GOP: Cornered, Dangerous
By: Mark W Adams

It's one thing to be outmaneuvered and lose power and influence, even daily. Quite another to face ruin and irrelevance.

The last time an American political party disintegrated so dramatically, falling from the pinnacle of holding the presidency and a congressional majority to near obscurity was when the Whigs disintegrated in the wake of the Compromise of 1850. The last Whig President, "Know-Nothing" Millard Filmore, could not retain the White House and the death-spiral was swift and dramatic, culminating in the worst Democratic President, James Buchanan, the rise of the newly formed Republican Party, the election of Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War, all in less than a decade.

I'm in no way predicting that we are on the road to ruin, quite the contrary. However, the political evolution this nation is currently undergoing could be as dramatic when historians look back, and the demise of the Republican Party may be seen as a symptom of social upheaval as their emergence likewise reflected turbulent times.

Instinctively, they know they're in trouble.  As an organization they have been devastated by their continued lack of coherent leadership which a party known for lock-step, top-down management cannot endure.  Not surprising that when every day President Obama's cool demeanor and rational approach to the problems the GOP has left us makes them look worse and worse each and every day -- they lash out.  Yesterday's stunt blabbing about a classified intelligence briefing is no exception.
Republicans ignited a firestorm of controversy on Thursday by revealing some of what they had been told at a closed-door Intelligence Committee hearing on the interrogation of terrorism suspects.
This from the chest-thumping, flag-pin obsessive, oh-so-patriotic Republicans simply desperate for anything that looks like a win.  Their party and their own hides once again trumping any notions of national security or the rule of law, this was at best stupid and at worse, treason.

Here's the dangerous irony.  These administration critics have claimed that the Obama Justice Department releasing memos authorizing torture techniques that by and large did not seem to work has made us less safe because our enemies can now train to techniques the Bush administration quit using years ago.  But what they and former VP Cheney want the public to know are techniques that they allege DID work.
Cheney said. Yet, this authority would have little use because, thanks to the release of the documents, "the enemy now knows exactly what interrogation methods to train against." 
Good luck to 'em Dick, since we don't use these any more, and won't and they weren't particularly effective from what we know so far.  What Cheney wants exposed are the methods he claims did work.  That would be useful information for our enemies.

Why, Dick? Why? Will the world knowing what we learned through the torture program prevent future attacks?  No.  If we developed a silver bullet means of fool-proof information extraction through these methods, is it really a good idea for anyone to know we have such capability?  No, no, not at all. 

PhotobucketWouldn't it be better for captives on a battlefield to give up voluntarily like they did in droves during the first Gulf War, believing they will receive humane treatment at our hands instead of bringing down as many of our soldiers as they can in a futile last stand rather than be treated like animals?  But no.  Typically myopic, these petty Republican zealots are wholly unable to appreciate the big picture when it is at odds with their own self-serving interests.

I've no sympathy for the remaining Republicans right now, and in the long run their antics are more an annoyance than true danger to the republic.  If they want to win these arguments, let them get organized, offer some solutions instead of tired slogans, and win some elections.  Then they can declassify anything they want -- just like Cheney and his pals selectively released self-serving intelligence over the last eight years, including burning an under-cover operative and her entire non-proliferation operation. 

He had his chance to "prove" torture worked.  Dick Cheney, his daughter Liz, and all their dead-end supporters can tell their stories to a jury, because the world neither needs nor wants to know their version of revisionist history.

1 Comment:

YogaforCynics said...

Oh, god, I hope the Republicans are gonna go the way of the whigs...though, certainly, their behavior is getting more and more bizarre. As much harm as George W. Bush did to his party, he at least acknowledged the increasingly multi-racial and multicultural makeup of the country and quite successfully reached out to Hispanics (can you imagine a leading Republican giving a speech in Spanish now?) and even Muslims after 9/11. Now, however, with their reactions to the Sotomayor nomination and Obama's speech in Cairo--not to mention Sarah Palin calling small town white people "the real Americans" or the worship of Rush Limbaugh even as he's become far more overtly racist since the election--they seem to be saying "fuck the demographics: all we need is angry, bigoted white people." Let's see how that works for them....