GOP can change or continue to shrivel

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WASHINGTON -- House Republicans may finally have paid attention to polls showing their negativity rating as high as it ever has been, as if losing the presidential race and dire predictions about their future weren't enough to have convinced them earlier. For once, common sense may trump ideological adherence.

They are offering to give up their opposition to raising the debt limit without substantial deficit reduction for the short term if the Democratic-led Senate will adopt a budget in the next three months. The Senate majority -- not completely innocent in the fiscal horror show -- would be wise to now do its part. The White House indicates that President Barack Obama will accept that deal.

There is, as always, a hitch. If by mid-April the upper chamber hasn't formed a budget, members' pay would be suspended. Whether the august solons of the deliberative body will buy into this is anyone's guess. Having watched the shenanigans on the Hill up close for 50 years, I wouldn't wager much on their acquiescence.

On the other hand, reopening the all-out warfare about the debt ceiling would be a disaster that no one survives. My guess is they will work out a solution. If not, little else will go forward -- including the Republican Party itself, which has borne the brunt of criticism for perpetual gridlock on national problems involving the economy, immigration and gun control.

One can only hope that this debt-ceiling offer is the first step toward restoring sanity to the Republican base -- that it ultimately leads the party out of the political wilderness and back toward the center without costing it its basic identity. That may be just wishful conjecture, but it has been evident for some time that the GOP is facing an uncertain future without accommodations to a rapidly changing electorate. Its absolutism on key issues such as taxes and social issues have narrowed its appeal dramatically. Ask Mitt Romney, who lost most of the elements of an increasingly diverse demographic.

Being a party principally dominated by white males who are still living in the last century is a recipe for extinction. At the same time, the party can hold onto reasonable differences and lead the way toward sensible compromise.

Whether the debt-ceiling offer can begin that process will depend on the GOP leadership -- and that hasn't been terribly effective recently. House Speaker John Boehner ultimately had to acquiesce to his Senate counterpart, Republican leader Mitch McConnell, to at least temporarily keep the nation from tumbling into the foolish economic abyss designed to scare everybody into some form of detente. In this latest caper, the result of some GOP soul-searching at a retreat in Williamsburg, Va., Boehner had to set aside his own rule never to raise the debt limit without a dollar-for-dollar match in debt reduction. Speculation is that the Ohio congressman has only a short time to prevent self-immolation, perhaps from one of the many cigarettes he still smokes.

That also goes for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid. The odds may be short that the Nevadan with the shoot-from-the-hip style of leadership can keep a civil tongue long enough to prevent the whole effort from imploding. Obama by all rights should have something to say about that. But who knows?

Unless this latest gambit works in some fashion or another, Americans will face another year of uncertainty -- a stressful struggle that tests their mettle and reduces their faith in the nation's direction.

Sadly, this all was brought about by an electorate that should have paid more attention to those it chose to represent it. But it always has been that way. As humorist Will Rogers once quipped, we have the best legislature money can buy.

Email Dan K. Thomasson, former editor of the Scripps Howard News Service, at thomassondan(at)aol.com.

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  • I didn't think libs were so stupid as to not see quoitation marks...but that is what we get from public school indoctrinated sheep.

  • Hypocrite Billy is also a plagiarist? Why am I not surprised.

  • Hey Bill, if you're going to copy and paste entire articles from Fox Nation you should at least give them some credit, don't you think? I'm talking about the Mark Levin Inauguration Day message you're pretending to have written at 2:39 today.

  • Trawl, the blatant hypocrisy is astonishing!

  • Anyone else find there an irony in the Right Wing Tyrants complaining about a politician doing politics? The Right Wing Tyrants got use to having Tyrannical Rule during the Bush era and now they can't adapt to having to be politicians. Instead they dig in their heels and go WAaaaaaa GIMME WHAT I WANT WAAAAAAAAAAAA ....

  • What's wrong Billy? Don't like it when I point out the obvious, that you are BIG HYPOCRITE.

  • tagg....your opinions are welcome. Your insults are a distraction and betray your intelligence.

  • Billy are you flipping or flopping today?

  • The tea party is why you can't pass anything in Congress C-Billy!!

  • I think Billy is a great example of the today's conservative republican. Very confused from the brainwashing he has received while listening to entertainers like Limbaugh.

  • “I don’t think Obama knows exactly what he’s going to go for in his second term as he will look for opportunities to exploit as events unfold. I am sure they've drawn up a partial a list, and we already know that it includes, but is not limited to, gun control; attacks on the First Amendment such as religious liberty; amnesty for illegal aliens; union expansion; institutionalizing Obamacare; institutionalizing voter corruption; de-industrialization via the EPA; destroying the capitalist-based economy via tax increases, smothering regulations, massive deficit spending, and endless borrowing; and hollowing out our military; etc. This will effect all of us. It will do extreme damage to the nation in many respects. I think Obama sees himself as correcting historic wrongs in this country, as delivering the fruits of the labor of other people to people who he believes have historically been put upon. I think there’s a lot of perverse thinking that goes on in his mind, radical left-wing thinking. He was indoctrinated with Marx and Alinksy propaganda. You not only see it in his agenda but in his words -- class warfare; degrading successful people unless, of course, they help finance his elections, causes, and organizations; pretending to speak for the so-called middle class when, in fact, he is destroying their jobs, savings, and future. Obama's war on our society is intended to be an onslaught in which the system is overwhelmed.” "How to fight that agenda? The answer certainly doesn’t lie in the current Republican Party leadership. “I think the Republican Party, its apparatus, its so-called leadership, the parasitic consultants, represent an institution that is tired, old, almost decrepit, full of cowardice and vision-less. It has abandoned the Declaration of Independence and any serious defense of constitutional republicanism. The Democrat Party is now a radical 1960s party; it’s the anti-Constitution, anti-capitalism, anti-individual party. It largely controls the federal government, including the massive bureaucracy and much of the judiciary -- what I call the permanent branches of the federal government. The Democrat Party represents the federal government, and the federal government expands the power of the Democrat Party. They're appendages of each other. On the other hand, the GOP today stands for capitulation, timidity, delusion -- so mostly nothing. Republicans may speak of the Constitution, limited government, low taxes, etc., but what have they done about them? Next to nothing if not nothing. Even when Bush 43 was president and the Republicans controlled Congress. What did they do? They went on a spending binge. They expanded Medicare, the federal role in local education, drove up the debt, etc. Meanwhile, we are lectured by putative Republicans like Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Tom Ridge, and a conga line of others trashing often viciously NOT Obama and what the Democrats are doing to our nation, but conservatives, constitutionalists, and tea party activists who are the only people left standing for liberty against tyranny in this country." There are millions who would agree with this.

