The newspaper headline proclaimed that the Democrats did thus and such (details unimportant) and that their proposal "Angered the GOP." This is unalloyed tommyrot — and un-newsworthy to boot. One cannot anger modern Republicans: They are frothing mad each and every waking moment of every single day — weekends and holidays, too. In nightly slumber, they grind their teeth something awful.
The term "angry Republicans" is a redundancy that rivals "lazy cats" and "moist muskrats."
Take Sen. John McCain. He owns more houses than he can count (eight in 2008) and is perpetually in a snit even though real estate values are trending upward. He waxes angry with fellow Republicans on occasion; plus he can't wait to start another war in the Middle East.
So, it is hardly news that the Grand Old Party-Poopers are angry. I know they're angry. You know they're angry. They themselves may suspect as much (although introspection is not their long suit). The real scoop would read something like this: "Republicans, Happy as Clams on Medical Marijuana, Agree to Meet Democrats Halfway."
So what are these descendants of Lincoln and Roosevelt (Teddy) so all-fire, rip-snorting, dad-blamed peeved about?
There's a Democrat in the White House, for starters. No one apparently told Sen. Mitch McConnell or Rep. John "Coppertone" Boehner that this happens from time to time. From 1933, when America was economically on all fours, until 1953, it was all Democrats all the time in the Oval Office. They had majorities in both houses of Congress for most of that period as well. During those 20 years America whipped the Depression, the Germans and the Japanese.
What else is Mr. Rightwing Republican (sorry, another redundancy: there are no moderate Republicans left, at least in Washington) perpetually hyperventilating about? Well, he looks around doesn't see many people who look like him: that would be aging angry white men.
There are Republican women, of course, but they are wildly underrepresented in the leadership. Only four of the 20 women in the United States Senate, for example, are Republican. President Barack Obama garnered 56 percent of the women's votes in 2012. That's called a landslide.
The Republicans today have a majority of the 535 members of the U.S. House and Senate, but the party that claims the Great Emancipator as its founding father can point to (this is not a misprint) but one, single, solitary African American in Congress. And how is the party of Sen. Marco Rubio doing with Hispanics? President Obama received nearly 75 percent of their vote in 2012 (that's not a landslide, it's a massacre).
There is a strong case that the GOP isn't running a political party, but rather a country club. They know they need to appeal to Hispanics (among other groups, such as young people and gays) or they will be out of business, but they can't help themselves, literally. When talking about immigration many Republican leaders sound like that grumpy old white man played by Clint "Talks to Chairs" Eastwood in the movie "Gran Torino" — "Get off of my [bleeping] lawn!"
What else raises modern "Republi-CAN'T" hackles?
• Government (when they are not heading it)
• Budget deficits (when they are not in power)
• Science (it upsets their dogma on evolution, global warming etc.)
• Environmental protection
• A woman's right to choose
• Food stamps for dependent children
• Taxes, particularly on rich people
• Spending, except for the military and foreign wars
• Absolutely anything President Obama proposes ever
The modern GOP may sing paeans to Teddy Roosevelt, but, if the Rough Rider were galloping for high office today , tea partyers would be standing in line to primary him. Ronald Reagan's penchant for cutting deals with Democrats and raising taxes (saints preserve us!) would equate him with Neville Chamberlain in the eyes of today's GOP screed-ocracy.
Sen. Barry Goldwater, who ran for president in 1964, was considered by many Americans to be a tad too extreme in his beliefs. He lost in a landslide. Today, many of his fellow Republicans would consider him a milquetoast.