Where would the GOP’s hostage fiasco rank on the list of modern Republican misdeeds? The list, alas, isn’t brief. We could go through Hoover’s failures of the late 1920s, or perhaps Joe McCarthy’s crusade in the 1950s. Nixon’s crimes in the early 1970s are legendary, as are the many Reagan-era scandals -- Iran-Contra, criminal fiasco at H.U.D., the Savings & Loan debacle -- of the 1980[s]. The more contemporary offenses are no doubt fresher in everyone’s minds: the Gingrich/Dole government shutdowns, the Clinton impeachment debacle, the Bush v. Gore scandal, the politicization of the Justice Department, the Plame scandal… I still think there’s something unique about the Republicans holding the full faith and credit of the United States hostage, threatening to impose a catastrophe on all of us, on purpose, to achieve a specific (and unnecessary) policy goal. What’s more, note that no elected GOP officials -- literally, not one -- ever stood up during this process to say, “Wait, this is wrong. We shouldn’t do this.” They all just went along… This wasn’t just another partisan dispute; it was a scandal for the ages. It’s the kind of thing that should scar the Republican Party for many years to come.Given the litany itself, it is of course quite clear that Republican crimes and scandals and frauds don't leave scars. A party that must deceive to achieve its goals (either convincing majorities to go along with or demoralizing majorities into acquiescing to maintaining incumbent-elite minorities in extremely disproportionate power and wealth) isn't exactly deterred by the occasional exposure of its scams, a party of authoritarian know-nothing greedheads misbehaves, like the scorpion in the fable it's in their nature, it isn't exactly something they can be argued or shamed out of.
I personally think the greatest crime was Bush v. Gore in 2000, an illegal Supreme Court enabled putsch that revealed the vulnerability of our civic institutions across all layers of governance and sent many decent timid democrats into their snail shells and set the stage for many of the outrages of the Killer Clown administration of George W. Bush. Calling it a "scandal" doesn't begin to capture that truth. I also think the Republican shenanigans with the Iranian hostage situation to stage-manage the green-prescient Jimmy Carter's defeat and place the execrable Ronald Reagan in the White House was a turning point toward darkness from which the nation will not fully recover in my lifetime.
But what do you think? What especially appalling Republican scoundrelry has Benen missed in his punchy little summary?
I warn you, by the way, all you helpful nelly-olsen pseudo-radical demoralization scolds and bullshit GOP-Dem equivalency thesis peddlers who like to toss your darts in the Moot, you will be deleted for filth (and, yes, I know that in much of the nineteenth century it was the Democratic party that was functionally the Scoundrel Party while Republicans were incomparably more progressive, but you know as well as I do what I am getting at here so don't be stupid to be smart).