Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, May 18, 2009

Republicans: Since They Can’t Do Anything Else…

They can’t govern worth a tin shit, and they can’t win elections. Non-Republicans will probably notice a certain cause and effect relationship between those two problems.

To compensate, the Republican Party seems to be following the old adage of “find something you’re good at — anything! — and do it well.” And that of course would be: screeching and wailing and stamping their feet and pouting from the sidelines. What else can they do? They didn’t make the team, and none of the team’s fans can stand the sight of them. But they’ve gotten mighty good at standing on the outside and looking in, while shouting and sobbing and holding their breath ‘til they turn blue.

Oh well, as Michael Keaton said in Night Shift: “It’s a skill.”

You probably read last week that Republican “leaders” have their talking points already mapped out for derailing Obama’s proposed health care reform. Trouble is, Obama hasn’t yet presented his health care plan to Congress. For people of a certain intelligence level, that might pose a bit of a problem. No problem for Republicans though. “Whatever it is, I’m against it because…let’s see, which 3 by 5 card do I need here…”


And now they’re using the same procedure for derailing whoever Obama nominates to the Supreme Court. They have a list of the most likely nominees, and they’ve got their soundbites tailored to each one. “Soft on terrorism!” “Sympathetic to the homosexual agenda!” “Pro-abortion!”

The Republicans’ stated motive is to galvanize the base. The “Base”??? What “Base” would that be??? Oh, you mean the “Base” that swept Republicans into office in 2006 and 2008. That “Base.” DUUUHHH!!!

Direct-mail Has-Been Richard Viguerie said: “It’s an immense opportunity to build the conservative movement and identify the troops out there. It’s a massive teaching moment for America. We’ve got the packages written. We’re waiting right now to put a name in.”

Ah yes, “the troops out there.” All five of them.

And speaking of contrasts and ironies: How about Obama’s speech at Notre Dame. Hundreds of fetus-worshippers were right out there, front and center, protesting Obama’s appearance. Unlike what’s his name’s public appearances, the protesters weren’t relegated to a “Free Speech Zone” 600 yards away. Also unlike his predecessor, Obama actually goes out there and speaks to audiences who haven’t been screened and pre-selected and ordered to erupt into spontaneous applause at certain cues.

Obama even addressed the abortion issue — the exact reason for the demonstration — in conciliatory terms. He called for “Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.” He said: “We can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, with both moral and spiritual dimensions.”

Now, just try to imagine this: Cheney or Dumbya giving a speech about the Iraqi invasion, with hundreds of anti-war protesters right there in full view, and Cheney-Bush reaching out to the protesters, trying to find some common ground between the two sides.

You can’t, can you.

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Anonymous S.W. anderson said...

Prefab, canned negative responses to whatever the health care plan turns out to be and whoever Obama nominates for the court do provide a fair index of the current state of conservative Republicanism.

Bullies never do accept what they've got coming to them with good grace, after all.

I would pity them and their plight, except that putting a foot on their collective neck and keeping them down is better for the country.

Never fear, though. They've still got their deep-pockets fat cats and their politics of personal and political destruction. And, who knows what automagic election-tilting features the coders at Diebold are coming up with?

May 18, 2009 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Oh, good job, Tom, now the goopers are going to start putting actual feces in a can, saturating it with artificial flavors and scents and selling it as cheap foodstuffs in the poorest areas of their states.

They didn’t make the team, and none of the team’s fans can stand the sight of them.Reminds me of when Flanders was coaching the pee-wee football team to victory and Homer, after finally needling the hell out of him, gets him to quit, takes over, and makes a mockery of all things successful. That's the gooper way.

May 19, 2009 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger bob said...

You know, it might seem ridiculous that there is a "base" out there that could re-energize the Republican party. In hind site its easy to joke about it. But the reality is that something like 47% of all Americans approved of Mccain despite his kindergarten level stupidity tactics like "Joe the Plumber" , Sarah Palin, and so on.

We need to be realistic. Obama got a nice boost due to the crappy economy and had that not occurred, I would have no doubt that the race would have been closer or that Mccain might have actually won.

That presents a serious issue. The fact is that even though we can sit back and poke fun of the ludicrous, backwards behavior of extreme conservatives. But they are still a very legitimate force and it is not out of the question that another GW and his like could become President once more. I have very little faith in the overall intelligence of this country.

The disparity politically in the US is appalling. There are those who want to look forward and those who want to take the country back 50 years.Scary because most Western countries long got away from that level of conservatism. Its still with us.

But I also believe that a vast chunk of the Republican "base" are actually more moderate. It wasn't that long ago that the Republican party was the party of the rich, the party that promoted responsibility. I'm fine with financial responsibility. I'm not fine with blending religious morality and politics which is what the Republican party has become.

