The Republican Party in the U.S. has taken an unwarranted hard right turn since the inception of the Tea Party. While it seemed that the R.I. Repubs had rejected this all-or-nothing approach to governance, I see more and more influence of a stridently vocal minority in shaping the policy decisions and opinions of Rhode Island’s smallest party.
Let's take Rep. Doreen Costa who, during the shakeup in leadership in the RI House, said she was backing Rep. Nicholas Mattiello simply because, "He's not a Progressive."
Is this the new face of the RI republicans? Can they be counted on to eschew bipartisanship over perceived ideological differences? Is that what Rhode Island needs right now? Moreover, do her constituents feel represented by this stance?
I thought that the Republicans in the RI House were dead set on breaking the existing power structure. As a matter of fact, I wrote a piece on Rhode Island's most liberal blog championing the House Repubs quest to do so (and caught a ton of shit for it!) writing, "Sorry, RI F***** readers, House Democrats came down on the wrong side of open government and public notice on this one."
Recently, in what I thought was an effort to build some bipartisanship in RI, I asked - via Twitter - the RI Tea Party and #TCOTs (get on Twitter, fascinating stuff) to give their opinion on the recent McCutcheon v. FEC Supreme Court ruling. The ruling basically furthered the 2010 Citizens United v. FEC ruling and reinforced the 1976 ruling in Buckley v. Valeo.
In short, these decisions confirm that corporations are people, and that spending money equals free speech.
The traditional RI Republican balks at these concepts, and yet the current crop of so-called conservatives had nothing but praise for the ruling.
Justin Katz (via Twitter) Good. Restricting money in politics only sends it further into the shadows.
Question: Sends money or politics further into the shadows? Is either good for the populace?
RI Tea Party (via Twitter) Corps are not machines they are ppl w/the same rights as everyone else
Question: If corporations are people, do self-defense or stand your ground laws apply, and why are they not prosecuted for murder, collusion, negligence, etc.?
Mike Stenhouse (Chair of RI Repubs, via Twitter) Unions, individ's, & corps treated the same. Free speech trumps all
Question: Why are they not treated the same? Individuals get prosecuted for crimes, unions get vilified for (gasp!) asking to be paid fairly and retire in some level of comfort. Corporations get a slap on the wrist and a "Keep up the good work, you job creator, you," for any infraction on the public health or well being. It is ABSURD!
Corporations have proven, time and time again, that the unregulated market DOES NOT WORK. Look at the investigation of General Motors, where for the cost of 57 cents per vehicle, the company kept from recalling hundreds of thousands of cars for ten years. The lack of recall caused at least 13 deaths, but they are not being prosecuted for murder, or even negligent homicide.
If you want to treat corporations like people, let's prosecute them in the same manner. Republicans should enforce the same moral imperatives on corporations as they do on people.