What is truly ailing the GOP - Macleans.ca

What is truly ailing the GOP

Health care debate reveals bigotry, racism


The image of a group of an unapologetic group of Tea Partiers heckling a man suffering from Parkinson’s disease during a recent rally against U.S. health care reform will not soon be forgotten. According to New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, the episode, captured on videotape and widely circulated in advance of Congress’s passage of the historic bill, is emblematic of the kind of vile behaviour that has been allowed by the Republican party—both among its supporters and ranks. Opponents of the bill also took aim at black congressmen, including civil rights leader John Lewis, by spitting on them and shouting racial slurs. Herbert argues that, in shielding those who partake in this kind of racism and bigotry, the GOP has created a deliberate distraction. “The toxic clouds that are the inevitable result of the fear and the bitter conflicts so relentlessly stoked by the Republican Party […] tend to obscure the tremendous damage that the party’s policies have inflicted on the country,” he says. “If people are arguing over immigrants or abortion or whether gays should be allowed to marry, they’re not calling the G.O.P. to account for (to take just one example) the horribly destructive policy of cutting taxes while the nation was fighting two wars.”

New York Times

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What is truly ailing the GOP

  1. How about talking about the pro-Obamacare thugs who beat up a disabled black Tea Party protester in October, if you're worried about thuggery?

    • link?

  2. I agree 100% with the sentiments in the article. Amongst other things, one alarming problem with the behavior on the right in this respect is that the Republican caucus takes every opportunity it can to deflect or justify this behavior instead of simply saying, look, there's a basic standard of behavior we expect from critics, and we should all meet that standard.

    And to Gunilon, the author isn't tarring as bigots millions of tea partiers and half the US voting public. He's tarring a third of the US voting public, since that's all the GOP has left. And frankly, roughly half of those people *are* bigots in one form or another – racially, religiously, or through the surreal cult of anti-intellectualism. And each of those prejudices is feeding the dangerous partisan psychodrama just as much as Democratic smugness is. It's time for conservatives to be honest about this reality, attack it, and crush for their own good and the good of the United States.

    The GOP – for which I had some respect, long long ago – would be in much better shape among independents if they'd started attacking the politics of childishness, ignorance and rudeness instead of fanning it gleefully for all these years..

    • You are apparantly not aware of the fact that the GOP is outpolling the Dems in the generic congressional ballot (see real clear politics),

      nor the fact that every respected commenter south of the border is predicting a GOP surge.

      And why? Because independents are flocking to the GOP in droves.

  3. Why do you defend racists and bigots like the Tea Partiers in the video? Do you nod and laugh when Ann Coulter spews hatred toward muslims and arabs, too? Just before WWII Germany effectively annexed Austria. Hitler, who was from Austria, felt it should be part of the German reich. Lots of Austrians thought they should become instant Germans, too. The same kind of mentality prevails when I see Canadians defending racist bigotted Republicans and even attacking moderate republicans, and even far right, but libertarian republicans like David Frum (Used to be from Canada).

    • How does the German annexation of Austria have ANYTHING to do with this?? Your comment is not making any valid point and is just an attempt to smear Gaunilon; instead of arguing against what he says, you just try to make some kind of connection with Hitler to make him seem like a Nazi. This discussion is about health care and bigotry among Republican voters, not something that happened in central Europe 72 years ago.

  4. Bush never took economics in school , they should have cut taxes in a recession and held spending in line or reduced during good times …note that a lot of the military spending went out of the country … tea partiers should be protesting a trillion in wasteful military spending that could have been used to lower taxes ….not even to mention the death and destruction involved

  5. much as i believe that this media circus of an emotional comment by Bob Herbert could be brushed aside, i still take there's deep truth to it, that racism is not over in that part of the border. bad enough for the republicans that history is not with them in the passing of the bill. that obama beats them with such passion is a bitter truth to swallow, and he is black!

  6. In a crowd of thousands,

    the far left NYT will find the worst one, and portray it as the norm,

    for conservatives.

    Meanwhile, the fact that communists, Marxists and anarchists (signs preaching violence routine) in Dem sponsored events, receives active whitwashing.

    The NYT's stocks reached junk status awhile ago. Because, of course, it's junk.

  7. What's most startling is the fact that opposition to Obamacare is widespread.

    Indeed that's the whole point of this smear job. To discredit, that which cannot be discredited.

    It'll be interesting to watch the millions and millions of "racists" demolish the dems in November.

  8. It should be obvious to anyone who has ever attended a tea party event that this grass roots movement is not created, sponsored, or controlled by the GOP. While any large group of people will have a few miscreants, I have attended several and have witnessed no unacceptable behavior such as that cited by Herbert. It is obvious from his comments about the Republican Party in general that he has formed an opinion from which he will not be swayed. Not my idea of solid journalism in action.