Political commentator and griot Walter Rhett writes in his blog Black History 360* about "... the condescension in the tone and attitude..." which characterizes the spirit of the Republican leadership's responses to President Barack Obama. Mr Rhett notes that it is:
" ...as if (Boehner) is reminding the President of his betters (the caucus of white Republican men in Congress), as if he is threatening the President while pretending to offer friendly political advice, ..."
My friend Walter Rhett is not alone in his assessment of what I am calling the froth coming from the mouths of the Republican leadership. Other political observers have characterized the GOP's responses to the President's actions on issues like Immigration Reform as "toothless griping". What is disturbing to many is the obvious lack of cultural grace, or the no show of just plain good manners that has become a part of the attitude and language of the President's critics. They seem to have gotten to that shallow place in political discourse where to be perceived as effective they must display that gross incivility which the worst elements of their base find culturally reassuring.
To satisfy the depraved political and cultural cravings of those whose objections to the POTUS are rooted in an underground of political and cultural motives that are adverse to the interests of a progressive society; they continue to resort to rhetoric that defiles the sensibilities of a civilized society. To object to the Affordable Care Act they talk about "death panels". To distract our attention away from the humane consideration of the strangers among us they carelessly talk about "anarchy". They have no answers... Only questions about the President's motives and methods. Instead of offering improvements... They seek to tear down everything the President seeks to build. Instead of the art of compromise they demand their way... Or no way. Instead of dialogue... they continue to shout "hell no!".
What ails these Republicans? We note their shouts and screams... But is what we are hearing the declarations of an empowered political entity, or signals of their existential pain? Let’s call this “condescending tone” by it’s real name. It is the verbal mask that a feckless Opposition wears to hide the fact of its subservience. Boehner's is nothing more than the voice of organizations like Heritage and others who share their existential angst. Confronted with this symbolically powerful Presidency, they realize that they now live in a new cultural/political paradigm.
The Boehners and McConnells et al in the political arena decided that if they couldn’t limit President Obama to one term, they would do everything they could to prevent him from governing. An enlivened electorate beat back their regressive voices in 2008 and 2012; giving this President an opportunity that few Presidents in the modern era have had... a second term. Now they must deal with the fact that the change that President Obama symbolizes is an enduring fact of the new and evolving demographic reality.
Let them continue to froth at the mouth… The times, they are a changing. The froth we witness coming from the mouths of these Republicans is a result of the pain from their internal cultural "weeping and wailing". As presently constituted their days are numbered. They have no future in a dynamic democracy that acts against the suppression of voters rights and the naked fraud of gerrymandering. This froth is also symbolic of the vapidity of their political and cultural postulations. On the major issues of our day... healthcare , a liveable wage, a sustainable environment, immigration reform, international security, and infrastructure redevelopment... They've got nothing. Their anxious regurgitation of empty objections will not endure in the persistent wind of our ever-changing reality.