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The cowardice of Republican non-extremists

The title of this post is a phrase used in Paul Krugman’s latest Op-Ed in the NYTimes, The Dixiecrat Solution.

There is, however, another solution, and everyone knows what it is. Call it Dixiecrats in reverse.

Here’s the precedent: For a long time, starting as early as 1938, Democrats generally controlled Congress on paper, but actual control often rested with an alliance between Republicans and conservative Southerners who were Democrats in name only. You may not like what this alliance did — among other things, it killed universal health insurance, which we might otherwise have had 65 years ago. But at least America had a functioning government, untroubled by the kind of craziness that now afflicts us.

And right now we have all the necessary ingredients for a comparable alliance, with roles reversed. Despite denials from Republican leaders, everyone I talk to believes that it would be easy to pass both a continuing resolution, reopening the government, and an increase in the debt ceiling, averting default, if only such measures were brought to the House floor. How? The answer is, they would get support from just about all Democrats plus some Republicans, mainly relatively moderate non-Southerners. As I said, Dixiecrats in reverse.

The problem is that John Boehner, the speaker of the House, won’t allow such votes, because he’s afraid of the backlash from his party’s radicals. Which points to a broader conclusion: The biggest problem we as a nation face right now is not the extremism of Republican radicals, which is a given, but the cowardice of Republican non-extremists (it would be stretching to call them moderates). [Emphasis added]

The way I would put it is,  you’ll know the tea party, aka #wackobirds, are history when members of the GOP in Texas start running away from that label. Let’s hope that is soon. As Molly Ivins would say turn the tea party into A Rotting, Dead Chicken around the GOP’s neck.  And don’t forget Greg Abbott, all the Lt. Gov. candidates, and most every elected member of the Texas GOP have embraced the tea party. So the only way to get away from it is to elect Democrats.

Thankfully this is coming before the filing deadline. Let’s go Democrats, there are plenty of Republicans ripe for the picking in November 2014.


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