The Thinker

Psychiatrists agree: Republicans are insane

A year ago, I wrote that Republicans were putting the “bye” in bipartisanship. A commenter told me I was being premature because President Obama had only been in office a month. A year later, I bet the same commenter would now agree with me. You cannot have bipartisanship unless both parties can come together on a preponderance of disparate issues. When one side refuses to play ball, well that is clearly not bipartisanship.

Watching the “bipartisan” health care reform meeting on Thursday at Blair House was an exercise in mental torture. Even the Supreme Court would have to agree that no Gitmo inmate should be forced to listen to all eight hours or so of this “dialogue”. Watching it was kind of like hitting your head repeatedly against a brick wall. Not that President Obama did not try to lead out Republicans or ask them pragmatic and civil follow up questions. It’s just that Republicans did not have a whole lot of viable suggestions. The script was very shopworn even before the first Republican opened his mouth: start from scratch on a new health care reform bill. The only aspects of health care reform they seem willing to agree to are malpractice reform (which would affect less than one percent of health care spending) and allowing citizens in one state to get health insurance from other states. Everything else: forget about it! Cover the uninsured? Not interested. Seriously reduce the number of uninsured Americans? Not interested. As business reporter Steven Pearlstein pointed out recently in The Washington Post, based on the “discussion” at the Blair House, Republicans don’t give a crap about those too poor to have health insurance and certainly don’t want one dime of taxpayer money spent on the uninsured. In their ideal world, the uninsured would not get into the emergency room until they first brought a statement from their bank that they are credit worthy.

One of the definitions of insanity is to not learn from the same mistake. By this measure, Republicans (and this includes Conservatives and Tea Baggers) are insane. We usually deal with the insane by getting them psychotherapy or, if a menace to others or themselves, putting them in a rubber room. A clinical case could be made that the vast majority of Republicans on Capitol Hill should be in a rubber room. Because although we have tried massive tax cuts for the wealthy not once but twice and the result has been to make the rich richer and the poor poorer, Republicans are still convinced that all we need are yet more tax cuts affecting primarily the wealthy to change the situation around. In short, they are insane.

Republicans are insane on so many levels it is hard to know where to begin. Most of them deny that climate change is happening and many of them also want to abolish the EPA. This could revert the United States back to the 1960s when we had no environmental laws and polluters could pollute without restraint. They want to reduce fuel efficiency standards for cars. They actually think we can solve our dependence on foreign oil by drilling off our coastlines. The effect will of course make us more dependent on foreign oil, which will come principally from overseas and at higher and higher prices by not weaning ourselves off oil. It is just insane!

Perhaps most insane of all is that Republicans have this dichotomy about wanting to take a meat cleaver to reduce the size of government then, when asked, find it hard to find something to cut. Take a look at this 2008 American National Election Survey where self identified conservatives try to find things they would cut in federal spending. The number one thing that conservatives would like to cut is foreign aid, which accounts for less than 1 percent of our budget. Even there conservatives could not muster a majority (only 49%). Well, that certainly won’t solve the budget deficit! The next thing they most want to abolish are welfare programs. This is essentially Medicaid and food stamps, but even here, only 35% of conservatives want to do this. Presumably, 65% do not. About twenty percent want to cut funding for the war on terrorism. I assume this is the Ron Paul wing. It is clear from the chart that while tax cuts are always in season, if they were back in charge cutting the size of government would be mostly lip service, as it was under Reagan and two Bush presidencies.

But of course now these same people are in a froth because we are doing all this deficit spending. Moreover, they are deeply upset at President Obama for deficit spending money on tangible goods that we need like new bridges and road surfaces which also help to get us out of a bad recession. They prefer tax cuts and fairy dust instead. (Actually, Obama accommodated Republicans and added plenty of tax cuts in his stimulus package, including tax cuts for small business, and they are still upset.) They are telling us the government should live within its means, even during a severe economic recession. Yet, it is clear that if they were back in charge, the first thing they would do is cut taxes some more, and thereby exacerbate the budget deficit!

So why do Americans keep putting these bozos back in power? It must be because the majority of us are even dumber than Republicans, or as a nation, we suffer from ADD and cannot even remember all the debt we piled up under the last administration. Actually though the polls do not give as much comfort to Republicans as they might hope for. Americans are pissed off that divided government means that things like health care reform are not being accomplished. (By the way, Americans still strongly support health care reform, including a public option.) What is driving voters insane is the inability of politicians to find common ground at a time when it is essential. They are paying the price in house foreclosures, rising health care costs and unemployment. As much as they dislike the way Democrats are using their majorities, they like Republicans even less. Voters have a lot of visceral anger but little way to express it. Moreover, who could blame them? Obama promised change you can believe in, but a progressive president cannot necessarily turn around a deeply partisan and recalcitrant Congress. This was borne out on Thursday at the Blair House.