  • >>" Conservatives on the other hand are intelligent, critical thinkers and successful in their endeavors"<< LMAO!! Where do you get this stuff? Looks like the "Ditto Head" poo spewed by Limbaugh and Parroted by the Ditto Head without the Ditto Head showing enough intellect or thinking far enough through to realize "Dittoing" isn't thinking.

  • The NeoCon became the TeaPublican and the TeaPublican/Bagger is the reason sanity has gone out of politics. Look at them, the Republican party is falling apart because of extremest beliefs and exclusionary policies but the TeaPublican insists on preserving those beliefs and policies. To the TeaPublican all Republicans have to believe as the TeaPublican Extremest believes or that Republican is a RINO and subject to attack and replacement by a TeaPublican extremest so the RINO best buck up and toe the line. And from this belief in "toeing the line" emerges the TeaPublican crap that if someone NOT Republican says anything those not Republican agree with it 100%. No, not hardly but try getting that through to the TeaPublican. The TeaPublican Party is too stupid to exist and unless the Republican party casts off the parasitic TeaBaggers I believe they'll both cease to exist. And wouldn't that be too bad.

  • Gosh tagg, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings with my opinion based on what the leading democrat spokesman had to say about democrats. Sorry if you thought I was including you in the mindless cows group.

  • Are you flipping or flopping now Billy? I can't keep up.

  • Guess you don't agree with democrat spokesman james carville either?

  • I have taken the liberty of posting one your recent post Billy, hope you don't mind. " Liberal progressives know that for anyone to declare themselves a liberal progressive democrat they are suffering from a mental disorder. They are weak and not entirely aware of their surroundings. They indeed are defenseless and unable to think for themselves. To paraphrase James Carville, democrats are like mindless cows, just be ready to use the cattle prod once in a while. Conservatives on the other hand are intelligent, critical thinkers and successful in their endeavors. They don’t need nor want a sugardaddy to care for them. Thus they don’t get any outspoken defense from those who trash them and hurl racist accusations at them... http://www.recordpub.com/opinion/2013/01/04/jay-ambrose-kerry-nomination-emblematic-of-woes-coming-in-2013

  • But Billy, you were spewing hateful words and lies just recently. That reminds me, TMA we are known for flip flopping on our views. Billy you are a true conservative, no doubt you are team GOP.

  • sorry tagg, I cannot support your type of GOP support. I prefer JFK democrat lower taxes and balanced budget approach. Unfortunately when the democrats fought Civil Rights legislation and advanced the KKK I had to look towards republicans as an alternative. Neither is worth support today. With few exceptions they are all corrupt. The democrats spew hate, lies and racism...the republicans do nothing to return our country to fiscal responsibility.

  • Billy you sure have changed since you started posting. You have previously posted some really nasty words about the democrats and those that support Obama. I thought we were two peas in a pod Billy. What happened are you getting soft? TMA you left out a few facts. Those of us that support the GOP are a bunch of pessimistic hypocrites and like to whine allot. We are also very sore losers. And no mention of the fact that we employ scare tactics to get votes. ALTHOUGH! since these tactics haven't worked to our advantage, we are now attempting to change the election laws.

  • Almost all DC politicians are corrupt, selfish, narcissist. Our Republic has been perverted and nearly destroyed. REps who only rep the highest bidder, Senators who could care less about their state. The few ethical congressmen don't last long or are assinated by the elete in power and that includes the press. Journalism is dead and gone. The hate and racist rhetoric these past 4 years is an abomination on Americanism.

  • Republicans are poorly educated people who are against government programs and policies that help the poor, improve public education, regulate business, provide better working conditions for workers, make everyone more financially secure and make the country safer such as welfare, medicare, medicaid, social security, federal deposit insurance credit, the american dep. of agriculture, minimum wage etc. They try to privatize and totally destroy healthcare and social security. Republicans also try to force their religion on the nation and teach Christianity in public schools even though there's separation of church and state. Republicans violate everyone's personal privacy rights such as abortion and they pass the patriot's ACT. They are against abortion yet they will always be there to sentence someone to capitol punishment for a minor crime and they start wars for no reason. Republicans also refuse to provide funding for stem cell research even if it could help us find a cure for cancer. They believe in an economic system where 1% of the population controls 99% of the wealth, where the tax burden is on the middle class and where multi-billion dollar corporations aren't expected to pay any taxes whatsoever.