The funeral of Barbara Bush, the matriarch of a preeminent Republican family illuminates just how broken things are. While former Presidents of both parties attended there was a notable no-show, the present Republican President Donald Trump. Now sitting presidents don’t always go to first lady funerals, but who wouldn’t want to be seen paying his respects to “America’s Grandmother,” especially a publicity addict like Trump. He didn’t go simply because he wouldn’t have been welcome. Think about it. The leader of the Republican Party wasn’t welcome at the funeral of the wife of one Republican president and the mother of another. If this doesn’t alert the nation to a major split in one of our two major parties nothing will. In fact, most of the Republican attendees must feel they no longer have a party. Rolling over for the present President would mean surrendering their values. According to recent polls, they are a minority in their party, with the President viewed favorably by at least 70-80% of Republicans. As the Senator from Arizona, Jeff Flake, found there is no room for those old Goldwater-Reagan people in the present party.
A move to the other major party offers no welcoming home either. If you’re a free market Republican strongly favoring trade agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) you might find kindred souls among the Democrats. After all, it was negotiated by the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton under the Obama administration. Surely on this issue at least these Republicans could join with Democrats. This would be way off base. To placate the dominant progressive wing of that party, Clinton simply ran away from her own handiwork. Bernie Sanders and the progressives didn’t want any part of TPP so she caved. Odd, the dominant Trump wing of the Republicans had exactly the same position on TPP as the dominant progressive wing of the Democrats. On closer inspection this isn’t odd at all . On major issues these supposed blood rivals are in basic agreement or have symbiotic relationship. Continue reading