The underlying conflict lies deep into the nature and structure of the Republican Party. And its roots are very old.
As Michael Lind has noted, today’s Tea Party is less an ideological movement than the latest incarnation of an angry white minority – predominantly Southern, and mainly rural – that has repeatedly attacked American democracy in order to get its way.
America has had a long history of white Southern radicals who will stop at nothing to get their way – seceding from the Union in 1861, refusing to obey Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s, shutting the government in 1995, and risking the full faith and credit of the United States in 2010.
Newt Gingrich’s recent assertion that public officials aren’t bound to follow the decisions of federal courts derives from the same tradition.
This stop-at-nothing radicalism is dangerous for the GOP because most Americans recoil from it. Gingrich himself became an object of ridicule in the late 1990s, and many Republicans today worry that if he heads the ticket the Party will suffer large losses.
It’s also dangerous for America. We need two political parties solidly grounded in the realities of governing. Our democracy can’t work any other way.
Here's where I disagree with him: We don't have two parties solidly grounded in the realities of governing. We have one that can barely find its ass with both hands and one that's grinding itself to powder in front of our eyes. A lovely process to watch, I might add.
There's a reason to have two motorcycles too. When one of them is so badly broken it won't run, you ride the other one exclusively until the broken one gets fixed. Difference is, with political parties we have to wait until election day to get parts.
Let's hope we get the right ones. We can ride just the Democrats for a time while the Repugs are getting rebuilt and still get where we want to go until the Dems break down too. Then we're screwed.
A third "bike" maybe? Whee! Let's get an "Arrest Me Red" Italian Fastacci Sumbicci!
Well, maybe not...
Maybe what we need is some Repugs who will listen to reason. Until the day that pipe dream comes true, maybe we need a solidly Democrat Congress for a coupla years. As badly as the Teabaggers have fucked things up, how much worse could they do? Don't answer that...