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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
People hate politics and politicians so much these days because they see so many good people get into politics and begin slowly, but consistently, giving up on what’s right in favor of what is political. These politicians become so convinced that it is better to be in power than to do what is right, they never get around to doing what is right because they always fear they could get out of power.
These men and women, most of them at least, went into politics to make the nation better, to improve lives, and sometimes to stop the outrage of the day on which they campaigned. But they get into the system and view themselves and their party as indispensable, so they become institutionally unable to do the things they wanted to do because to do those things might mean that they then lose. What’s more, they ignore all signs pointing to being rewarded for doing what is right and focus on all the ways they might lose.
Republicans are particularly bad about this. Out of congressional power for 40 years, the GOP still institutionally fears losing to the point that it would rather do nothing than do something and risk anything. Thus we come to Planned Parenthood.
Republicans in Washington know the right thing to do is defund Planned Parenthood. But they have thought their way into losing. They have decided that they will get blamed for a government shutdown, it will hurt their polling, and in thirteen months the voters, nursing a lingering grudge, will cast them out of power. Therefore, they cannot do anything now because of what may happen thirteen months from now.
On top of this, the Republican leaders in Washington have fostered an equally risk adverse corp of voices on the outside — many of whom are married to people on the inside. So those on the outside echo and amplify those on the inside that they cannot do what is right because they might lose and losing would be far worse than fighting.
But fighting on the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood is the right thing to do. The Washington Republicans always declare they must “fight smartly.” But that fighting smartly has gotten them nothing more than a 12% popularity rating and emboldened the President of the United States to just ignore them. Fighting smartly has become a euphemism for pre-emptive surrender.
The right thing to do is to defund Planned Parenthood. If President Obama shuts down the government, Republicans should explain what the shut down is for. They should wonder why the President is more invested in funding Planned Parenthood than children’s food assistance programs.
We have been confronted with savagery. We have been confronted with seventeen hours of videos showing American citizens carving up dead children for profit. If Republicans in Washington are not willing to fight that, shame on them. The rest of us will just keep having to replace them.
Boehner has been taken out. How many more must we defeat until they GOP finally does what is right?