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DAVID ROSMAN: Republicans must stop catering to extremists and learn to cooperate

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

We survived. We survived! The legislative session is over and Missouri is safe for another year.

I was about to write about the lackluster, unimaginative and useless 2012 session until I started my research Monday. By Tuesday morning, there were at least 20 editorials and news reports concerning our do-nothing legislature.

Although I am from the "other side," our own state Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, did make the moderate Republicans and liberals maybe not proud, but pleasantly pleased with his fighting for human rights, Mizzou and other issues that the right-wing right-wingers wanted to push through their emotion-filled, no need and silly agenda.

However, the end of this session may be the lull before the next storm. Maybe Schaefer’s attitude is a sign of things to come. Maybe it is the first sign of a coming rift caused by the churning magma just under the GOP’s lava dome.

The Republican Party, state and national, is starting some serious infighting concerning issues such as gay rights, same-sex marriage, immigration and other hot-button topics. The moderates of the party are finally taking a stance against the unfriendly takeover by the Tea Party and religious movements. Still there is a long way to go.

Although Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones, R-Eureka, called the 2012 session a success, it really was not “promises made, promises kept.”

The most important issues died on the vine. The Kansas City Public Schools are still unaccredited and without state oversight. The legislature did not redesign and approve the state’s K-12 funding formula. By refusing to reduce historic building restoration’s $140 million tax credits, the state GOP also did not renew the tax credits of child advocacy centers and pregnancy resource centers.

Oh yes, the worker’s compensation bill did pass, but it was so anti-employee that Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed it. Bills still waiting in the wings include one allowing companies to refuse buying any health plan that includes coverage that violates the employer’s religious or moral beliefs and the national Affordable Care Act coverage.

The confusing thing is that the conservative right, which supports individual freedom, is slowly taking it away by not allowing the individual the choice to use or not use medical insurance that is available at a reasonable or supplemented cost and taking away health care for our youth.

On a national level, hardline Republicans, Tea Partiers and conservative libertarians are still looking for a candidate who is not Romney. Issues such as the Affordable Care Act and the war in Afghanistan are splitting the party, and only one of the two presidential campaigns seems to be aware of this.

With the "anti-anything Obama" attitude and the movement to the extreme right, those sitting closer to the center-right are becoming rightfully concerned of House Speaker John Boehner’s and Majority Leader Eric Cantor's "take no prisoners" approach to politics.

Joe and Jane Citizen, Republicans and Democrats all, are tired of a decade of war and the same House leadership’s hardline, super-conservative "anything military" policies.

The extreme-right war-frenzied hawks, while wanting to cut the deficit, inflated the Department of Defense’s budget by $5 billion by adding their pet projects, including an East Coast missile defense system, while "rejecting Pentagon arguments that the facility is unnecessary," according to an Associated Press article.

Republican women are also stuck between a rock and hard spot by the far right. Does one side with her party or with the liberals concerning women’s health issues? In March, Bloomberg Report wrote,

"Americans overwhelmingly regard the debate over … employer-provided contraceptive coverage as a matter of women’s health, not religious freedom, rejecting Republicans’ rationale for opposing the rule. More than three-quarters say the topic shouldn't even be a part of the U.S. political debate."

And while the Republicans are claiming that the Democrats are kowtowing to special interest groups, the GOP is Tebowing to the right-wing extremists. In fact, the evidence appears to show that the GOP is refusing to listen to its own moderate members and those who usually support the Pachyderm’s positions. They are losing the old base.

That strategy is not a winning one for the GOP, and until they figure out that cooperation is better than hindrance, because good government is better than no government, losing big in November is almost guaranteed.

David Rosman is an editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.


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Comments

Ray Shapiro May 23, 2012 | 11:48 a.m.

Progressive liberal Obamaphyte democrats are the extremists.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt May 23, 2012 | 6:09 p.m.

Care to elaborate?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 24, 2012 | 2:26 a.m.

Mr. Rosman,

Would you please give us your definition of what constitutes an extreme right winger?

I am a conservative. I believe you shouldn't spend more than you make. Marriage is between a man and a woman.
You shouldn't make more debt than you can repay, and you should keep adding to that debt when you can't repay it.
You have a right to own firearms, and the 2nd Amendment was to protect us from the government. I believe this is a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and that the lst Amendment did not say a government free of religion - just that there was to be no official state sponsored religion.

