Who Will Annihilate Whom?

This HuffPost story caught my eye:

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) warned fellow Republicans this week, saying President Barack Obama’s inaugural address had convinced him that the president was undertaking an effort to “annihilate” the GOP.

“Given what we heard yesterday about the president’s vision for his second term, it’s pretty clear to me — should be clear to all of you — that he knows he can’t do any of that as long as the House is controlled by Republicans,” Boehner said during a speech at the Ripon Society on Tuesday. “So we’re expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party.”

The story struck me because I had been thinking that the Republican Party was doing a pretty good job of annihilating itself without help from Barack Obama — or anyone else for that matter. Clearly there are deep divisions within the Party among the far right spiritually certain and Tea Party types, the mainline Republicans, the intellectual conservatives (with whom I share many values), the moderates, and the left-leaning Republicans who are open to antithetical points of view (a rare thing these days on both sides of the aisle). There’s even a group of Republicans that has started to pull away from the Party. Given those divisions and the recent failed attempts like those of candidate Romney to please them all, the Party could be said to be on the brink of annihilation.

It is true that Barack Obama has said publicly that he will no longer be “Mister Nice-Guy.” He spent four years trying to reconcile conflicting points of view and play the compromise game — playing it a bit too enthusiastically for my blood. It didn’t work. Now he says he will take off the gloves and get serious. We shall see. It could get interesting.

Consider the fact that a recent report indicates that when Barack Obama was elected to his first term a group of Republican politicians (and their sponsors, I dare say) met in Washington and swore to oppose anything the President attempted to do. For the most part the strategy worked, though the Affordable Health Care Act slipped through the cracks. But the sort of opposition that denies the possibility of compromise a priori makes it impossible for anything to get done — as we have seen first-hand. This last Congress was the least productive on record and the newer version will continue to be unproductive until or unless those who are elected to public office recall that their ultimate responsibility is to further the common good — not special interests or their political party.

But that may never happen. In the meantime, the Republican Party will continue to overwhelm us with its many divisions within its own house and its leaders like John Boehner will continue to point in the wrong direction in his effort to determine the cause.

9 thoughts on “Who Will Annihilate Whom?

  1. Hugh, the GOP leadership was in Charlotte yesterday and the headline was “GOP vows changes in tactics.” They need to look at their platform and talk to people who did not vote GOP or left the party. I recall a conservative pundit said in early 2010, the success the GOP will have in the mid-term elections in the fall will mask the underlying problems in the party. They have to address their stances on global warming and eco-energy, immigration, LGBT rights, poverty, holistic deficit reduction measures, gun access, etc. or they will continue their demise. You are dead on accurate above. BTG

  2. You and BTG are right on. The Republicans, contrary to their recent PR, continue on a path of self destruction. Just see Rand Paul’s and Senator Johnson’s performances this week. And now Boehner came out yesterday to start another hard push against abortion, making it a “relic of the past,” and further alienating the women’s vote. Can these guys get any dumber?

    So to reititerate your point I guess, Obama will have nothing to do with the destruction of the Republican party; they continue on the path to successfully do that themselves with no outside help.

    • My guess is Boehner’s position as Speaker is vulnerable and he wants to strut and act like he’s a real leader. It sounded like hot air, mostly.


      • It does, but what they can’t seem to get through their thick skulls is the political posturing and “hot air” is exactly what’s killing the party.

  3. I love your line about the party annihilating itself. Very funny, and true. I saw a news report a few nights ago, and one republican leader (who looked to be of Indian descent, from India, and I think was from Texas) said to his fellow republicans that “we need to stop being be stupid party.” That was pretty funny, too.

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