In its stance on everything from Medicaid to millionaires, the new Republican platform shows the growing extremism within the party.
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By Robert Reich
By agreement with Robert Reich
The Republican Party platform, approved Tuesday, would bar abortion even in cases of rape and incest. This is basically Todd Akin’s position, but at least the GOP platform doesn’t assert that women’s bodies identify and reject rapists’ sperm.
Meanwhile, Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan provides ample evidence to seniors (and anyone planning to become a senior) that the GOP wants to eliminate Medicare.
And it’s convincing anyone in America still needing convincing that the GOP exists primarily to cut taxes on the wealthy rather than to reduce the budget deficit. The latest estimate of the non-partisan Center for Tax Policy is that Ryan’s tax cuts for the rich would result in $4.6 trillion less revenue over the decade, generating an average saving for the typical millionaire of almost $400 million a year.
Although the GOP crackup may bode well for Democrats this coming Election Day, it bodes ill for America. The capture of one of our great parties by fanatics is nothing to celebrate. A democracy needs at least two sane political parties.
At the same time, the GOP remains unwavering in its support of state laws allowing or encouraging the profiling of Latinos. And unrelenting in its war against gay rights.
We’re witnessing the implosion of what was once a great party. Its capture by the extreme right is becoming more apparent by the day.
And it’s not just women, seniors, budget hawks, Latinos, gays, and the poor who are becoming alarmed. Average Americans who don’t fall into one of these categories are becoming concerned, too—as they should.
Yet although the GOP crackup may bode well for Democrats this coming Election Day, it bodes ill for America.
The capture of one of our great parties by fanatics is nothing to celebrate. A democracy needs at least two sane political parties.
Robert B. Reich, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton.
Time Magazine has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including his latest best-seller, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future; The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism which has been translated into 22 languages; and his newest, an e-book, Beyond Outrage. His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. His widely-read blog can be found at www.robertreich.org.