Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Are Republican Elected Officials Patriotic?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines patriot as one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests. Do our elected Republican officials fit this definition of patriotism?
Let me make it clear that I am referring to elected Republican officials, not everyday people who vote for them. Some of my best friends are Republicans, and I have no doubt about their patriotism. But there seems to be a difference between the ideals and actions of run-of-the mill Republicans (at least the ones I know) and the elected officials on the state and national level.

This is not a new phenomenon. Thinking back a dozen years to the impeachment of President Clinton, the goal of the “vast right-wing conspiracy” was simply to act on their visceral hatred for the President and First Lady. Using impeachment to bring down a President for transgressions that had nothing to do with his conduct of the presidency was far from supporting the “authority and interests” of the country. One wonders if all of this nonsense had not happened whether President Clinton would have been more of a risk-taker in dealing with Al Qaida when he had the opportunity to take out Osama Bin Laden. Could it be that if the impeachment had not happened, more attention could have been paid to Al Qaida and 9/11 would not have happened?

Over the past nine years, the Party of Lincoln has evolved from the “vast right-wing conspiracy” and has morphed into the GOP/tea bag/C-Street/evangelicals whose attitude is far from patriotic. The prime example here is their attitude toward health care. The anti-health Republicans have openly stated that their goal is to bring down President Obama by not allowing him any legislative successes. There can be honest differences of opinion on how health care is to be conducted, but the anti-health Republicans have only represented the interests of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and have not even bothered to present an alternative plan to insure more Americans. Is this “love for country” or only self-interest and greed? The Republicans have openly opposed the equal rights clause of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment by opposing gay marriage. Is this “supporting the interests” of all citizens? The Republicans have openly opposed the separation of church and state clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution by finding clever ways to circumvent it and conflate church and state issues. Is this patriotic?

Abraham Lincoln must be spinning in his grave.

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