The Republicans passionate pursuit of extremism are promises meant to be kept. Repeal the Affordable Care Act — what they call Obamacare —, keep the Bush taxcuts for the wealthiest, engage in rapid growth for nuclear weapons and surround as many countries as possible with missile defense. Keep government weak domestically and bloated on national security.
This is Social Darwinism domestically and abandons the Biblical imperative of taking care of the poor, the young, the widowed and those who are strangers.
On national security it pursues a policy of destabiliazation when what is called for is tough minded, careful and realistic negotiation that will secure agreements to create a world that is safe and free of nuclear weapons.
Republicans mean what they say. They isolate those who served past Republican Presidents well: George Shultz, James Baker, even Henry Kissinger. Brent Scowcroft is effectively excommunicated and Howard Baker is ignored.
The point was driven home to me as I read the obituary of Admiral James D. Watkins, a cold warrior who was enlisted to help fight HIV AIDS and to advance the law of the Sea, asked to do so by Bush the Elder and Bush the Younger. Whether or not you agreed with Watkins’ perspective he was a dedicated public servant.
Republican oppositon to the Law of the Sea frustrated him. The Treaty expands access to deep sea oil and natural gas drilling while adopting parties to adopt anti-pollution regulations. Watkins said, perfectly sensibly, ” We need to be in the game at the table, talking about fishries management, mineral extraction, freedom of navigation.”
I’d say these are self-evident truths. Instead this summer Republican Senators stood in the Senate door and said no to the Law of the Sea Treaty ratification. Business support for the treaty is ignored. Republican exceptionalism is if the rest of the world approves of something– think Law of the Sea– we must reject it.
Any one Republican action, or lack of action, is extremism. Taken together the Republicans have reached extremism to the nth power.