THE POLITICS OF EXTREMISM

Soon the Republican caucus will meet in an attempt to choose a leader, not just a leader but the next Speaker of the House of Representatives. A lot of pressure has been exerted on Representative Paul Ryan to put his name forward to be a unity candidate for Speaker. We shall see if their last ditch effort to put their Humpty Dumpty of a political party back together, again, will be successful. There is a lot riding on their political struggle to find a leader who will be acceptable to their caucus. You might say that this is where the rubber meets the road, not only for the future of the Republican Party but for the future of the United States system of governance.

Democracy is not an easy form of government to see work in an efficient manner, it is messy to say the least. Winston Churchill famously said that ” The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.” In October of 2015, a more updated version of the wisdom of the quote from Churchill is a five minute summary of the questions that the members of the Liberty Caucus had for Hillary Clinton in the hearing on Benghazi, that in reality was nothing other than an inquisition. It is ironic in a way that the meaning that Churchill gave in his humorous quote is best illustrated now by the absolute stupidity of some of the members of the People’s House, the House of Representatives of the government of the United States. The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with a member of the Liberty Caucus or otherwise known as members of the Tea Party,

The members of the so-called Liberty Caucus are in fact the best examples of democracy at its worst. The members of their caucus are the exponents of the new politics of extremism. They are at war with their own government as they seek to destroy it by drowning it in a bathtub as well as disabling their own political party by failing to choose a leader in a democratic way. Their idea of governing is really a form of extortion rather than negotiation, they are attempting to dictate the terms of who will be speaker. A very real question is do they want a speaker or do they want to see our government close down for lack of a budget to fund it, and the collapse of the dollar due to the government’s failure to extend the debt ceiling?

The chorus of a dysfunctional Republican Party and a dysfunctional government was led by the so-called young guns, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan. His own voters in Virginia sent Cantor home. The Liberty Caucus has now rejected McCarthy as not being Conservative enough and we shall see if Paul Ryan can satisfy the caucus’s thirst for anarchy.

The latest news is that it appears that Congressman Ryan has gained the support of the Liberty Caucus in his efforts to unite the Republican Party. The formal vote is to take place on the 27th of October. It will be interesting to see if he can hold the current support together between now and the vote for Speaker. A question remains as to whether he had to give any concessions to the hard liners to gain their support! The nation waits anxiously to see if the Republican Party can unite behind a candidate for Speaker.

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