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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Elephant death rattle

Shh. If you're really quiet, you may actually hear the sound of the Republican Party coming apart at the seams.

On the one hand, you have the effort by moderates trying to revive the virtually extinct New England branch of the party once so honorably represented in Massachusetts by the likes of Edward Brooke, Henry Cabot Lodge, Leverett Saltonstall, John Volpe and Francis Sargent.

But not so far away, the the upper reaches of New York state near the Vermont and Canadian borders, you see the reality of the modern day GOP -- a national party so intent on litmus test lockstep that it forced out its nominee in favor of the Conservative Party's read meat-eater.

Days before an election. Is it any surprise the maneuver has the fingerprints of Sarah Palin on it?

Republicans have long insisted they are the party of the big tent -- open to any and all who wish to escape the ideological purity that infected Democrats.

The reality is much different, where seeking wiggle room on abortion and taxes are good enough reasons to be read out of the GOP.

Compare that with Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Insurance-Conn., the 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate, who is threatening to singlehandedly scuttle health care legislation if the public option is included while

Those of us in Massachusetts have long known the breadth and depth of opinion in the party where Tom Finneran and Scott Harshbarger could co-exist, somewhat peacefully.

Conservatives are likely to recall the 1964 GOP convention as the model -- where they cast out the Northeast strain of Republicanism represented by Nelson Rockefeller in favor of the sagebrush version embodied by Barry Goldwater.

The party was indeed reborn -- under the race-baiting of Richard Nixon and the economic sophistry of Ronald Reagan. Forty years later we have the result -- a not, so kind, not-so gentle philosophy of Reverse Robin Hood economics, a belligerent foreign policy and an intolerance of any idea not hatched in the febrile minds of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

The Party of No insists Barack Obama is a socialist or worse and says all will be right if we simply do it their way. But guess what -- we did do it their way for the last 28 years and what did it get us?

Two wars, a financial meltdown abetted by a lack of regulation, continued climate deterioration and a public discourse that is well, coarse.

So good luck to the New England GOP -- you know the folks represented in the United States Senate by Olympia Snowe of Maine, branded as a traitor because she did not march lockstep against health care legislation.

But you road will be long thanks to the Stalinists and their fellow travelers running the GOP. Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee, run out of office because of his moderate credentials, summed it up best.

“If you ask me, I’d recommend they run as independents."

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