One thing is clear: you won’t get bipartisanship by electing Republicans. If voters want to end gridlock by voting for Republicans, they might end up breaking the gridlock but it is unlikely they will get real solutions to the problems they care about. Put Republicans back in power and for sure, you can count on more tax cuts for the privileged. You can also count on deficits that will make today’s look small. Voters would be insane to do so. Unfortunately, when you are really, really angry you are not usually thinking clearly in the first place. You are letting your emotions take control of your faculties, instead of using your brain.

If voters want bipartisanship then they have to vote for people who are running on the platform of being bipartisan. These candidates should have a track record of moderation and crossing the aisle. You certainly won’t find that in a tea bagger! Unfortunately, you are unlikely to find any such a creature nominated by the Republican Party this time around, and the odds are not much better for the Democratic Party either. With the exception of the lunatic left wing though, you can at least rest assured that the Democrats running will at least be sane. At least we have one foot firmly in reality.

 

11 Responses to “Psychiatrists agree: Republicans are insane”

  1. 6:45 pm on February 28 2010, John Smtih said:

    Republicans are well poised not only to win back the Senate his year but they also have a surprisingly good chance to take back the House.

    As for Obama, he’s done. One term and out will be his legacy. Whoever is the Republican nominee will be the next POTUS much to the chagrin of liberals such as yourself.

    Obama’s broken promise of not accepting federal campaign funds in 2008 will come back to haunt him as smart businessmen and their corporations do what is right for the blue collar working class and put up the money needed to defeat Obama. If he didn’t have the overwhelming majority of minority voters, he would have lost the last time, regardless of his lying and broken promises on campaign finances. Now, about all he’s got left are the minorities, true and traditional bleeding heart liberals and gays but the gay community is losing faith in him as well.

    Sorry Mark, you’ll be back to full minority status in terms of your politics this year, 2012 and likely for the remainder of your life.

    A Senate turnover means Obama will not be able to appoint another Supreme Court justice who is pro-abortion as well. Roe will be overturned soon after the 2012 election.

    Happy Days are here again with common sense about to prevail among the middle and upper classes in this country who work hard and pay the majority of the freight, unlike the career welfarites who have their hands perpetually out, and into, those of us footing the bill for them now.

  2. 1:52 am on March 1 2010, John Smtih said:

    Mark, why is it that other posters names, who I think agree with your opinions are highlighted as links under recent comments, but someone who disagrees with you as I do, finds their names are not? Is your liberal bias showing? With respect, is this a blog that only wants to present and hear opinions that agree with it or is it one that welcomes opposing views?

  3. 1:59 am on March 1 2010, John Smtih said:

    Perhaps my mistake Mark and, if so, I apologize. It looks like the other highlighted posters are also bloggers while I am not. If that is indeed the case, I wish to make amends.

  4. 10:06 am on March 1 2010, Mark said:

    We will see what this election cycle brings. Polls are consistent though and approval for Republicans in general are lower than Democrats. Obama’s approval rating is also relatively high compared with other presidents. For example, Reagan’s approval rating dropped to 35% when the unemployment rate hit 10.8%. Americans in general understand that he is trying despite great institutional dynamics to change the way things are.

    When people leave comments if they have a web site they can leave the URL, or they can leave it blank. I rarely mess with these URLs unless they point to obviously spam related sites, in which case I delete them and frankly I resent the implication that I would do so systematically. Paranoia on the right sometimes seems to be boundless.

    The criteria for comments are quite clear. Having said that I notice that some on the political right get a bit obsessive and will hammer a point home on multiple comments on a particular topic. Once is generally enough. It seems that some feel they cannot be heard unless they have the privilege of repeating themselves over and over again and anything else, even when they are not paying for the web space, is somehow against freedom of expression. What silliness.

  5. 7:57 pm on March 1 2010, John Smtih said:

    “What sillyness?” Mark, let’s be candid, totally candid, isn’t “repeating yourself,” really what you do, over and over and over again in your blog posts? Please, think about it because the man in the mirror, I think, is you.

    I do think that you have, to a certain extent, censored comments of mine in opposition to your views in the past, so I don’t think you should “resent the implication.” Either you let respectful opposition comments be published or at least you should, IMHO, be straightforward enough to say that opposing dialogue upsets you.

  6. 8:41 am on March 2 2010, Mark said:

    As I have stated before, this blog like all personal blogs is my sandbox. Since I pay for the site and hold copyright to all the material on the site, this is doubly true. Yes, sometimes I do restate things I said in previous posts. So what? I really don’t care whether you or anyone else finds it annoying at all. If you find what I have to say annoying or repetitious simply move on. That’s the nature of the internet.

