‘Purity purge’ robs GOP viability


To the editor,


Kudos to Pat Bradley for her spot-on assessment of the tea party. It’s sobering that the level of ignorance the tea party displays survives in the twenty-first century. Since its inception its members have completely dismissed the facts of history, science, and governance and have set up shop in some alternate universe where terms like nullification and secession are not artifacts, humans have not caused climate change, and the Constitution consists of the second amendment and a bunch of other stuff. Along the way they have twisted the words of everyone from Jesus to Jefferson to fit their own narrow definition of reality. The tea party is the legacy of Reagan’s loose talk about government being the problem and welfare queens scamming taxpayers, reinforced by McCain’s choice of Palin for VP, and fueled by racism. These are the people who fired on Ft. Sumter.

The Republican Party is, of course, responsible for the tea party. If the GOP had a shred of leadership, the tea party would have disappeared with the first talk of death panels and the racist signs in front of the White House. But, as when their silence allowed Joe McCarthy to embark on his anti-Communist rant, they needed the votes — tax breaks for the rich isn’t a message that has wide appeal. The party establishment managed to get Romney as a candidate in 2012 — and promptly lost by a greater margin than in 2008. This enabled the inmates to take over the asylum, and now the creature the GOP created is eating it from within. Since the 2012 election they have done nothing but double down on stupid. The wisdom of Pogo – we have met the enemy and he is us – cannot be lost on whatever is left of the Republican Party. 

The tea party will eventually fail — anarchy is not a governing strategy. But they have had an effect. Their obstructionism has already prevented much needed legislation from being passed, and that has hurt the whole country. The recovery would have progressed a lot faster with more stimulus for infrastructure and jobs. Fear not however, there is a flip side. The tea party’s purity purge has left the GOP without viable candidates or responsible leadership for at least the next election cycle. That only benefits Hillary — and of course, the rest of us.


Pete Bengeyfield