There are 435 members of the House of Representatives*, 233 are Republicans and 202 are Democrats. Interestingly, although Republicans command a majority of the seats if one goes through the trouble of calculating the number of votes received, more voters voted for the Democrats than voted for the Republicans. How does that work? Simply, many Democratic districts are in urban areas with a concentrated population who turn out in higher number for an election, while Republicans represent rural districts with scattered populations and lower turnouts resulting in larger Democratic majorities.
Of the Republican majority, 80 members are affiliated to the Tea Party Caucus, known affectionately in the Dissenting Democrat’s blog as the Wacko Caucus, it has earned a new name as a result of its Kamikaze strategy leading to the Shutdown, that is the “Suicide Caucus”. These 80, despite being a minority within the Republicans, actually run Congress. John Boehner, ostensibily the Speaker of the House and the candidate of the majority of the Republican MCs, is thoroughly intimidated by this vociferous and dogmatic group. The Shutdown was devised by the Suicide Caucus and they dragged the “normals” along with them.
118 million people voted for Congress in the last election. 14 million voted for the Suicide Caucus, yet this 12% of the country has selected the 80 who run the country. The President didn’t want to shut down the Government, the Democrats didn’t want a shutdown, most of the Republicans didn’t want a shutdown and John Boehner didn’t want it. The 80 did, and they got their way.
If the 14 million were allowed to select the President, Mitt Romney would have beat Obama with 61% of the vote. Almost all of these folks own guns, carry guns and love guns. Hardly any are Black or Latino. Most are also adherents of some form of Christian extremism, i.e. Fundamentalism, Pentecostalism, Apocalypticism, or Dominionism. They are, I’m sorry to say, less educated than others, Ted Cruz aside. They are unapologetically intolerant, indeed they glorify in their intolerance: they hate blacks, Latinos, gays, and liberals except, of course, for those who know their place and can avoid being uppity. If you could serve as a Colms to their Hannity, they would be pleased to let you hang around.
Yet this 14 million IS America. They are because they say they are. They are the Republican Party because they say they are. If any Republican would stand up in dissent, the Suicide Caucus would attack as a pack of wolves. They will run candidates against any Republican who fails to toe the party line. They win because everyone else knows that they would rather destroy the Party than give in or compromise. This intraparty Kamikaze spirit has now been translated to the Nation as a whole. They REALLY are willing to destroy the country as long as they own the wreckage.
* Except for the addition of members for Alaska and Hawaii, the size of the House hasn’t changed since 1920 despite an increase in population from 120 million to 330 million. Members now represent 660,000 per House District. About a hundred years ago, a member of Congress represented less than half that number and two hundred years ago about 35,000 would select a representative.