Whoooooooops Your Garbage Party!

This would be hilarious if only it didn't negatively affect our lives in myriad ways:
Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House majority leader, has been trying for months to remake the image of the Republican Party, from one of uncompromising conservatism to something kinder and gentler.

It isn't working so well.

On Wednesday, Republican leaders abruptly shelved one of the centerpieces of Mr. Cantor's "Making Life Work" agenda — a bill to extend insurance coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions — in the face of a conservative revolt. Last month, legislation to streamline worker retraining programs barely squeaked through. In May, Republican leaders will try again with legislation, pitched as family-friendly, to allow employers to offer comp time or "flex time" instead of overtime. But it has little prospect for Senate passage.

So it has gone. Items that Mr. Cantor had hoped would change the Republican Party's look, if not its priorities, have been ignored, have been greeted with yawns or have only worsened Republican divisions.

"We need to look at these issues through a more human lens and realize government has a role here, especially on some of these pocketbook issues," said Representative Shelley Moore Capito, Republican of West Virginia, who expressed frustration with the lock-step opposition of the House's fiercest conservatives. "Have we been successful? No. We're still trying to find our way."
Oh dear. You mean members of a party which has been explicitly built around a void of empathy, hostility to the social contract, and the entrenchment of privilege aren't enthusiastically embracing compassionate governance on behalf of vulnerable people who don't share their privileges? I am shocked, I tell you. SHOCKED.

Decades ago, the Republican Party embraced a conservative ideology which scoffs at such hippie nonsense as social welfare and advocates an Ownership Society. Every person for hirself, and fuck you if you're failed by this fucked-up culture in which we pretend everyone is equal but national candidates disagree about whether people are entitled to food.

But a society of disconnected individuals without responsibility for one another isn't a society at all. And no matter how hostile to the notions of a social contract conservatives may be, the fact stubbornly remains that we are all connected to and influenced by a culture—a culture that has been severely weakened and imperiled and made infinitely more dangerous for its oppressed members by a conservative approach that rejects human interdependency and shared accountability.

But instead of acknowledging the reality of having created an ever more difficult path to the (gossamer) "American Dream" for marginalized people, instead of owning it, conservatives dismiss calls for social accountability, and double down on the notion of individual responsibility.

We are in this together. "Bootstraps" doesn't fucking cut it.

I hope Congressman Cantor appreciates the rich irony of being tasked with finding an individual solution to the systemic problem of his party's cruel indifference.

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