The Ohio Republican caucus in the United States House of Representatives is known to not have a strong grip on reality. However, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) of the 15th District and Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) of the 12th District have successively portrayed themselves as reasonable moderates. They’ve done this in spite of their voting record.
Along with EVERY GOP member of the Ohio Congressional Delegation, Stivers and Tiberi both voted to forbid the DOD to use climate change data in threat assessment or any strategic policy decisions. Every Ohio Democrat voted Nay.
During most of the 20th Century Republicans portrayed the Democrats as the Party of War. After all, WWI and II happened with a Democrat in the White House. The GOP was the party of head-in-the-sand isolationists. American companies did business with Nazi Germany and American hero Charles Lindbergh was a Hitler apologist.
The Korean Conflict erupted under a Democrat. Truman then fired a general with presidential ambitions, Douglas McArthur. This caused outrage in the GOP, as they ignored the tradition of civilian supremacy over the military.
A Dem House and Senate turned LBJ loose in South Vietnam. But times were changing. Barry Goldwater wanted to nuke ‘Nam. The Democrats, slower than the public, were turning against the Vietnam War in the last half of the Sixties.
The Republican version of a rabid weasel, Richard Nixon, jumped on the chance to hammer the Democrats as…wait for it, weak on defense. He opposed the limits placed on the executive by the War Powers Act. His successor, the pardoner, Ford, decided to flex American military muscle in a failed attempt to rescue the American crew and container ship SS Mayaguez.
During the Seventies and into the Eighties the Republicans continually hammered the Dems as weak on defense and anti-military. This seeped into the national psyche resulting on GOP gains. The GOP once more defined the message and the Democrats seemed unsure and hesitant as to how to react.
Under President Clinton, the answer seemed to be become more hawkish. We intervened in Bosnia. Flexed American muscle. We went after Bin Laden. We used drones to strike back after the Embassy bombings and SS Cole.
Following 9/11 Dems were united on the need for military action. The GOP banged the same drum that Dems were dovish, weak on defense and hated the troops.
However it was Democrats that fought for body armor, up-armored Humvees and better medical treatment for PTSD and the traumatic injuries the troops suffered. The Republicans cut VA funding. They reduced combat pay. They sent exhausted troops back in, deployment after deployment.
The Republicans fight tooth-and-nail and lose their minds if someone even mentions examining the defense budget. They force unneeded and unwanted weapons and weapon systems on a military that has no use for them while ignoring pressing issues.
Since the election of President Obama, the GOP has had a field day putting their hypocrisy and ill-informed views on display.
The president has been called weak. This usually involves PBO not invading or bombing a country. He is called inept, even as he resisted the cacophony of Republicans banging the drums of war, drooling over a conflict with Iran.
They rant over Benghazi as they ignore the three attacks in Beirut that cost over 200 Marines their lives and loss of life at our embassy. But that was under St. Ronnie so it is OK.
So, for a generation the Republicans have claimed the mantle of the National Defense Party. They have done so even as they have showed that title to be unearned.
On the whole, it seems that, like anything else, if the president is for it, they’re agin it.
Coming into a mid-term election, the GOP controlled House has decided to throw a side of beef to their base clamoring for red meat.
The National Defense Authorization Act was passed. In this bill the House forbids the Department of Defense and our military to use climate change data in planning for the defense of the United States.
They cut funding, and prohibited expenditures related to several reports on climate change .
On the forbidden list of reports are the U .S. Global Change Research Program National Climate Assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, the United Nation’s Agenda 21 sustainable development plan, and the May 2013 Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order.
You may notice for the paranoid, tin hat part of the base, they threw in the bug-a-boo U.N. Agenda 21. This in itself shows once more this is only political theater.
Now, the entire Republican membership of the Ohio Congressional Delegation voted FOR this. In that delegation, we have Rep. Stivers (R-OH) of the 15th District and Pat Tiberi (R-OH) of the 12th.
These two come off in media coverage as moderate, sane voices in a House that has a tenuous grip on reality. Both come across as reasonable men on the central Sunday political shows. In reality, they aren’t that moderate. Both vote overwhelmingly with the leadership run by fellow Ohioan John Boehner. With their vote on the climate change muzzle for our defense, they have shed their last pretense at moderation.
Stivers and Tiberi have climbed into bed with the likes of Louie Gohmert and Michelle Bachman and their ilk. That bed is now more crowded than the final scene of “Bob And Carol And Ted And Alice”.
Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma has accused the retired generals involved in putting together one of the banned reports of being publicity whores. A member of the anti-science House Science and Technology Committee once called science “lies from the pits of Hell”.
The House and Senate are infested with climate change deniers posing as Republican legislators.
A lot of faculty from Ohio State live in Stivers’ district. Many who work at Battelle, a major scientific R&D entity live in both districts. I wonder how they feel about having their work shunted aside as questionable.
So, next time you see these two frauds on TV, remember their real point of view. The US is going to reject proven science in threat assessment and strategic planning because the inmates have taken over the asylum.
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