Outgoing Lawmaker to GOP: Obama ‘Hatred’ Destroying ‘Credible’ Conservatism
December 31, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)— At least one outgoing Republican Congressman, who lost to a fringe tea party candidate, is refusing to engage in the rabid hatred of President Obama. As he prepares to leave Congress, Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) is warning his fellow Republicans to end the vicious character assassination of our President, or risk destroying the “credible conservative” movement altogether. The election of our first black president two-years ago in a landslide victory ushered in a new season of hope, after eight long years of war, illegal torture and economic malpractice under the Bush/Cheney administration. But the election of Barack Obama also unleashed a wave of hysterical xenophobia and racism from the right-wing malcontents, the likes of which our country has not seen in modern times. President Obama was smeared as an unpatriotic Nazi, Socialist, Marxist and Communist, as well as a secret Muslim, an illegal alien and a scary Manchurian candidate. The idea was to portray our President as some sort of “other,” a foreign usurper who is not a “real” American. The insane pathological hatred of President Obama by the right-wing teapartiers, became so intense, it was even given a name, Obama Derangement Syndrome.
The tea party’s hate and extremism carried the GOP to electoral victories in November. So, now what? The Republicans in the House now have the majority and the responsibility to govern. But by all accounts, the hate, bigotry, race-baiting, anti-government radicalism, and right-wing extremism will continue unabated. And that’s what worries outgoing Congressman Inglis. He told would like to see a return to what he calls the “optimistic conservatism” of Ronald Reagan.
Reagan’s use of social wedge issues to demonize the poor as “Welfare Queens,” and his attack on Medicare as “socialized medicine” is hardly optimistic, but still Inglis is to be commended for rejecting the unbridled hate and extremism that has overtaken the Republican Party.
Inglis made his remarks on CNN, as reported by The Hill newspaper.
“We’ll get through and we’ll get back to optimistic conservatism,” he said. “We just got to get through this unfortunate period,” added he lost his election for refusing to join “in the real bitterness toward the president.”
“I don’t call him a socialist because he’s not,” he said. “I don’t doubt that he was born in Hawaii because he was. I don’t call him a Muslim because he says he’s a Christian. And I didn’t say anything about death panels because there weren’t any in that health care bill,” said Inglis.
The outgoing lawmaker lamented that the hate and extremism from the GOP, minus any solutions to our country’s problems, would destroy conservatism as he once knew it.
“I believe if you’re going to lead a credible conservative movement, you got to start with credible information,” added Inglis.
And credible information does not include wild birther conspiracies and smears that President Obama is a secret Muslim.
“How are we going to get to that if we’re embroiled in this mosh pit about where we maul each other about whether he’s a socialist and a secret Muslim and whatever when we should be saying is, listen, you disagree with him,” he said. “We conservatives have better ideas that will really work. But we don’t need to attack him as a person,” Inglis said.
This is not the first time the lawmaker from South Carolina has lamented over the direction of his Party toward fringe extremism. Soon after his defeat to a teapartier, he condemned his party for playing on voters’ fears and advancing conspiracy theories and racism that are promoted on Fox News. And he took his fellow lawmakers to task for rejecting science by denying the existence of global warming, as reported by Think Progress.
“There are people who make a lot of money on talk radio and talk TV saying a lot of things. They slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night, and they’re experts on climate change. They substitute their judgment for people who have Ph.D.s and work tirelessly [on climate change].”
Will the Republican Party heed Inglis’ warning? Not a chance.