Twenty-first Century Republican office holders are not real Republicans. They're not modest. They're not competent. They're not generous, either with time or talents. They're not honest as the day is long. They're not the salt of the earth. So, I, for one have had difficulty even referring to them as Republicans.
When they refer to themselves as conservatives, it helps. For, there is some truth in that claim. Twenty-first Century conservatives are keen on conserving something. They're just not keen on admitting that what they want to preserve is the ability to rule the American people without contradiction and without opposition from the ruled (even if that means keeping the unruly from becoming full-fledged American citizens in the first place). So, the Conservative moniker effectively perpetrates a deception and that argues against its use.
I've tried referring to these punitive petty potentates springing up all across the country as deprivators, 'cause that's what these pols are after -- depriving other people, including their own constituents, of their human and civil rights. But, "deprivator" isn't even a word that most dictionaries recognize. Which is sort of strange, unless you consider that
"If you can't say something nice about people, don't say anything at all"
applies to dictionaries, as well as the people who read them. Besides, novelty distracts from a message. So, new wine in old bottles is actually a good idea, if the idea is to get people to try it. It's not a guarantee that they'll like it, as the Coca Cola company discovered right quickly with its substitute for the classic stuff, but the familiar does smooth the introduction. It's only later that familiarity breeds contempt, especially when the new stuff turns out to be a fraud.
"Contemptible Republicans" Now, that's a moniker that's accurate, as far as it goes. But, that's the problem. "Contemptible Republicans" describes them from a possible reaction one might have to some of their behavior, but it isn't necessarily so. The most generous among us can put up with a lot of low-down behavior and typically do. Calling them contemptible is about equivalent to a shoulder shrug and giving them the brush off.
What we need is a designation that tells what this new breed of politician is about. For the moment, IOU Republicans strikes me as about just right. I don't know if they introduced them, but Republicans themselves have been obviously fond of acronyms for at least four decades, culminating with perhaps the most cynical piece of legislation ever, the USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism), a euphemistic moniker for spying on people and prying into their private lives.
What the IOU stands for is appropriately fungible. Whether
I is for incompetent, intransigent, incoherent, insolent, independent, and
O is for obsessive, obstructive, outrageous, over-reaching, obnoxious, or
U is for uncooperative, unwelcome, unaware, untrustworthy, etc.
depends on the eye of the beholder. On the other hand, the acronym as a whole pretty much describes the "I own you" attitude of this new breed of politician, as well as the habit of handing out IOUs that never get paid. Which suggests that perhaps Outlaw is their middle name, except for the fact that they're rather clever about twisting the law to serve their conniving ends.
Predators are clever. All of Aesop's fables of the fox tell us so. They also tell us that competence gets tricked into providing assistance, where none is deserved, and then lay the blame on pride. But really, just as the old adage, to say nothing when a good word can't be said, is only valid when all the people are trustworthy and kind, predatory people can't be left alone. Predatory people are like drunks and have to be stopped, not helped. In fact, when faced with abuse and deprivation, for authority to stand silent is to become complicit -- a truth, one hopes, that's finally been recognized and prompted the intervention in Libya.
Predators are also fearful. Having given offense, they expect revenge and that makes them even more offensive. All the more reason for why they have to be stopped. There is no compromising with IOU Republicans. Especially not when it's other people's rights that are being weighed in the bargain.