A Parable of the Republican Establishment — And Everything That is Wrong With It

Professor Jacobson:

Call this whole story a parable of what is wrong with the Republican Party. People who cut deals which sell out our principles are deemed reasonable, while those refuse to cut deals are called bomb throwers. That’s the term Bush used in endorsing Romney in an oblique swipe at Newt.

The parable is the story of George H.W. Bush’s sell out in 1990 of his 1988 campaign pledge in which he majestically swore “Read my lips, no new taxes.” His deal-making with Democrats that broke his promise is remembered now as one of the greatest political blunders of all time. Newt Gingirch was publicly opposed to the deal in 1990 and the Republican establishment was deeply offended and still hates him for it.  Newt opposed the recent sell out by the Republicans on the idiotic two-month extension of the FICA tax deal, handing Obama a PR victory and making themselves look like the gang that can’s shoot straight.  Eighty-six house Republicans, mostly the ones elected  in 2010 with Tea Party support, voted against cutting the sole funding mechanism for social security.  The irony is that Democrats have been accusing Republicans of trying to cut social security for decades, but now it is the Democrats under Obama who are tinkering with the only funds available for paying social security recipients their promised benefits.  That the Republican establishment thinks it’s a good idea for Republicans to go along with the Democrats on this shows dramatically how completely nuts they have become.

Now that faction of the Republican party that was so wrong in 1990 is wrong again on the payroll tax and they are wrong in pushing for Romney, the deal maker and sell out of all time, to be the Republican nominee.

It is said that compromise in politics is essential.  That is an overstatement.  Compromise has it greatest benefit when the fight is over money, such as in litigation over a contract dispute of a tortious injury.  But where the principles that one supposedly stands for are what is at stake compromise can mean an abandonment of those principles and the complete loss of faith on the part of one’s political supporters.  That’s exactly what happened to George H.W. Bush when he broke his “no new taxes” pledge.  He lost a lot and gained nothing.  All for  the false allure of “compromise.”  It was appeasement, and the wages of appeasement can be high.

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