“This is what separated us from you; we made demands. You were satisfied to serve the power of your nation and we dreamed of giving ours her truth.”  

Albert Camus

Today, Rep. Michael Grimm (R., NY), a former Marine and FBI agent, threatened to kill Michael Scotto, a news reporter for NY1, for his choice of questions during an on-camera interview. Scotto brought up the on-going federal investigation into the financial contributions of Grimm’s 2010 political campaign. This so angered Rep. Grimm that he threatened to break Scotto in two and throw him over the balcony (in the Capitol dome, where the interview was taking place). Although a popular member of the house, at bottom it turns out that Grimm is nothing but a thug. (Interestingly, he also opened a restaurant with a known associate of the Gambino mafia family.)

This isn’t the first time Grimm has “lost it”, either. While in the FBI, he had an altercation with a patron at a night club. He lied about being attacked by the patron, called in the FBI and NYPD, and waving his pistol wildly in the air, shouted out to those in the club that “All the white people could leave” (so he could deal with the patron and his friends).  We can now add racism to Grimm’s rap sheet. And he is a “representative” of the people?

Then we have New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie, whose staff gets involved in “dirty political tricks” and intimidation—with Christie’s personal involvement here all but a certainty, though of course he denies all knowledge of any wrongdoing. But the Hoboken, N.J., mayor whom he tried to intimidate makes a very believable, and therefore formidable, witness against him. And his high school friend and former appointee to the Port Authority, David Wilderstein, one of several taking the blame for the bridge closing, after he was fired said that he has proof that Christie knew all along about the bridge closings, despite his denials to the contrary. That Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Bridget Kelly, was a player in all this, reveals another side of Christie—whom he befriends and picks to be his closest political associates.

This all has a rancid “Nixon odor” about it, as when HL Hunt and Gordon Liddy (among many others) did Nixon’s bidding at the Watergate break-in (one among many “dirty tricks”), but who were also goons associated with the CIA (as Grimm was with the FBI). If nothing else, we catch a glimpse of the kinds of people hired, then under Nixon and now, by two of the most powerful government agencies in Washington. Clearly, a lack of moral character appears to be no handicap in finding employment with either the CIA or the FBI.

Then we have Republican intimidation on a grand scale—THE SHUTDOWN, engineered by Republican Congressman Ted Cruz, with the full support of his fellow house members, which caused several billion dollars worth of damage to an already fragile economy, hurt millions of Americans in the process, all in trying to kill Obamacare—already the law of the land—whose chief purpose is to provide affordable healthcare to every American. In other word, it’s one more battle in the on-going war of the super-rich against the faded middle-class and burgeoning lower class. We have nothing less than class warfare being waged. Republicans have their anti-liberal agenda which they are going to implement “come hell or high water” and the 50% of Americans who disagree with their “Everything for the rich and nothing for the poor” ideology can “just go to hell”. In their greed, inflexibility, class warfare, and hubris, Republicans remind me of the kind of intransigence and bitter enmity the senatorial class displayed which led to the downfall of the Roman Republic through two civil wars.

This on-going struggle against the middle- and lower-classes also mirrors, in a history closer to home, the ideological Ante-Bellum (pre-Civil War) mindset, of white versus black.  Today’s ideological Republicans fail, collectively and individually, to understand that the sick, the poor, the immigrant, and the elderly are an important part of our nation—not just the rich who are the face of the Republican Party. These ideological Republicans divide our one nation into two adversarial parts, Them and Us. And for our “One nation under God, indivisible” that spells death to our Republic—and a farewell to our sacred Founding and history.

The Republican Party is not only the party of the rich (whose one goal is to acquire absolute power in all three branches of government, both on the state and federal level, to enable them to become even richer), it is the party of dissolution and disillusion. But in the end such becomes merely nihilism. And then you can only attract to your party thugs like the Grimms, the Christies, and the Cruzes, among many others.

As it says in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no prophetic vision, the people cast off restraint.” The Republican Party has cast off all restraint, as we can see by how its members act and who they care about. For they have no prophetic vision…They are blind, stumbling in the dark. Their one god is wealth and the power wealth confers. But spiritually, inwardly, they are dead.

Len Sive Jr.