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September 25, 2010 - Ray Hall (Archive)

The Republican Party, more precisely the party of Lincoln—the Grand Old Party—the political party established in 1854 by anti-slavery activists no longer exists as a major political party—it has effectively been transformed into the Teapublican Party.

The demise of the Republican Party started in 1964 with the exorcism of the Rockefeller wing by Barry Goldwater. Since Ronald Reagan the primary component of the Republican Party has been power over principle demonstrated by remarkable loyalty to the party’s nominees despite contradictory positions and even more bizarre candidates.

Ronald Reagan argued against deficits until he ran up the largest debt the country had ever seen. Then, without breaking stride the Reagan Administration skillfully changed course and bedazzled the American people by claiming America was so great that it could grow itself out of massive debt created by supply side economics. Of course that didn’t happen—it took President Clinton’s tax increase for the richest in this country to restore a sane economic policy and create more than 20 million jobs.

Today’s Republican Party has taken another dramatic shift toward the far right—the so called Tea Party—a group that uses racial code words and sometimes not so coded words to demean a black president. They want to “take our country back”—back to a time before Obama.

The Tea Party complains about the national debt but never disparages Reagan’s debt or the debt left by George W. Bush. The national debt, but only that attributable to Democrats, are the ruination of our country. Their rallying cry is that President Obama will imprison citizens in a government that either closely resembles a totalitarian Soviet Union or a Fascists fashioned government patterned after Hitler.

In New York we have a Republican candidate for Governor that who in pre-primary days even Republicans thought would never become the Party’s standard bearer. We know the story—Carl Paladino soundly defeated Rick Lazio and according to a recent poll the party faithful has closed ranks behind their candidate. Never mind that Carl Paladino has pledged to use the force of government—eminent domain—to confiscate private property planned for a mosque and community center two blocks from ground zero in Manhattan.

Few screamed louder than Republicans when the Supreme Court ruled that the government could take private property from one Connecticut resident and give it to another. Yet, here we are; according to the polls more than 60 percent of all New York Republicans are backing a man who boasts of using the force of government to seize private property. So much for the Teapublicans who do not utter the word Socialism or Hitler’s Fascism in praising the candidacy of one of their own.


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