    Since I will continue to remove comments that don’t meet my subjective criteria and moreover I really don’t care if that annoys you or not, you are probably going remain unhappy. Unless you have some masochistic bent, you might as well stop reading me and hang out somewhere else.

  7. 10:58 pm on March 2 2010, John Smtih said:

    Well Mark, at least you’re finally IMHO being honest. The essence of your statement appears to be “I pay for this so if I don’t want to hear opposing views, I don’t have to do so.”

    That’s fine, really. Just please don’t make this blog, or yourself, out to be open minded and welcome diversity of views under the guide that those views are welcome, as long as they agree with yours.

    Unless you have an objection, I’ll remain for awhile. At the beginning of the year, you mused about whether this blog should continue. If it’s to be a tribute to yourself, yes. On the other hand, if you can handle legitimate debate and criticism as you appeared, I thought, to want than the answer is probably not.

    Just because you pay for “it,” you still place “it” in the public domain. Otherwise, you’d have a password protected blog with a private subscriber base, wouldn’t you?

    I’m just trying to understand what it really is that you want from your readers, Mark? Explain it, please and if it is agreement only, than I will move on. I would have thought you’d enjoy the intellectual challenge though.

  8. 6:35 pm on November 10 2010, Erik said:

    If the Republican party comes back to power, beware of future “preventive wars” that are yet to come. With the GOP in power, oil and a weapons market are 2 issues they will never get enough of. Assuming no nuclear wars and famines on American soil turn out from this chaos, you will still have to face the cumbersome reality that in essence, your tax dollars paid for all this. It amazes me how Americans, and by the way I’m an American; are deeply unaware of the chaos Republicans have spread not only in their homeland, but worldwide as well. How many of your neighbors show regret for voting for a president who caused bloodshed for Iraquis through thousands upon thousands of innocent lives taken? Sooner or later, Republican wars will cause bloodshed to reach the homeland, and then, will some people begin to open up their eyes, only to forget about it as soon as things get better (Assuming they ever do). I don’t believe in psychics, but I can see under a Republican regime where this is headed.

  9. 6:03 pm on February 26 2011, Kim said:

    Mark, you rock. I completely agree that Republicans are insane as well. Have you heard the Georgia Governor is trying to say that rape victims are not victims, they’re “accusers”? Even though they are in fact a victim, they are not to be called that until someone has been convicted of that crime. But people who are victims of assault are still victims, they’re not accusers. Just in case you haven’t heard: http://www.politicususa.com/en/for-rep-bobby-franklin-of-georgia-rape-isnt-a-crime

  10. 7:55 pm on September 30 2012, greezer said:

    My Dad was a Republican. We of Mestizo origin appreciate hard workers. The thing is working hard can be a virtue or a vice; and while often noble, the negation of the value of hard workers is a greater sin than mere theft.

    I worked really hard on Dad’s ranch and he and Mom promised it would be mine in consideration that I not join the armed forces in 1973. I hated the bargain and ultimately Mom welched and gave the ranch to my sisters and older brother who ran away from home and died of aids.

    I now have nothing to show for 30 yrs of hard work. When I appealed to the courts my own atty committed a fraud on me and left me twisting in the wind.

    I am an atty. Alas to no avail. I have been shown just how sophisticated and powerful the American Anglo law can be. It is just sophisticated enough to make sure Anglo interests always win and that justice gets short circuited when a minority might win. Therein lies the Great White Lie. “With Liberty and justice for all.” How many countless, George Washington Carvers have been negated?

    Although I recognize my own arrogance is saying: I am to mechanical contraptioneering what Michael Angelo was to a hammer and chisel. People have slammed on their brakes and fallen down and jumped in the air, screamed at the top of their lungs at the sight of one of my inventions.

    Knowing I needed the secrecy of a secluded barn to make some of my other inventions Mom is only too happy to deny it; lest the youngest of her brood outshine the eldest. John Bradshaw in his book on Family predicted it. Only I read it too late. The republicans have done the same thing to their own minority country-mates. We go down together.

  11. 8:00 am on June 17 2014, knight4444 said:

    ROTFLMAO, it’s kinda funny reading post from 2010, especially coming from republicans talking about Obama being a one term president! mitch mcconnell and jim demint swore to jesus that Obama would be a one term president, since then 2014 style?? jim demint QUIT being a senator to work for right wing CRAZY house heritage foundation!! mitch mcconnell is fighting for his political life against a virtual unknown named MISS GRIMES!! and the second most powerful GOP/tea party guy eric cantor just got beat by a koch brother puppet, MR brat, a supposedly college professor who doesn’t even know basic economic and economic history!! The GOP is nothing but a WHITE NATIONALIST party that’s heads are exploding that a non caucasian male is president!

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