Another moderate-conservative sees the Republican Party on the verge of political suicide


Yesterday, I shared HERE David Brooks’ concern that the GOP is flirting with self-destruction in resisting immigration reform.

Today, similar concerns are expressed HERE by Kathleen Parker:

Republicans seem to be adopting the self-immolation tactics of principled martyrs.

Of course, principled or not, you’re still dead in the end.

At this stage in the second term of the president they couldn’t defeat, Republicans seem more like stubborn children refusing to come out of their rooms for supper, even though the alternative is going to bed hungry.

This simile is unavoidable in light of the House’s passage of a farm bill without any provision for food stamps — the first in 40 years…

These two programs historically were tied together in the spirit of — watch out now — compromise. And, though food stamps certainly will be funded, probably at current levels, through some other vehicle, Republicans managed to create yet another partisan problem where none existed and opened themselves up for gratuitous criticism.

Was this really the right fight at the right time?

The wrong time would be in the midst of the politically life-altering debate on immigration reform. Again, congressional Republicans want to parse reform in pieces, excluding the 11 million or so immigrants here illegally, instead of dealing with reform comprehensively, as the Senate has done — and as most Americans think necessary.

Republicans do have a point, in theory. Comprehensive bills are cumbersome and difficult to enforce…

But 90 percent of life is picking your battles, and congressional Republicans keep picking the wrong ones…

Republicans are not shooting straight when they insist that the Senate bill’s path to citizenship is de facto amnesty. As paths go, it’s a 13-year pilgrimage along a precipice lined with bramble bushes — taxes, fines and various burning hoops through which one must leap in order to stand in line. Hardly rose-petal strewn…

What Republicans are selling appeals to an ever-diminishing market that doesn’t even include their erstwhile allies in business and industry. And their self-immolation may prove to have been nothing more than a bonfire of vanities.



  1. Brian Opsahl

    Even if republicans let this bill come up for a vote and it passed nobody would use it. have you looked at this bill it’s filled with pipe dream ideas that these folks would be able to come up with back taxes and all the other fees attached…earth to congress these people have no money..that’s why they came here.

  2. Neftali

    Removing food stamps from the farm bill is the correct course of action. There are more people on food stamps today than there are working adults. It is a large enough program that it should be voted on within its own merits.

  3. Brian Opsahl

    So is giving the farm set-aside program more money….while cutting food for Americans is the right course…? are you serious…?

  4. Neftali

    I never mentioned “cutting food.” I said it needs to be voted on within its own merits. There is a huge difference. All this bundling of unrelated issues (call it riders or earmarks) is what drives up government spending.

    If we need all the food stamp allocation, then debate on it by itself, and vote on it by itself.

    The farm set aside program was originally intended to artificially keep grain prices higher, so small family farms could stay in business. It’s practice was stopped with the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996.

  5. Brian Opsahl

    Ok, you didn’t, but when you start with removing food stamps…well..?

    I bet that the fact that they did indeed cut the funds for the food stamp program makes you happy..nef..?.

    Any takers…?

  6. Neftali

    Just because you cut overall funding does not mean you stop giving out to those who need it. I’ve seen receipts of people buying high priced grocery items like steak, lobster, and caviar using food stamps. Other receipts have shown people spending their money all on junk food. Some states are better with how they handle food stamps than others.

    So before you see a reduction in overall expenditures, let’s look at the fine print before making any rash judgements, okay?

  7. Brian Opsahl

    Again I agree Nef,

    I don’t like it one bit when I see that..it makes my skin crawl to be honest.
    We have many that need this but there are many that take advantage of it.
    We spend way more on corporate welfare than we do on the true needy, That I have a huge problem with that.

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