Is the Republican Party dead? And if so, whose fault is it?
“The Republican Party is dead,” Aug. 1 guest commentary.
Rep. Ken Buck’s opinion piece on the “death” of the Republican Party is highly entertaining, particularly in light of his dogged efforts to ensure that the GOP continue toward the cliff at a high rate of speed. His efforts, along with the rest of the so-called Freedom Caucus and the extreme hard-core right-wing financing that enables them, are the root cause of the current dysfunction in the federal government. You can also see the fruit of this particular poisonous tree in the collapsing state governments of Texas, Oklahoma and particularly our neighbor to the east, Kansas.
Buck’s lamentations remind me of the old lawyer’s joke: The definition of chutzpah is the man on trial for murdering his parents pleading for leniency because he’s an orphan. ●●●
Rep. Ken Buck might well be correct. But he does not mention a few critical reasons for the demise of his party. In the ’50s and ’60s, Dixiecrats — segregationist Democrats from the South — left the Democratic Party. They went not to the party of Lincoln, but to a Republican Party that was beginning to move away from its “destiny” to “offer hope and prosperity to the people of this great nation.”
The party supported a president who took us to a voluntary war in Iraq, a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11. The party nominated Donald Trump to be its candidate. The party voted for legislation that would take health care away from millions of citizens.
Vision and rhetoric without consistent action is a formula for the nightmare Rep. Buck’s party and we are in.
The Republican Party is not dead — yet. It is just not listening. The House Freedom Caucus did not win the 2016 election for the Republicans; the independents did. Independents control roughly a third of the votes, and if the Republicans do not cater to them, the Republican Party will be dead. Independents mostly do not want to repeal Obamacare, but they do want to replace it. They do not want a replacement plan that is crafted behind closed doors, but a plan that is openly debated. That will require Republicans and Democrats working together with some leadership and compromising to pass a bill that most Americans can support. If either party can develop a platform that appeals to independents on a continuing basis, they will be our leaders for the foreseeable future. If the Republicans cannot do that, then Rep. Buck will be correct. Send letters of 150 words or fewer to email@example.com or 101 W. Colfax Ave., Suite 800, Denver, CO, 80202. Please include full name, city and phone number. Contact information is for our purposes only; we will not share it with anyone else. You can reach us by telephone at 303-954-1331.