I believe that there should be fairness of opportunity, but combined with merit based achievement, and there are no guaranteed outcomes.

111 years ago a former slave, Booker T. Washington, gave a formula for achievement that applies to all people. He also warned us of all the various charlatans in politics and religion who would use the poor as stepping stones for their own self-gratification. Today Mr. Washington would be vilified by the left as a right wing conservative and an Uncle Tom. Mr. Washington lived and achieved based on what works. He was a conservative, as am I. And he did it under far more difficult circumstances than anybody in today's America could imagine.

I grew up in a Marine Corps family. Most of my heroes were military. But I had three non-military heroes growing up. Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, and the miler, Glenn Cunningham. Conservatives don't care what your race or religion is. They don't care where you came from. What they do care is that you work hard, use your brain, treat others with respect, don't ask the government for anything you didn't earn, and that you can fail and pick yourself up and start all over again. More than anything, conservatives are not whiners. And more than anything conservatives associate the left with whiners who want what they are unwilling to earn with their own efforts.

This piece illustrates the personality that conservatives associate with the left, and why we will never take the left's positions as worthy of merit.

http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=Au.y...

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 24, 2012 | 1:33 p.m.

Mr. Shapiro,

After observing the left from Chicago in 1968 through today, including their violence and legislation, I will no longer use the term progressive. Instead, I am opting to adopt the more accurate moniker....repressives.

(Report Comment)
Cheyenne Greene May 24, 2012 | 3:21 p.m.

Mr Rosman, really!?! "Republican women are also stuck between a rock and hard spot...". The biggest challenge is to defend our conservative beliefs from the regressives (borrowed that term from Don Milsap). "Our" party is on our side concerning women's health issues. You are mistaken about what those 'issues' are. I prefer the freedom to choose method of payment, not to be forced into a gov't mandated policy.
and your additional dramatization "...medical insurance that is available at a reasonable or supplemented cost and taking away health care for our youth." The cost will be reduction in Medicare benefits and an increase in premium, additionally a reduction in quality of care. I challenge you to find one child in the state of Missouri whose healthcare is being neglected by anyone other than their own parent.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop May 24, 2012 | 10:35 p.m.

Cheyenne, just a minor correction. REPRESSIVES, rather than regressives or progressives. Regressives applies, but it doesn't adequately define the totality of what the left represents.

(Report Comment)
matt arnall May 27, 2012 | 10:26 a.m.

The two right wingers that have commented on this article are perfect examples. Don states "You shouldn't make more debt than you can repay, and you should keep adding to that debt when you can't repay it." That should read unless the money you are spending and don't have is to attack another country.
"You have a right to own firearms." This is not disagreed with by Dems. It is just a talking point that the GOP uses to rile up their base.
"I believe this is a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and that the lst Amendment did not say a government free of religion - just that there was to be no official state sponsored religion." For small government? Only when it suits them. If you prefer a Theocracy, move.
"Conservatives don't care what your race or religion is." Unless you are not a Judeo-Christian.
"What they do care is that you work hard, use your brain, treat others with respect, don't ask the government for anything you didn't earn, and that you can fail and pick yourself up and start all over again." Well that describes me to a T, and I am not a conservative, so you definition must be incorrect.
"More than anything, conservatives are not whiners." Just a childish statement accusing people unlike yourself to be bad, which makes you a bigot..
And finally my favorite.
"I prefer the freedom to choose method of payment, not to be forced into a gov't mandated policy." Absolutely amazing that she can state this and not see the irony. Do you know what I am refering to Cheyenne? Think about it.
One-sided generalized statements that attack people that are not like themselves, all while claiming to want limited government that does not intrude on their ability to make personal decisions.......unless of course it is not in their realm of thinking. Geez.....

(Report Comment)
Bob Brandon May 28, 2012 | 4:05 p.m.

Mr. Milsop wrote:

"Today Mr. Washington would be vilified by the left as a right wing conservative and an Uncle Tom."

In his own day, Washington was very accomodating (described by W.E.B. DuBois as "the Great Accommodator") to the white powers that be. He died in 1915 in Tuskegee in an Alabama that would be dominated by Jim Crow for two more generations as a matter of law and even now as a matter of fact. He encouraged his countrymen to give way to their oppressors. He surrendered to Jim Crow.

