The Year of the Republican Loon

House Speaker John Boehner (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
House Speaker John Boehner (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In his Daily News column, Stanley Crouch examines the field of Republican presidential candidates and elected officials and concludes that the right showed itself to be more over the top than ever in 2011.


Although this new year is just beginning, it is clear that we are still fighting some version of the Civil War, North against South, urban American life versus the rural version. Perhaps we get the most insight into our ongoing problem from the “Goon Show” tendencies that have taken over the GOP.

Those tendencies come through the influence of the Tea Party, which has no respect for compromise. We recently saw its power when some in the House of Representatives pushed Speaker John Boehner into a position on the payroll tax holiday that brought the elephants scorn from every corner of America — even from fellow Republicans like Sen. Mitch McConnell.

President Obama and his troops had the Republicans backed into a corner where they might lose at least a few of the gains that the 2010 midterm election had given them, and Republicans aware of how angry voters were over the issue did not intend to be smashed against the wall by some congressional refusal to extend the payroll tax holiday as promised. One must always stand tall, but sometimes you have to know when to slide if it is too hard to glide.

Today’s GOP reflects in detail what happened to it when rednecks left the Democratic Party and became Republicans. It was a done deal when Presidents Nixon and Reagan made it clear that being something as American as a redneck would not cause party bosses to close the door on them.

Read Stanley Crouch's entire column at the Daily News.