, Gloucester, MA

May 9, 2013

Key GOP questions that deserve answers

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

This is an open letter to state Sen. Bruce Tarr and U.S. Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez.

Can either of you answer this question for me, and the many other people who are asking it; “What has happened to your party?’”

How did a political party that once produced leaders of integrity and genuine statesmen and women devolve into the party that now produces the likes of Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Ted Cruz, Steve King, Rand Paul, Kelly Ayotte, Michele Bachmann, and Sarah Palin?

Mitch McConnell, your party’s U.S. Senate Minority Leader, made clear in early 2009 that making Barack Obama a one term president was your party’s primary agenda, not working with the new president to address the nation’s worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Now, I am a liberal Democrat who neither voted for nor agreed much with George Walker Bush.

But I supported his military response in Afghanistan after 9/11. On the op-ed pages of the Daily Times’ sister paper, The Daily News of Newburyport the summer I lived and worked there, I also lauded his collaborative efforts with Sen. John McCain and Ted Kennedy to move immigration reform forward. I loudly sang his praises, as did many other liberals, for doing more as president than any of his predecessors, including Bill Clinton, to expand access to life saving AIDS medications to millions of desperately poor people in sub-Saharan Africa.

But your party, gentlemen, at both the leadership and rank and file levels, seems almost pathological in its hatred of President Obama and its unwillingness to meet him half way on anything.

As a result, millions of Americans are suffering unnecessarily, our admittedly still too slow economic recovery is in jeopardy, and the U.S. is increasingly looked at by many around the world as a country that has grown so politically dysfunctional it can no longer be viewed as a reliable partner or global leader.

Lest you doubt what I am saying, Pat Twomey, the GOP senator from Pennsylvania who co-authored the defeated gun background check legislation, legislation supported by 90 percent of Americans by the way, exposed the GOP’s true hand when he said in a recent interview that most of his Republican Senate colleagues voted against the background check measure simply to embarrass and spite President Obama and to avoid the primary wrath of your party’s right wing, extremist base.

Sen. Tarr and Mr. Gomez, has your party sunk so low and become so consumed by its hatred of the president, not to mention fear of its own radical, right wing base, that disrespecting dead children and their grieving parents is now considered appropriate material in a political ad?

I mean no disrespect, gentlemen, but these are issues and questions honorable and decent Republicans like yourselves have an obligation to address — unless, of course, you, like so many others in your party, think such tactics are acceptable and beneficial to the nation’s political discourse.

I, and many others, await your responses.