The GOP's Hate Problem

Even The Hill sees the damage being done to the Permanent Republican Majority:

As the House of Representatives moved to pass the healthcare bill, Washington witnessed an extraordinary moment in modern political history as Republican leaders spoke before large signs of bigotry and hate unworthy of any political party.

Most members of the Tea Party movement are sincere, mainstream Americans with legitimate protests against government policy, some of which I share. However, what happened at the recent rally in Washington included something darker that has no place in American politics.

Among legitimate protesters were large signs of bigotry, racism and hatred and misrepresentations of the Holocaust that were despicable and sick. There was bigotry against blacks alongside bigotry against Muslims alongside the anti-Semitic lie that President Barack Obama is controlled by the Rothschilds.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) should have clearly and unequivocally condemned expressions of racism, bigotry and dishonesty about the Holocaust in their speeches to this group. They did not.

These expressions of hatred and bigotry were visible, loud and apparent to all. Yet Messrs. Boehner and Cantor did not denounce them. They were silent. Worse, their angry, almost snarling demeanor in speeches could well be interpreted by haters as an endorsement of their hatred.

Since then Elie Wiesel, one of the great moral consciences of our or any generation, spoke out against the disrespect shown toward the Holocaust in these expressions of hate. The Anti-Defamation League and others of conscience spoke out. Boehner and Cantor appeared to treat haters as part of their GOP coalition. Shame on them.

Republicans and conservatives have a serious hate problem. For moral and political reasons they should root it out. In an earlier time, William F. Buckley successfully battled right-wing extremism that he believed poisoned the conservative movement and the Republican Party. It was Buckley’s finest hour, and the National Review’s.

The birther attacks on President Obama are appeals to racism and hatred that are unworthy of America. Why can’t all Republicans and conservatives say so?

The pictures of President Obama appearing like Adolf Hitler are a form of political dementia and hatred that should not be welcome in any political party. Why can’t all Republicans and principled conservatives speak out plainly against this?

There are plenty of legitimate grounds on which to criticize President Obama. I have done so, and will again. But the degree of bigotry and hate in circles aligned with Republicans and conservatives is a stain on the party of Lincoln and the philosophy of Goldwater, Buckley and Reagan.

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