From Washington Republicans to Berkshire County Republicans (Eagle, October 18), the reaction to the failed effort to hold the government and the economy for ransom in exchange for the gutting of the Affordable Care Act draws further attention to the party's inability to grasp hard truths. America also continues to see how far the Grand Old Party has drifted away from its roots and its core philosophy.
The IRS is not controlling health care as readers may have read in Friday's paper, it is making sure that everyone either has health insurance or pays a penalty. This is how the reform measure works, and it is based on principles established by the Heritage Foundation, a Republican think tank. The White House can be faulted for not anticipating the demand for health care under the ACA, which has led to computer problems, but the huge demand puts the lie to claims that "the American people" are opposed to Obamacare. What Americans are opposed to is the previous system that could bankrupt them in the event of a major illness or accident.
What is most disappointing is that members of a political party that thinks of itself as sober and responsible would back a first-ever debt default and a government shutdown that stalled the economy for two weeks in a petulant bid to overturn a law that was passed by Congress and signed by the president, just as is outlined in the civics books. This is not "conservatism" but its opposite -- extremism. And extremism, from the left or the right, traditionally doesn't sit well with the American people.