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Carl Gibson

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The GOP Is Officially a Third Party

Posted: 09/25/2012 4:02 pm

If one political party's standard-bearer for president wrote off half of the electorate as people who would never vote for them, and had a message that only appealed to and was catered specifically toward only 1 percent of the voting public, why should anyone take that party or that candidate seriously enough for them to have a shot at winning?

It's understandable that Mitt Romney wrote off half of the electorate because he and his friends in the American corporatocracy simply speak entirely different languages. Even though the nation's median income, which is already a statistic skewed far higher than normal by outliers at the top, is only $50,000. But according to Romney, a household making a quarter of a million dollars a year, which only 2 percent of households make, is "middle class." And $360,000 for speaking fees, which is greater than six median -ncome families make per year, combined, is apparently not a lot of money. His assertion that the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income tax are government moochers applies to a wide swath of Americans. This includes working families with children making anywhere from $30,000 to more than $50,000 who pay negative federal income tax rates thanks to programs like the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Besides, Romney himself benefited from a $10 million bailout at Bain Capital. For a family of three on welfare to receive as much help from Uncle Sam as Mitt Romney, they'd have to be on welfare for 328 years.

For those still convinced that the GOP should still be a major party, Romney's gaffes notwithstanding, take a look at how the Republicans in the House of Representatives have voted over the last few years, particularly for the budgets they've proposed and endorsed. While they have no problem voting down tax cuts for middle class households (those making less than $250,000 a year), Republicans have steadfastly endorsed cutting taxes for the top 1 percent to even lower levels in their official budget proposal. That same budget makes the bulk of its cuts from social programs that are primarily there to benefit the middle class and the poor. The House Republican budget even makes part of its $4 trillion in cuts by ending federal funding for school lunch programs, meaning 280,000 poor kids would have less to eat, all so millionaires can have even bigger tax cuts.

Not to be outdone, Senate Republicans unanimously voted down a bill that would stop taxpayer subsidies for corporations that fired American workers and shipped their jobs overseas. They voted down assistance for homeless female veterans, and even just recently voted down a bill that would have provided jobs to unemployed veterans. The American Jobs Act, which would have created around two million new jobs for teachers, first responders and construction workers across the US, was unanimously rejected by Senate Republicans around this time last year. The reason? To pay for all of those new jobs, taxes on millionaires would have gone up by a few percentage points. Anyone who legitimately believes the Republican Party is there to serve anyone but 1 percent of the public is simply delusional.

Mitt Romney is now tanking in the polls, Republicans' chances of taking back the Senate, despite 33 seats up for grabs, have fallen to 21 percent, and even John Boehner admits there's a 1-in-3 chance he won't be Speaker next year. We are witnessing a full-on implosion of the Republican Party. GOP used to stand for "Grand Old Party," but it now stands for "Greedy Old Plutocrats." The Republican Party is now no longer a major party, and their nominee for the presidency openly mocking poor people at a $50,000-per-plate fundraiser is no better indicator.

Since the GOP is an irrelevant third party now, and still being invited to the presidential debates, how about we let other third party candidates debate? Jill Stein, from the Green Party, has a 2 percent rating in the polls despite a fraction of the fundraising capacity, and is on the ballot in 38 states. Libertarian Gary Johnson is winning voters over as a presidential candidate who acknowledges the corporate corruption of the two major parties and the electoral process as a whole. All third parties deserve to be heard by the American voting public on the debate stage.

Even the Republicans.

 

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