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Opinion: Why does the Republican Party want America to lose?

I still remember in October 2009, when conservatives openly gloated about the rejection of the US bid to host the 2016 Olympic games. “”THE EGO HAS LANDED: WORLD REJECTS OBAMA” said the conservative Drudge Report website after the opportunity to host the games in Chicago lost out to Rio de Janiero.

The reason seemed be, “If winning helps Obama, we want America to lose.”

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The Republican desire for America to fail — if it helps their election chances — has hit new lows (for now) with the current border protection fiasco.

Over the past decade, Republicans have tried to rebrand the immigration issue from “hard working, good family people, but we need to control illegal immigration” to the absurd image of an invasion of rapists, criminals, drug smugglers, and child traffickers.

They have used a real and complicated emergency (the inability to process large numbers of asylum seekers who are flooding the country from failed states like El Salvador and Venezuela) and created a wholly imaginary emergency (the flood of criminals, rapists, traffickers, and terrorists crossing the southern border illegally).

But now they are insisting on tying funds for border security to funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

Republicans’ hard line on immigration – their claim that the southern border is the real national security crisis – has already delayed this urgently needed self-defense funding since October, endangered the work to save Ukraine, and jeopardized our position in the world.

The southern border is THAT urgent, they say.

So Senate negotiators agreed to a bill that largely was a surrender to Republican priorities. It increases funds for border protection, narrows asylum rules, and makes it easier to deport — all Republican priorities — with no mention of traditional Democratic issues such as “a path to citizenship” or DACA.

Some of the most conservative Republican senators have advised their House colleagues that this is the best bill that can ever be approved and that the chance to pass it is highly perishable. One of the bills supporters, Sen. James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma, called it a “once in a generation opportunity.”

So, you’d think the people who invented this crisis would be eager to pass this bill.

But, no, the bill is seems dead. Why? Because Republican congresspeople think the existence of the crisis helps them politically and they don’t want to give Joe Biden a win.

Think about the thundering irresponsibility of this: I’m the guy/we’re the party that claims we’re being invaded by the world’s scum. Our children are being killed by the fentanyl they bring in, they’re raping our wives and daughters, bringing crime and disease to every town in the USA. “Poisoning the blood” and “destroying the fabric” of the country. It’s an emergency. “You won’t have a country.”

… but come to think of it, “I’d rather have these rapists and fentanyl smugglers invade your neighborhood because I think that will make you vote for me.”

Meanwhile, the funding desperately needed by Ukraine has now been delayed almost six months and there’s every indication it will die with the border bill. The House Speaker has introduced a proposal that would separately approve funding for Israel but there’s no indication of movement on Ukraine, which is barely sustaining a stalemate on the ground right now. Putin knows he has no chance of prevailing on the battlefield, but his hope of victory is sustained by the House Republican majority and Donald Trump, closer allies to Putin and more loyal servants than the President of Belarus. Killing Ukraine funding is an act of betrayal and appeasement not equaled since Neville “Peace in our Time” Chamberlain gave away Sudetenland.

Now, the “I’d rather fail than let Biden have a win” mentality is spreading.. House Republicans and Democrats agreed on a tax bill: “we’ll let you guys restore the child tax credit, which will lift millions out of poverty if in return you let us give the same amount in pointless tax breaks that will do nothing but increase the federal deficit and our campaign funds.” In today’s Washington, that’s a brilliant legislative accomplishment.

But Senator Chuck Grassley has already signaled the bill is likely dead in the Senate because it might help Biden be re-elected.

It’s not that many years ago, back when the Republicans put up four 40+ state landslides in the space of five elections, that the Democrats were thought to be running on empty and the Republicans were the “party of ideas.” The collapse of this party within the span of one person’s career is one of the most remarkable political events ever.

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Leon Reed, freelance reporter, is a former US Senate staff member, defense consultant, and history teacher. He is a seven year resident of Gettysburg, where he writes military history and explores the park and the Adams County countryside. He is the publisher at Little Falls Books, chaired the Adams County 2020 Census Complete Count Committee and is on the board of SCCAP and the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. He and his wife, Lois, have 3 children, 3 cats, and 5 grandchildren.


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2 months ago

I fully agree. I’ve been centrist red for a few decades, but that’s no longer an option it seems. So much of “my” party has taken a path I want nothing to do with. Hello blue. Even though I disagree with some of what you stand for, at least you still have sanity and promote the good of the country/planet/people.

Ralph Duquette
Ralph Duquette
2 months ago

Let us not forget the 2ndary goal of the MAGA crowd in this funding mess: giving trump the win on handing Ukraine to Putin and his merry band of “We want to reconstitute the USSR.”

Mary Diner
Mary Diner
2 months ago

Spot on! Putting power and control over the good of the country seems to be the mantra for politicians. Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves.

Terry Castonguay
Terry Castonguay
2 months ago

Our democratic republic, based on a Constitution framework and a set of laws, has taken a very disturbing detour. I pray it is not too late for a course correction in our history! God bless the United States of America!

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