Rep. Joe Garcia, (D-FL) came under fire yesterday for a statement he made on the House Floor on Tuesday, Oct. 1. When speaking about the Republican Party's shutdown of the government, Garcia referred to the extremist elements in the Republican Party as being like the Taliban. Garcia who represents the Miami area received criticism from the Florida delegation in the House for his comparison of them to the Taliban and demanded that he apologize for the statement. The National Republican Congressional Committee and the Republican Party of Florida also took exception with the comments. Garcia asserts that he was not referring to anyone in particular, but was simply making reference to extremism.
The last time a congressional Taliban reference made news in Florida was in 2010 when Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson ran a misleading ad calling Republican Dan Webster “Taliban Dan.” Webster went on to win the race, Grayson has since been reelected to another seat.
Garcia asserted that the partial shutdown of the government was due to disputes over the Affordable Care Act and would send 800,000 federal workers home without pay. He added that in Florida alone, 90,000 workers would be furloughed.
Even though the Miami Herald article stated that this was the second time the "Taliban" reference has been made in Florida, it's not an outlandish comparison according to Rep. Pete Sessions, (R-TX). In Feb. of 2009, just weeks after the inauguration of President Obama, Sessions said, "The Republican party will have to become an insurgency to counter Democratic majorities in the House and Senate." He added that the Taliban can serve as “a model.”
President has used the words "Blackmail and Extortion" to describe the tactics currently being used by the Republican members of the House in an attempt to gut or destroy Obamacare. Obama's refusal to negotiate with the Republican led House is reminiscent to a long standing policy of the United States to, "Not negotiate with terrorist."
With the recent cuts to programs that would be beneficial to women and children such as welfare, food stamps, pre-school education and the WIC program, the Taliban model would have to be considered to understand the Republican strategy. When you consider the House's recent bill to deny women the ability to receive contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act, it plays into the notion that the Republican Party is anti-woman.
Putting all these comparisons together, the conclusion would not be far fetched that the Republican Party truly are using the Taliban as a model for governing.