The GOP's Compassion Deficit

Voting to defund Obamacare and cut food stamps shows the GOP still has trouble mustering the will to care about poor people.

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Republicans are clearly not heeding the advice they gave themselves earlier this year in their Growth and Opportunity Project. They do not want to mitigate the "perception that the GOP does not care about people."

Yesterday's positive House vote on cutting $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP (popularly known as food stamps), and today's vote to defund the Affordable Care Act are just two of the numerous recent examples demonstrating that the GOP continues to ignore its compassion deficit. The GOP opted to bully those less fortunate in exchange for the love of a few, powerful interests groups that have threatened to mount primary challenges against Republicans in the 2014 midterm elections.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]

But these threats have no basis in fact. Incumbents win re-election about 97 percent of the time. They're able to muster their credit claiming, advertising and fundraising advantages to all but assure their victories. That, coupled with new party primary rules protecting them, offers challengers little hope of getting a spot on the ballot.

It's pretty clear that the "Growth and Opportunity Project" was a non-starter. However, if Republicans keep doing the same thing over-and-over again expecting a different result, the only outcome is their having to buy many boxes of Kleenex boxes to mop up the flood of tears they'll cry after losing the 2014 and 2016 elections.

  • Read Robert Schlesinger: Will the ‘Liberal’ Media Blame the GOP for a Shutdown or Obama?
  • Read Susan Milligan: What Republicans Can Learn From Pope Francis on Food Stamps and Gay Rights
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