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Who is on first with Republicans?

Finding a spokesman for the Republican Party right now is reminiscent of the “Who’s on First?” routine made famous by Abbott and Costello.

While the GOP more or less had Mitt Romney warming up in the bullpen when Sen. John McCain lost the 2008 presidential race, there doesn’t seem to be anyone ready to bring in in relief of Romney, who’s walked off the mound and gone to the showers.

Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But with Medicaid payments to doctors facing cuts, taxpayers looking at the paycheck whammy of reverting to the higher pre-George W. Bush administration income tax rates and the clumsy fiscal cleaver known as sequestration seeming more and more possible next month, somebody needs to get out there and pitch whatever ideas Republicans have for dealing with these issues.

Clearly President Obama is dealing for the Democratic side, and the lack of a counterpart across the aisle is making negotiations on critical aspects of government difficult. With the GOP in charge of the House and having the ability to filibuster in the Senate, there has to be some meeting of the minds between the two parties.

From appearances, Republican higher-ups are still reeling from an election that has dumfounded them, a loss when they were certain they had it in the win column. And the fractures that helped create that loss for the GOP — hardliners vs. moderates — are showing little evidence of healing. For instance, conservatives have said they’d battle against Republican Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia in her challenge of Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., in the 2014 elections. There’s talk that Georgia’s Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Moultrie, may face opposition from within his party when he runs for re-election.

The fact is that the art of compromise has disappeared as hardliners on the left have gained influence in the Democratic Party and their counterparts on the right have pulled the GOP in their direction. Right now, Democrats are basking in the euphoria of retaining the White House and realize the political pragmatism of lining up behind President Obama.

Republicans, however, have a two-fold problem. They will have to find compromise solutions with Democrats, but first they have to find compromises — and a direction — within their own party.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking closer and closer to Jan. 3, when a lot of bad things will happen if political leaders don’t do their jobs. For Republicans, that means finding someone willing to step up — someone other Republicans are willing to stand behind.

Comments

FryarTuk 1 year, 7 months ago

In order for the Republican Party to find its identity GOP solons must first sign a pledge to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and be repatriated. In so doing they will acknowledge the abdication of their allegiance to the very evil Grover Norquist and the unAmerican pledge GOP office seekers have accepted thus subordinating their duty to the USA. Norquist is the very presence of Mephistopheles with whom the hordes of feeble minded GOP candidates eagerly entered the Faustian pledge selling their souls for a chance to jump on the political gravy train. Norquist, a past associate of convicted Washington big timer Jack Abramoff and a grunt for Tom Delay and the K Street gang works for a non-profit entity financed by a couple of billionaires who have made tons of profits off government contracts and middle income Americans. In otherwords, he's a pimp. Norquist and his masters are not taking on government spending, debt or size they just want the subsidies, contracts and tax credits to be shoveled in their direction. To hell with America. "Let the working stiffs pay." The GOP does best with folks like Reagan, Ike, Dole, Kemp, Goldwater, Lugar, George HW Bush, Jeb Bush, Christie, Crist, Ron Paul and their like. These other guys are in it for the cabbage and self-serving purposes. GOP needs to help get our financial house in order, move away from the extremists and work toward building the melting pot which is our heritage.

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YDoICare 1 year, 7 months ago

The young man with whom I had the pleasure of teaching a few years before he left Albany so he could increase the prestige of an institution through his work without facing repercussions from "the insecure biding my time till my retirement types" wrote an article with similar ideas to yours Fryar. He takes on both Democrats and Republicans in Washington, and this passage sums it up: "In my opinion, you do not have a mandate from Super PACs and 501(c) special interests to promote their agendas. The pledge I learned and recited as a child was an allegiance to the United States. That one did not begin: 'I pledge allegiance to the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and the ink from the pen of Norquist, yelling of Limbaugh, or spatter of MSNBC'.”

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FryarTuk 1 year, 7 months ago

" ... still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. ... they turned about with a very small rudder, whithersoever the governor listeth. " The lesson to be learned in the Groper Norquist and Jack Abramoff krewe. It can be done by a redeemed helmsman as well.

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