Fortunately, his giving in to the powers that be was a lead that would not be followed. The Rev. King, and many alongside him of many races and religions, ultimately followed a different strategy that led to the gains that millions enjoy today, the very gains that W.E.B. DuBois said were theirs as a matter of inalienable right.

Ironically, he really was criticized over a hundred years ago for what you offer as a throwaway remark.

On the other hand, you seem to offer up for the present day an obsolete example of surrendering to abusive, unlawful, and ultimately immoral authority (often defended with the holy scripture you seem convinced was the legal basis for this country). You might believe that "conservatives don't care what your race or religion is. They don't care where you came from..."

Alabama conservatives in Washington's day certainly cared about race and religion and used both to maintain their power. The contemporary record also certainly indicates that too many American conservatives still do as well.

How about you?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams May 28, 2012 | 4:38 p.m.

BobB asks, "Alabama conservatives in Washington's day certainly cared about race and religion and used both to maintain their power. The contemporary record also certainly indicates that too many American conservatives still do as well.

How about you?"
_______________________

So BobB wants to know if Don is a racist.
I dunno.
Do you still beat your wife?

Not a good question, Bob, especially since I doubt you'll believe any non-affirmative answer.

Don was a Marine, if memory serves. Given the composition of the Corps, I doubt if Don is the "R" word....most Marines I know are the exact opposite.

We've never seen a pic of Don. I don't know the color of his skin and don't care either.

Do you?

(Report Comment)
Bob Brandon May 28, 2012 | 6:04 p.m.

Mr. Williams offered: So BobB wants to know if Don is a racist."

I'm not, and, if I were to suggest that your remark was little more than projection on your part, you might wonder aloud about the lack of evidence.

Well, so do I about yours. About the lack of evidence, that is.

I'm simply suggesting that Mr. Milsop should probably pick more relevant and contemporary political heroes. If you want to read more into it than that, then that's the challenge for you, not me.

Good luck.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams May 28, 2012 | 6:16 p.m.

BobB:

Bull.

(Report Comment)
Bob Brandon May 28, 2012 | 6:21 p.m.

Mr. Williams:

What one gains in brevity, one correspondingly tends to lose in specificity.

(Report Comment)
Mike Frese May 28, 2012 | 7:24 p.m.

So the Democrats are for less war? If anything the use of the military is very similar to the Republicans. Panetta even stated this weekend that they (Democratic controlled executive dept) will do anything to keep Iran from getting a nuclear bomb.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 28, 2012 | 8:30 p.m.

Of course, we are only concerned now, with which black people a retired Marine officer should choose as hero. A noble and pertinent endeavor?

One wonders, how many that later followed,"The Rev. King, and many alongside him of many races and religions, ultimately followed a different strategy that led to the gains that millions enjoy today", might have come from those who followed G. W. Carver's tenets, work, study, acquire wealth and standing (or as Walter Williams has more recently suggested, take any job you can get, get married, stay out of jail.) and how many of those B.B. has identified from W. DuBois may be like those in our Congressional Black Caucus, paid until 1994 to vote Democrat in our House. They have some now, but would not allow black Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts, membership. Not because of race, but because of Party, Republican.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum May 28, 2012 | 8:50 p.m.

Dude, go back to school, enroll in an ESL course, whatever it takes to bring you up to speed...

(Report Comment)
Rich C. May 28, 2012 | 9:01 p.m.

Oh but Louis, surely you've learned by now that our LIBERAL public school system is what's wrong with society. Or at least, that's what Frank tells me and therefore, it must be true.

(Report Comment)
Bob Brandon May 29, 2012 | 6:39 a.m.

BTW, Rep. John R. Lewis of Georgia is a far better exemplar. Far better.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 29, 2012 | 8:14 a.m.

B. Brandon - Exemplar of what? Whether so intended or not, you have reproduced the two sides we have been debating since that time. Conservative, earn the rights you so desire and liberal, stand (or lay) at the bottom and demand the rights, plus the benefits acquired by those above. Is Lewis from Carver, or DuBois?

No need to discuss his contention that sharks to this day follow the routes of the old slave ships looking for food from the disposal of dead slaves into the water. Sorry.

(Report Comment)

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