Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson is one of the most vocal and outspoken members of the GOP today and he’s not afraid to openly criticize his party when it deserves it. Simpson once again gave his party a tongue lashing during an interview with the Los Angeles Times, slamming the Republican Party and the Tea Party for their refusal to compromise, their attempts to legislate the private lives of Americans in the name of religion, and the stupidity, racism, sexism, and homophobia running rampant in the party.
Simpson referred to his party’s immovable stance on sequester cuts as “stupid” and “madness,” blaming the way the cuts were done on “emotion, fear, guilt or racism.” Republicans absolutely refused to work with Democrats and President Obama to avoid the across the board budget slashes that affect Medicare, programs that help children, women, and the poor, jobs, the environment, and multiple other government functions. This led Simpson to blast Republicans, especially those associated with the Tea Party, for their choice to obstruct rather than compromise, calling them “seethers” who “are as rigid as a fireplace poker, but without the occasional warmth.” In other words, angry and hateful people who lack compassion and empathy. Simpson used the example of the Founding Fathers and the writing of the Constitution as an example of how compromise is part of the fabric of American government and then suggested that those who refuse to do so shouldn’t be in government.
“If you are a legislator and you can’t learn to compromise an issue without compromising yourself, get out of the business,” Simpson continued. “In fact, don’t ever get married, either. You don’t want any part of that.”
But the interview didn’t stop there. Simpson also had strong words for Republicans who are trying to legislate our private and personal lives based on an interpretation of a religious text. In the past, conservatism was all about keeping government out of our private lives, but today, Republicans have been demonstrating the exact definition of government intrusion that they claim to be against. Together, with support of the so-called “Christian” Right, Republicans have been attempting and in many cases succeeding to legislate the personal lives of women and homosexuals, mostly in the form of anti-abortion measures that take away choice and discriminatory bans of same-sex marriage and bills allowing health professionals to refuse services if they have religious objections. Alan Simpson flatly rejects what the current Republican Party is doing on these issues.
On the issue of abortion, Simpson stated that while he personally opposes it, he stands by women having the right to choose, saying that “it’s a deeply intimate and personal thing,” and that “Men legislators shouldn’t even vote on it.” Simpson then went on to blast Republicans for being “homophobic” and for violating the privacy of others in order to cater to a religious group.
“You’re a Republican, you believe in get-out-of-your-life and the precious right to privacy, the right to be left alone,” Simpson stated. “Well then, pal, I don’t care what you do. You can go worship the Great Eel at night, I don’t give a rat’s… But don’t mess with me and don’t then go take a position I have and wrap religion around it.”
Simpson then put an exclamation point on the interview, placing a final label on the entirety of what Republican governance has been all about over the last few years, saying “I don’t know how to get any clearer, but I know what bullshit is.”
In the late 1940’s, America had “Giv’em Hell” Harry Truman to call out Republicans for what they are. Today, we have “Giv’em Hell” Alan Simpson. The only difference is that Truman was a Democrat, while Simpson is a Republican. You can tell the GOP is strangling itself when even members of their own party are criticizing them for their extreme views. All I can say is that watching the GOP civil war is the most enjoyable thing I’ve been able to witness in all of politics lately, and I hope Simpson and others continue to hit the Republican Party with all the punches they have.