Case in point, Ted Cruz's efforts before this week's CPAC convention to make Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney a punch line of some sort. Unfortunately for Cruz, his punchline only punched, while providing no real joke (unless you think Cruz himself to be a joke). According to Politico, "Cruz made fun of McCain, Romney and Dole's failed presidential campaigns on Thursday, joking about "President McCain", "President Romney" and "President Dole" in urging Republicans to stand for their principles and not repeat past mistakes." (See http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/john-mccain-ted-cruz-bob-dole-104418.html). What Mr. Cruz conveniently omits in his "joke" is that the GOP nominated these men to lead their party in the hopes they would lead our nation. Bob Dole, although frail and in his elder years, is a wounded combat veteran who served admirably in the United States Senate and is easily considered a real "Statesman" (unlike Cruz who chooses to tear down and belittle anyone that does not follow his sort of political prophesy). Mr. McCain, also a decorated veteran, ran campaigns for president in 2000 (lost in the primaries) and 2008, where his fellow Republicans cheered (until he lost). And that leads to Mitt Romney, the GOP candidate who was the darling of the party until minutes after the polls closed that fateful election night in 2012. Fox News and the GOP establishment not only abandoned Romney that night, they circled the wagons to blame his campaign for all of their electoral troubles. You see, if there is one thing the GOP is well known for, it's their principled belief in the calculated destruction of their own.
And how patriotic Cruz must be, to attack everyone that does not support his world view! Mr Cruz demands the GOP avoid making the same mistakes when establishing their "brand" of "principles." Yet, it seems eerily similar that Mr. Cruz's attacks, approach and tactics reek of an earlier GOP mistake from Wisconsin...Mr. Joe McCarthy. Do mainstream Republicans really want to follow the "brand" being developed by Mr. Cruz and his supporters? Really?
On top of Cruz's remarks about party "principles", what ever happened to the old adage that political criticism of our government "stops at our waters' edge?" I mean, the Dixie Chicks were eviscerated for being "Un-American" when they criticized George W. Bush's war decisions while at a concert overseas. Yet, Republicans seem to believe in a double standard when it comes to war. Not only have they continued to diminish the standing of our Commander In Chief, they also continue to quietly bang the drums of war while cutting veterans' benefits. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Objectives, over approximately 900 Thousand veteran households receiving federal food stamp assistance have seen their benefits cut. You read that right, 900 Thousand! Damn Moochers and Takers! (See http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=4009). Instead of dealing with problems affecting our environment, the GOP is actively attempting to gut all Federal environmental protection regulations as they relate to carbon emissions from new "Smoke Stack" factories. Think I am making this up? See GOP Bill HR2641 which passed the GOP-led House this week by a partisan vote of 229-179.
And what about the double standard exhibited by the GOP when it comes to investigating wrongdoing for breaking established law. You see, the GOP is big on efforts to punish anyone who breaks rules, as long as no one see's their own efforts to do so while themselves breaking rules along the way. Aren't politics amazing!? Unlike the Senate, the House has an established Rules Committee that outlines standard rules for all House activities. Included in these rules, are long-standing obligations to allow all Minority leaders of committees to "have the floor" during investigative "hearings." Amazingly, last week GOP Committee Chairman Daryl Issa cut off Ranking Member Elijah Cumming's microphone when Issa unilaterally decided the hearing was over. You see, no Congressman except Issa was allowed to speak during the hearing, in clear violation of established House Rules.
What amazes me even more, is the way the Right Wing Media portrayed the event. You see, many Fox viewers somehow were led to believe that Cummings was upset because as a member of a "Minority" Issa was attacking him due to his race (he is African-American). In reality, the Minority in the House are the Democrats, not African Americans members. Cummings, as the Ranking Member of the minority Democrats, is entitled to speak at all hearings, by House Rules. Instead of attacking Issa for railroading the hearing, Right Wing pundits portrayed Cummings as a ranting African American somehow asserting his "right" as a Black man to speak.
Now come on Rubin, how could you make such an outrageous statement? Easy - just reads the message boards on any political website. The right wingers cast the entire matter as an "unjustified claim by Cummings as Racism"...(you see Minority somehow got confused between being a racial "minority" instead the political minority - in the House, the Democrats). And where is the Right Wing Media to clarify the mistaken differences? Absent, as usual. And the rationale being used by Fox and others? Issa himself said he cut off Cummings because he was about to start a "hissy fit." (See; http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/06/rep-issa-on-irs-hearing-followed-rules-rep-cummings-threw-hissy-fit/). Even if he was heading into a "hissy fit", under House Rules, it is his right to do so, and not Mr. Issa's unilateral right to cut him off. Why is it that when it comes to wrongdoing, folks believe it is okay to break rules in order to prove others have too?
The bottom line is clear. Politics guides all actions in Washington. Ideological messaging from the Ideologically-Oriented For-Profit Media is their main mission, and an uneducated electorate remains easily manipulated by all forms and politically oriented media, while the interest groups and political parties vie for control over our daily lives. Will Americans realize that we have become pawns for the powerful? Will Americans wake up and send incumbents home in 2014 instead of re-electing them due to whether they are a member of the real "American" political party? Will Americans realize that the problems in Washington can be fixed once we take our role as the electorate seriously? Will Americans realize that we have fallen into an Oligarchy and that it threatens our democracy? To resolve our problems will require all of us to unite as a nation, instead of continuing down the path of divisiveness that enables the existing political parties. As President John F. Kennedy once wrote; "Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings." Can't we all agree on that!? Have a great week!