Will the GOP Find Its Center?

GOP leaders in Congress have swerved dramatically toward the center in recent days following Pres. Obama’s declaration of intent against Syria’s Bashir Al Assad.

Speaker of the House John Boehner was the first GOP to publicly support the President’s intention, stating that,  “This is something the United States as a country needs to do,” and setting a tone for mainline GOP response.

Boehner’s endorsement came after meeting with Obama on 3 September. The Ohio Republican urged his compatriots to follow suit and Majority Leader Eric Cantor did just that, adding his pledge of support to Obama’s planned military strike.

This surprising backing of leading Republicans, who have demonstrated a cohesive rejection of the President since his reelection, set off a maelstrom among the extremist elements of the party.

The twitterati went beserk, denouncing Boehner as a “traitor” and a “boot-licking slave” to Obama. Others increased their level of defamation toward the President, labeling him a “fake-president” and “liar” consorting with al Qaida and plotting to start WWIII. And those were the mild reactions.

The violent, often incoherent and  twisted logic of these tweets and their total rejection of any idea outside their narrow range of perception marks this group as a confederacy of dunces.

Tea Party patriots and neo-cons have successfully removed themselves from the circle of civilized conversation. Their public hatred of the President also sets them up as tools for any power averse to U.S. interests. In other words, they make perfect spies and traitors. In fact, many tweets sound as if they are written in the voice of an al Qaida operative or jihadist.

The President gave Boehner, Cantor et al the perfect opportunity to disassociate themselves from this virulent element and reestablish the GOP’s moderate center. Congressional members have the choice now of parroting the wild chatter of neocons like Beck and Limbaugh or presenting themselves as a stable, governing body of the world’s largest and mightiest nation. Those who recognize the extreme need for balancing the Republican party and restoring order to Congress are welcoming the President’s deferral.

Meanwhile Rand Paul and Louie Gohmert can claim representation of the ever-shrinking voice of extremist elements in the U.S. They can be the face of the gun nuts, the misogynists, the science-deniers, the conspiracy theorists, the survivalists and the mentally unsound.

Let’s hope this realignment sticks.

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