House Speaker John Boehner says Republicans should be judged not on what laws they’ve made but by what laws they’ve repealed. I’d like to offer a brief list of the fallout of the GOP’s existential crisis:
The first time I heard someone call the first black president of the United States “Hitler,” I laughed. But now the slur is ubiquitous. “Hitler-like.” “Wants to be Hitler.” “Dictators like Hitler and Obama.” The list of offenders is endless from Congressmen Paul Broun (R-GA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) to Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman. Here’s the irony: Hitler was a conspiracy theorist. He used the rhetorical devices of appealing to fear, evidence denial and mystical reckoning to further his agenda.
Right-wingers calling black people racist and feigning to be the victims of “reverse racism” has pretty much killed the word racism. It’s difficult to even talk about prejudice and discrimination based on your skin color when old white men claim they’re the real victims. Just call the victims of racism racists and declare anyone who brings up racism a race-baiter. They’ve ended “racism.”
3. Town Halls
Where politicians meet the people! A celebration of civics where people learn about their representative and their community. But the 2009 Summer AstroTurf Olympics (the GOP attempt to stop health care reform) turned the town hall into a sea of old people screaming on YouTube, stricken by a death panel canard. Now, many congresspeople no longer host these events because they’re concerned they’ll be hijacked by moneyed interests — like many groups named after tea.
The one thing all major religions share in common is the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you’d have done unto you. All of humankind agrees and owes its very existence to this premise. But when Obama said judges should have empathy and nominated the first Latina to the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, the right had to reflexively come out against empathy.
The then-chairman of the Republican Party, Michael Steele, waxed poetic: “I’ll give you empathy. Empathize right on your behind!” Nix empathy and we no longer care about the less fortunate, the downtrodden, the disenfranchised or our neighbors.
Republicans’ self-fulfilling prophecy about government being inefficient is hurting the country the party claims it loves. When did nihilism become patriotic? Coincidentally, it was around the time African-American Hitler tyrannically signed a bill mandating health insurance companies spend 80 percent of their premiums on health care. So judge House Republicans on what they’ve repealed.
Tina Dupuy is an award-winning writer and can be reached at email@example.com.