By Robert Reich
(This article originally appeared in Robert Reich’s blog on Aug. 21, 2012)
The Republican Party platform committee has included a provision banning all abortions, without even an exception for rape or incest. This is basically Todd Akin’s position. (At least the GOP platform doesn’t assert that women’s bodies automatically reject “legitimate” rapists’ sperm.)
Meanwhile, Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan provides ample evidence to senior citizens (and anyone within range of becoming one) that the GOP aims to eliminate Medicare as we know it and shift health costs directly on to the elderly.
Ryan’s selection is also shows that the GOP’s budget goal is to harm the poor and reward the rich rather than to reduce the budget deficit. Over 60 percent of Ryan’s spending cuts come out of programs for lower-income Americans. Meanwhile, his tax cuts for the rich reduce revenues by $4.6 trillion over the decade while saving the typical millionaire hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
At the same time, the GOP remains unwaivering in its support of state laws allowing or encouraging the profiling of Latinos. And unrelenting in its war against gay rights.
We’re witnessing the implosion of what was once a great party. Its capture by the extreme right is becoming more apparent by the day.
And it’s not just women, seniors, budget hawks, the poor, Latinos, and gays who are catching on. Americans who don’t fall into one of these categories are becoming alarmed, too — as they should.
Yet although the GOP crackup may bode well for Democrats this coming Election Day, it bodes ill for America. The capture of one of our great parties by fanatics is nothing to celebrate. A democracy needs at least two sane political parties.
Robert B. Reich, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers “Aftershock” and “The Work of Nations.” His latest is an e-book, “Beyond Outrage.” He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause.
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