Occasionally we see the underbelly of the Republican Party when members make outrageous remarks. But what really goes on when House or Senate Republicans caucus? These meetings are all secret (as are the Democratic ones).
Early in the first Obama Administration, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said “his number-one goal was to make sure that Barack Obama was a one-term president.” Was he speaking only for himself for all or most Senate Republicans? After he said it, what was the reaction within the Republican caucus?
These are all questions to which we don’t know the answers. And it’s doubtful that any non-Republican will sneak a hidden camera into a caucus meeting the way it was done at a Mitt Romney fundraiser in May, 2012 (but not revealed until September of that year).
Is there any Republican in either the Senate or House GOP caucus who finds the meanness of many Republicans to be so repugnant that he or she feels compelled to inform the whole world of what’s going on behind closed doors? Is there any Republican who feels that the GOP is too negative about the role of government, that it’s only defined by negativity, or that he or she came to Washington to do something other than further tighten the grip of gridlock?
If there is such a person, it would be a true act of statespersonship to come forward and tell the rest of us what’s going on in these meetings. It’s doubtful that such a “whistle blower” would come from a district that is solidly red. But there are Republicans who won in competitive districts and those Republicans have the same right to attend the caucus meetings as anyone else.
Acts of courage in Congress are not unprecedented; John F. Kennedy and Theodore Sorenson wrote about them back in 1956 in their book Profiles in Courage. This Republican would not only receive praise from Progressives, but also from many moderates including the remaining vestige of “mainstream Republicans.” He or she might not win re-election, at least as a Republican, but this person could receive high accolades in the present time and very positive assessment when viewed through the eyes of history.
Other Republicans in Congress, such as McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, would have to scramble to try to convince the general public that they are not as bad as the whistle-blower depicts. But the reality would be best expressed through the words of one of their deceased own (former Vice-President Spiro Agnew), they are “nattering nabobs of negativity.” Many of the destructive elements of the Republican machine are available to all of us now; others lurk behind closed doors. Now is the time for the rest of us to see the full Republican Party as it really is. Will a courageous and not so nasty Republican please step forward?