The GOP: Political correctness run amok

LEE A. DANIELS | 4/4/2016, 7:29 a.m.
The two most dramatic political events of last week involving the Republican Party – Donald Trump’s election victories in the ...
Lee A. Daniels is a longtime journalist based in New York City. His most recent book is Last Chance: The Political Threat to Black America. He collaborated with Rachel Robinson on her 1998 book, Jackie Robinson: An Intimate Portrait. NNPA

(George Curry Media) – The two most dramatic political events of last week involving the Republican Party – Donald Trump’s election victories in the Super Tuesday Republican primaries, and GOP Senators re-stating their refusal to even consider President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court – dramatically illuminate what a certain fashionable, ugly phrase really means and who it most often applies to.

The phrase I’m referring to is “political correctness run amok.”

For more than two decades, those words have been hurled at acts or policies or even just suggestions deemed “too concerned” with making a place in society for this or that outsider group. My own stripped-down definition of the phrase is this: We’re being too kind to the (fill in the blank). Let’s keep on making them feel as if they don’t belong.

But now, it should be clear to all that the Republican Party is the true practitioner of political correctness, and that the wreck the GOP has become since Trump entered its presidential primary contest nearly a year ago is the result of the GOP’s own corrosive dynamic of political correctness run amok. The rigid, reactionary and amoral code of conduct it established within its ranks and, as soon as President Obama took office, stoked within its base of supporters is a powerful example of the damage an unthinking, unquestioning obedience to a particular ideology can do.

That rigidity forced it into a political dynamic of all-out opposition to any Obama proposal. Yet, it still spectacularly failed to defeat such major Obama initiatives as Obamacare and the Iran nuclear deal. Nor, of course, did it make good on now-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s notorious 2010 boast that the GOP would make Obama a one-term president. And it backed the disastrous – for it and the nation as a whole – Citizens United decision the Supreme Court’s conservative majority handed up in 2010.

Those three developments led directly to the presidential primary rampage of Trump, who now threatens the GOP with “riots” at its convention if he’s blocked from the nomination.

One can justly be aghast and furious at Trump’s boundless amorality, and still realize it’s not much different from what’s been the GOP’s standard operating procedure during the Obama presidency.

That posture has now produced the GOP’s ridiculous claim that Obama should neglect his presidential responsibility because it fears that with Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, it’s lost control of the Supreme Court.

Of course, Obama ignored that desperate demand, pointedly announcing his Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia, at a Rose Garden ceremony the day after Trump’s Super Tuesday victories made his position atop the wreckage of the GOP that much stronger.

The juxtaposition of those two events underscore that American society is well on its way this year to a moment of extraordinary political drama. In that regard, it’s worth citing three comments that, taken together, frame how it got here and what’s at stake.