Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Republican Party Is Now A Fringe Extremist Party

On Tuesday night, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley delivered the Republican response to the President's State of the Union message.

She did a credible job with her speech -- far better than the Republicans tapped to do the job in recent years. But on Wednesday, she was attacked by party conservatives for not including enough GOP-style hate in her speech.

She had made the mistake of talking nicely about immigrants, and calling for a toning down of the hate-filled rhetoric of many GOP candidates. Now she is being labeled an "establishment" Republican by the media -- and called much worse by party conservatives. Ann Coulter even called for her to be deported.

This is the same Nikki Haley that was the darling of the right-wingers just a couple of years ago. Remember that right-wing loon Sarah Palin, and others, came to South Carolina to campaign for her re-election.

The same thing is happening to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. A couple of years ago, he was the economic darling of the far-right, because he proposed budgets that would further enrich the corporations and the wealthy by cutting all programs to help hurting Americans (and even proposed cutting Social Security benefits and eliminating Medicare altogether).

But after his efforts to get a budget approved near the end of last year -- a budget that could pass the Senate and be signed by the president -- he is now being denigrated by many right-wing Republicans, and the media is starting to call him also an "establishment" Republican.

What has happened? Have Nikki Haley and Paul Ryan moderated their views and moved toward the political center? Not at all. Ryan still supports the same onerous economic policies, and Haley is still one of the most right-wing governors in the nation. These politicians have not changed -- the Republican Party has changed, by moving even further to the right.

The Republican Party has long been a right-wing party, but they have gone much farther to the right these days. They are extremists -- embracing the extremist policies of the John Birch Society (which Republican officials of the 1950's and 1960's considered far too extreme to embrace). I believe GOP conservatives of the past (Goldwater, Buckley, and yes, even Reagan) would be deeply ashamed of today's Republican Party.

(Note -- The caricatures above of Nikki Haley and Paul Ryan are by DonkeyHotey.)

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