Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Petty Politics, Indeed

Just how small-minded has the Republican Party become in the 21st century? Check out this news report, from Salon, about what should have been some non-controversial legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to honor Pope Francis:
The Republican Party today makes a real effort to associate itself with organized religion, frequently portraying itself as the defender of tradition and faith. So it’s a little bit surprising to see that a symbolic bill intended to honor pope Francis is having trouble making its way through the House of Representatives--and it’s the GOP that is to blame.

Yet while Republicans’ wariness of the extremely popular pope may be odd, its most likely explanation is a good example of what is currently the leading motivation of most GOP policy stances today: All-out opposition to President Obama.

Indeed, it’s hard to interpret Republicans’ unwillingness to endorse the pope any other way. Only 19 of the bill’s 221 co-sponsors come from the GOP, a reality that one anonymous source told the Hill is due to Republicans’ worries that pope Francis’ skepticism of unregulated capitalism makes him “too liberal” and too much like the president.

Chief among his sins, apparently, is his previous use of the phrase “trickle-down economics,” which was previously used by people on both the left and the right to describe supply-side policies but is now, according to one anonymous Republican, “politically charged.” Republicans are also reportedly uncomfortable with Francis’ strong support of human equality.
You’ll find the full Salon piece here.

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