It's finally dawned on me exactly what bothers me the most about the GOP. It's not that their ideas have been tried over and over and failed miserably each time. That should be easy enough to counter with facts, data and even anecdotes. It's not that they do their best to appeal to their fringe while expecting everyone else to follow along quietly. That sort of nutty arrogance should put an end to itself. It's that they don't fight fair and you can't do battle with someone who doesn't follow the basic rules of decency.
Over the last year the Republican party has made it blatantly obvious to anyone paying attention that they have no interest in honest debate. They would rather exaggerate, fling mud, distract and lie. There were never death panels in any health care bill, or anything remotely resembling them. Health care reform was never going to kill grandma or put a bureaucrat between a patient and doctor. (Never mind the fact that there's already a fleet of insurance company bean counters there). But sensational shouting gathers attention, and it's wildly contagious.
Most recently I've been seeing and hearing rabid right-wingers (many of whom call themselves libertarians despite backing only Republican candidates and only taking the Democrats to task) claiming equally ludicrous ideas like that the Democratic party hates blacks, or that Barack Obama hates the United States or that this administration is going to destroy America and our liberties (coming after the era of the Patriot Act, Gitmo, etc that very idea defies comprehension). One prominent GOP blogger was calling the Obama administration the most corrupt in history - less than one month after inauguration in 2009. It would be laughable if there weren't so many people following these fools and voting as they direct.
It is clear to any rational human being that the President doesn't hate this country, yet I see that repeated over and over and the speakers swear they really mean it. Now I agreed with almost nothing that George W Bush did, but I never dreamed that he actually hated the country. I really believe that he thought he was doing the best he could, though a cluster of a dozen functional brain cells should have been enough to dissuade him of that notion.
And the very concept that Democrats hate blacks is actually quite insulting to both groups. Blacks are one of the most dependable Democratic voters and to say that for decades they've voted for a party that hates them insults every black voter, if not every Democratic voter. Do Republicans actually believe Blacks are dumb enough to vote against their own interest and prosperity for over a generation? Now that's what I call racist.
No, I'm not saying that all Republicans are racist, but there certainly are more than just a few. I'll even go so far as to say that anyone who thinks as I describe in the previous paragraph needs to take a long look in the mirror to determine exactly how they feel about the races.
There are plenty of reasonable, logical reasons to oppose President Obama's agenda. I happen to disagree with most of those, but there are certainly arguments to be made and debates to be had. But when the opposition party, especially its leaders, dip into the sewage of lies and distortions we've seen over the last 12 months they lose all credibility and they should lose all political power. Sadly they've convinced millions of their followers to slide down into the gutter with them, assuring them far more power than they deserve.
And that may be the most absurd thing of all.