The New Republicans are much worse than the old ones.

You thought they couldn’t possibly get behave as badly as they did under Bush. After all the old style Republicans lied us into costly, unnecessary and illegal wars. They turned record surpluses into record budget deficits. They gave massive tax cuts for the few at the top of the income chain at the expense of the many.

They awarded no bid government contracts given to corrupt and fraudulent –but politically well connected — corporations such as Dick Cheney’s old stomping grounds Halliburton and KBR. Big Oil made record profits under their stewardship of our nation, while we paid gas prices more than double what we paid under President Clinton.

They (with the asistance of Conserva-dums) de-regulated Wall Street and the financial industry and neutered the SEC ability to enforce the securities laws still in place, which led to the largest speculative bubble in history and a near death brush with a second Great Depression that would have made the first one look like a molehill compared to a mountain (and still might.

Oh, and don’t forget the sweetheart deals given Big Pharma and the health insurance companies when Bush rammed through Congress his Medicare Prescription Plan after covering up its true cost. Or the fact that millions more Americans slid below the poverty line, lost their health insurance, lost federal aid to help finance their kids’ college education and generally saw their real income shrink at a time CEO’s and senior executives rolling in more dough like that guy on TLC’s Cake Boss.

Yet, few among the Old Guard have dared to publicly state for the record that they support the following “policies” which would cripple the Federal Government’s ability to protect anyone without an “Inc.” at the end of their name:

Bill Johnson, Kentucky GOP candidate to replace Bunning in the Senate:

Johnson declared that several federal agencies should be abolished, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior. And he said it with a straight face.

You know what the EPA does, right? It regulates and enforces the laws against polluting our lakes, streams, groundwater and the air we breathe. As for the Interior department, among its many responsibilities managing federal lands is regulating surface mining of coal.

Johnson also supports: (1) mountain top mining for coal; (2) Nuclear power plants; (3) More tax cuts and no stimulus bills; (4) abolition of all federal and state laws regulating guns; (5) no more extensions of unemployment benefits, (6) a completely privatized health care system; (7) “opposite sex” marriage only, (8) the elimination of the IRS; (9) the end of abortion; and (it goes without saying) more defense spending.

Of course some of the “New Republicans” are already in Congress like Michelle Bachman who wants to “wean Americans off Social Security and Medicare. And she has the vocal support of GOP candidates and elected officials all over the country, candidates like Tim Griffin in Arkansas, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, and many more.

Rand Paul (also running for Bunning’s senate seat) wants to do away with the Federal Reserve system and the IRS. Peter Schiff, another Ron Paul associate running for the GOP nod in Connecticut “is emphatic about returning the federal government to the limits of the U.S. Constitution’s delegated powers.” Marco Rubio of Florida wants to end taxes on capital gains, dividends and (of course) the estate tax on people like the Sam Walton family.

But did any rational person really think that the New Republicans would act better than the old ones? Obama apparently thought (and maybe still thinks) that they would be open to compromise in order to find common ground for solving our numerous problems. He was wrong:

We are a nation of Charlie Browns, ever willing to admit the slight possibility that the Lucy Van Pelts of the GOP just might hold the peoples’ footballs for the desperately necessary kickoffs. We looked hard for the tiniest spark of public spirit underneath the dead ashes of former bipartisanship.

But ….. nothing. Not a tendril of smoke arises. The warmth of cooperation in the national interest fades into memory. Nothing is to be had for our frightened and suffering people but slapped-away hands and bitten fingers. Time after time President Obama compromises, but it’s never enough. Don’t reward the rascals.

He was wrong because ever since the Gingrich revolution the GOP has purged itself of what used to be called moderates. Today those people have either left the party (Arlen Specter) or meekly follow the path set by their more extreme colleagues with perhaps a few minor protests and whining (Olympia Snowe anyone?) more to pretend for their constituents’ benefit that they really aren’t tools for the hard right wing faction of the party than for any other purpose.

By pursuing a policy of “bi-partisanship” Obama and his adviser sadly misread their political enemies. He lost a year, and risks his party’s chances of retaining its majorities in Congress with every day that passes. For someone so smart, he’s acted incredibly dumb. He’s demoralized the people who elected him, and energized the Republican base. And that base is getting crazier by the day.