One of the inherent perspectives a progressive in Utah has the luxury of believing unquestionably is how little "principle" there actually is to the predictable GOP outrage at Democratic successes on the national level. Take a look at the mindless support for Gary Herbert (really... what do you know about anything he stands for, other than the R? Yeah, exactly.) or the thoughtless allegiance to Republican candidates, even when they don't represent what's best for the state. Let's face it, Utah, you're not picky. If it's got an R, you're satiated.
When Democrats enjoy a national success, we get to see this little slice of Utah politics spread like a virus to the national theater. Tea-baggn' is nothing new. It happened when Clinton won too, to a tragic extent. Republicans get angry, as any party would, when they lose. But the respond to it with fear campaigns, hightened/mindless rhetoric, and Frank Luntz. And GOP voters fall for. Much of the support for today's Republican Party stems from the same lack of demand for character and leadership that sails so many ideologues with the right buzz phrases to public office here at home. Being used in such a way should make you angry.
As angry as Rep. Anthony Weiner was last week. As he explains in an op-ed today, genuine frustration at misleading tactics is long overdue.
LAST week I got angry on the floor of the House. In this age of cable and YouTube, millions of people evidently saw the one-minute-plus clip. But there has been relatively little focus on why the substantive debate that sparked it matters.You're being duped by your own party, the tea party, and political opportunists wrapping themselves in the Constitution, my Republican friends. And until you demand better, expect it to only get worse.
More broadly, while I appreciate the concern over the future of civility in politics, I believe a little raw anger right now is justified. Democrats make a mistake by pretending there is a bipartisan spirit in Congress these days, and would be better served by calling out Republican shams.
The specifics of the debate last week should be an example of an issue beyond partisan dispute. The bill in question was created to help the thousands of citizens who went to ground zero after the Sept. 11 attacks. These are Americans who wanted to help, and who scientific studies now show are falling ill and dying in troubling numbers.
After nine years, the House had a chance to make this right by voting on a bill that would provide treatment, screening and compensation to Americans who sacrificed their safety that day, as well as Lower Manhattan residents and others who have suffered injury from exposure to the dust and debris.
Though it should have been a legislative slam dunk, the bill was defeated on a simple up-or-down vote, with only 12 Republicans voting in favor. Just 21 additional Republican votes would have been sufficient for passage.
It was frustrating to hear Republicans say these people didn’t deserve more help because, as one put it, “people get killed all the time.”