Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The First Step...

As the adherents of just about any twelve-step program will tell you, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

For the past half-decade, we've been among the voices trying to coax the modern Republican Party toward step one, multiple times - even before our current archive system existed. Unfortunately, to the detriment of both their own political party and the American people, the only steps the Republican party seems willing to take are off the edge of an ideological cliff.

When we read Greg Sargent's headline Tuesday - which echoed one we wrote two years ago this week - we realized parts of today's Republican Party have been on their current version of a political death march since before this century began.

With both GOP legend Bob Dole and recently retired Senator Olympia Snowe calling out the GOP as desperately in need of rethinking their priorities, we were once again reminded that the current Republican Party is in almost exactly the same position as the Democratic Party was in the mid-1980s - a comparison we've been making for years now.

Indeed, it's the same comparison Molly Ball outlined last week in The Atlantic. While the parallels between then and now are both eerie and startlingly sad, the differences remind us even more how far the GOP has fallen into their own madness.

It's not just that no progress can be made in Washington anymore, regardless of what President Obama does or says, as Steve Benen pointed out on Tuesday.

It's that even when President Obama goes so far as to put on a purely symbolic "charm offensive," the Republicans in Congress - led by the ideological extremists in the tea party wing - destroy any potential for actually governing. Greg Sargent made this point abundantly clear to anyone who may have still doubted - today's GOP is fundamentally unserious about governing.

If it weren't both a painful spectacle to behold and deeply damaging to the nation, we would almost be tempted to sit back and laugh as the Republican Party keeps on marching right over the edge, into political oblivion.

The problem is, like any other addict, when the GOP keeps falling down, they also drag down everyone else around them - and as with any other addict, until the majority of members of the Republican Party want to make things better themselves, we can keep pointing the way to the beginning of  a political recovery program but they have to take the first step themselves.

For now, we're just hoping they hit bottom sooner rather than later.