GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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February 28, 2013

Letter: Senate scramble shows state of GOP

To the editor;

Could it be that Massachusetts Republicans will be unable to field a viable candidate in the special election to fill the Senate seat long held by John Kerry?

It certainly looks that way.

These can’t be easy days to be a Republican in Massachusetts. In fact, these can’t be easy days to be a Republican anywhere.

In some ways, what has happened to the GOP in recent years is reminiscent of what happened to the Democratic Party in the late 1960s when it moved too far to the left and alienated millions of moderate and independent American voters.

The Republican Party over the last decade has moved so far to the right and allowed itself to be taken over at its base by a minority of peope so extreme in their views that the party is in danger of becoming irrelevant, especially at the national level.

There is a real irony in the fact Ronald Reagan would likely not be conservative enough for the overwhelmingly white, far right, Tea Party extremists who now dominate the GOP base. After all, the Gipper raised taxes close to a dozen times during his tenure as president and compromised with Democratic leaders on numerous ocassions. Heck, he even liked some of them!

Compromise and cooperation are dirty words to the most extreme, right wing, Tea Party elements of today’s GOP.

Republican and Democratic politicians have always disagreed on many things but they also had the capacity, when the greater good called for it, to find ways to ameliorate their differences and act in the best interests of the nation. There are countless examples of that reality throughout our nation’s history.

Politics in a democratic republic cannot function if there is no room for compromise or a willingness on the part of both parties to give up a little of this to get some of that.

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