, or that they have a vested interest in right wingery and that made them faith based since right wingery doesn't stand the reality test. I don't know how to deal with that kind of psychological mindset.
 
 
+11 # moby doug 2011-12-21 15:08
Teabaggers are tools who have literally been in the pay of rightwing monopolist billionaires like the Koch Bros. It's nothing new for the super-rich to manipulate the hatred and frustrations of lumpen proletariats for their own ends. Industrialists in the Third Reich did it and Wall Street did it a hundred years ago. The wealthy Southern aristocracy inflamed poor whites against poor blacks in order to control both. It IS a bit surprising to see corporate Republicans (like Rove) and their media mouthpieces openly slam Southern racist/sexist Gingrich. Presumably they're worried he'll displace big money's ideal candidate, Romney.
 
 
+6 # Okieangels 2011-12-21 17:12
"It IS a bit surprising to see corporate Republicans (like Rove) and their media mouthpieces openly slam Southern racist/sexist Gingrich. Presumably they're worried he'll displace big money's ideal candidate, Romney."


Naw....those corporatists want the wing-nut vote, but they're not about to go to the church picnic with them
 
 
+13 # raclis 2011-12-21 15:55
A one party system is never a good idea. When we arrived in LA in 1957, there were few Republicans and the Democratic party ran the state like a farcical grade B movie i.e. remember Earl Long and Blaze Starr as one episode. When I decided to register Republican, they had trouble finding my registration when I went to vote, but they did. In 10 years we had sent 4 representatives to Baton Rouge from Caddo Parish. That was then. We moved on to Calgary and finally Texas. Twenty some years ago, we were warned there was a vacuum in the leadership of the party and it was being taken over by the right wing radicals. And it has happened and has been assisted by the gerrymandering of many Congressional districts through out the country.

If one wants to read good histories of how we arrived at this backward state of affairs read the article published just last week "New Confederacy Rising" by Theo Anderson. The other is a book that deals with the absolutes of fundamentalist religion that rose from the fear, poverty and ignorance afoot right after the Civil War. It is titled "Stealing Jesus" by Bruce Bawer.
 
 
+10 # raclis 2011-12-21 16:08
Follow up to my comments about being an early Republican in the South. I am not voting Republican any more!
 
 
+6 # HerbR 2011-12-21 21:08
....but the migration of Southern Democratic leaders and voters began before 1964 ! Have we all forgotten the Dixiecrats under Strom Thurmond in the presidential elections of 1948 and '52 ? Strom carried FOUR southern states in '48, threatening HST's re-election chances. The "cause" was not the Civil Rights Act, BUT the speech on the '48 Democratic convention floor by the Minnesotan Hubert Horatio Humphrey, in which he pleaded with the convention to include a Civil Rights plank in their party's platform. While he lost that fight, it was a first round in a struggle which would eventually succeed, BUT, it also helped bring about Richard Nixon's so-called " Southern Strategy", designed to help conquer the region for that party. That, too succeeded in the long run.
So now we have what we have: almost irreconcilable politics,
reminiscent of the conditions that led to Secession and Civil War.
There's no escaping history and one must not falsify or foreshorten it.
 
 
+6 # Billy Bob 2011-12-22 00:43
I think of this as the Civil War being played out and in its last throes. The Civil War never really ended. For all intents and purposes it will actually be behind us within the next few decades. That scares some people. The demise of their disproportionat e influence is long overdue.
 
 
+3 # BradFromSalem 2011-12-22 13:38
Great comment
 
 
-13 # Ricky 2011-12-21 21:34
Of all the profiling racially charged articles. Who ever wrote this article is a racist. There is nothing wrong with being "white" nor is there anything wrong with being from the south. Remember the southern states were part of the U.S long before the liberal states of the far west. The republican party is acting the way it does because the "rich" were allowed to control for far to long and they have gotten arrogant. The Democrats have gotten too liberal on the other hand. Americans are moderate. We don't want either extreme and the parties have not gotten that point. Ron Paul is the only one who is making sense in this election.
 
 
+7 # Billy Bob 2011-12-22 00:40
Are you considering paul a "moderate"?
 
 
+1 # tclose 2011-12-25 23:46
Sorry Ricky, but your comments are way off base. Prof. Reich is merely stating what is actually going on, for better or worse. None of this speaks to racism or anti-white or even anti-South: he is only referring to those white Southerners who never bought into the Enlightenment principles that formed the basis of our Constitution. That these folk make up most of the Tea Party seems to be unassailable - you might actually agree with his conclusion.

To call this group out is his prerogative as a blog writer. Live with it.
 
 
+6 # teapeasea 2011-12-22 00:00
No argument with the message or argument here. I'm beginning to scratch my head though about how more cogent statements are now coming from liberal commentators than conservative ones about the urgency of the GOP recovering its traditional bearings. In any other developed country, there'd be multiple parties to choose from and I for one would be an unabashed Social Democrat. I'm not a true believer in our "two party system" in this country, nor am I a huge fan of the Democratic Party as we know it. It sure does give me pause though to realize that our "liberals", whatever their shortcomings, truly have not just a better sense of what smart solutions might look like, put plain and simple a firmer grasp on reality period. So it takes a Robert Reich to tell the Republicans' core constituencies it is time to wake up and smell the coffee. Yikes.
 
 
+10 # CL38 2011-12-22 02:13
I've been a huge fan of Mr. Reich for many years. This is one of his absolute best columns. It puts this group of racist, women-and-gay hating tools on the hot-seat, by cogently identifying who they really are.

If Democrats are smart, they'll realize that this is a gift that keeps on giving.... all the way to the next election!!

Thank you, Robert Reich, for your astute piece.
 
 
+3 # gdp1 2011-12-22 11:42
...I work with these Tea Party people. They are racist assholes.I've been around them all my life.
 
 
+2 # BradFromSalem 2011-12-22 13:46
They also cannot spell. Its one thing when the rank and file carry around handmade signs with a contextual message of ignorance. But their very own web site Tea Party Patriots that claims George Soros is the leader of OWS and he is "hold up" in an expensive hotel.

My public school teachers taught me that good writing is a critical skill. When you are trying to engage in public discourse, seems to be a good time to practice that skill. Or at least get a proof reader.

Maybe they are what we get from Home Schoolin'!
 
 
+2 # afrizunk 2011-12-22 13:34
They are too ignorant of the meaning of the word conservative. They no longer deserve "conservatives" as their description by media. Make up your own new word, mine's not that flattering.
 
 
+2 # JayMagoo 2011-12-22 22:43
I'm waiting to see what the Republicans do next, after their humiliating defeat in the House today on the payroll tax legislation. Will they get sense and start acting like grown-ups? I doubt it, I rather suspect they'll engage in more temper tantrums and give us all a show, one which will end in their complete self-destructio n. Let's just hope they don't do too much damage in the process.
 
 
+2 # plucky_ man 2011-12-23 11:14
With all due respect Mr. Reich, America needs more than two "...political parties solidly grounded in the realities of governing." Maybe the "crackup" you write about, and the Occupy movement, will give us two more parties that will (perhaps) lift the sagging spirits of our politically disenfranchised .
 

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