So in some ways, it is our responsibility to reach out to those Moderate Republicans in order to bridge some of those gaps that I can almost assure are more narrow and than those of morality based conservatives.

In doing do, the Republican party can have a different voice besides the crazy lunatics. I have no idea how to do this. But simply ignoring the Republican party while they gradually grow more extreme is a disaster waiting to happen. Whether we want to admit it or not, another Republican will likely be elected if not next time, in the future for sure. What kind of Administration that is depends on who speaks loudest.

Its time for the Republican party to take back its identity.

May 19, 2009 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: "Prefab canned negative responses" -- yup, that's the sum of their talents. How the party of Eisenhower (and even Nixon) has deteriorated.

Without becoming complacent or off-guard, I think that for now the deep pocketed puppetmasters are has-beens. They'll be back with a vengeance at some point, but for now there's too much public backlash against the neocon agenda, whether it's religious fanaticism or the endless orgy for Big Business. Today's Senate vote on the credit card reform bill was a good indication. 90-odd senators voted for it, even though the banking lobby was fighting it with every bribe they had.

Randal: "now the goopers are going to start putting actual feces in a can, saturating it with artificial flavors and scents and selling it as cheap foodstuffs in the poorest areas of their states." -- I thought they were already doing that.

Bob: I agree it's nothing to joke about. I do think this particular coalition of gung ho Christians, warmongers and Big Business has lost its power (for now). But we can never turn our backs; they'll be back in some other form, some other coalition. And I couldn't agree more that the economic meltdown was the reason Obama got elected. The fact that 47% of the voters still voted for McCain-Palin is downright scary.

I think the only hope for the Republican Party is to go back to what they used to stand for. The rightwing extremists have been around since the early 1900s. They'll always be here, but they don't represent a majority of Americans and their demographic (older white males) is becoming a smaller percentage of the population.

We need a 2-party system, so I hope the Republicans can regain their footing and separate themselves from the neocons.

May 19, 2009 at 12:01 PM  
Anonymous S.W. anderson said...

A hat tip to Bob for an excellent, thoughtful comment.

May 19, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Anonymous Bee said...

Ugh - I just want them to mature and grow up a little, I don't want them to go back to what they "used to be" - the modern republican party was born of the split off from the democratic party of Dixiecrats like Strom "Uncle KKK" Thurmond, and good riddance to bad rubbish. They were never really the party of Barry Goldwater - might have been, if he had won his election rather than someone popping a cap in him.

May 19, 2009 at 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Carlos said...

Grat post. No, I can't imagine the Dumbya administration conceding or compromising anything.

I was listening to Hannity today and he was decrying Obama's MPG initiative as risking the lives of innocent people. You know...because lighter cars (that Amurcuns don't want) will get people killed. What an ass that guy is.

May 19, 2009 at 5:41 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Bee: Yes, growing up would be a positive step for them. I hardly ever agreed with the earlier Republican politicians, but they were nowhere near as extreme as today's crackpots. I don't know much about Eisenhower, but there are a lot of great quotations from him; the kind of thing that would make the neocons yell "Commie!" or "you hate America!" Even Nixon looks liberal compared to Cheney and Dumbya and Gingrich. He was as vengeful and meanspirited as anybody, but he signed a lot of civil rights and environmental laws.

Carlos: So Sean Hannity is worried about people's safety? LOL. It's always so funny (not ha ha) when rightwingers pretend they're concerned about safety or people's job security. If they only knew how phony and transparent their slogans are.

May 19, 2009 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

The Republicans were never gracious winners, you can't really expect them to be more gracious in defeat.

May 19, 2009 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

I loved what Bill Maher said about the Supreme Court opening: "the Republicans are absolutely against confirming Obama's nominee and promise to give us more details once they know who it is".

May 19, 2009 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Lew: Good point. It's sort of fun watching a vindictive winner turn into a pouting loser.

J: Good line from Bill Maher.

May 19, 2009 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger bob said...

To me, The Republican leaders don't get it. I heard some griping from Michael Steele yesterday. More talk about Obama's "Star, celebrity" status and how the Republicans could learn to overcome that hurdle. Basically, they have a problem with his popularity.

I've heard this over and over from conservatives and Republican politicians; that Obama is the "Messiah", or a " Rock star" or something like that which indicates his "followers" are sheep blindly following his every word.

The problem with this assessment is that its wrong.Ask me why I like Obama, its less to do with the man and more to do with his political actions. Honestly, he's not the best off the record speaker. He does a lot of long pauses and almost overly careful responses. But he gets things done and does them in a calm, collected matter, and that has earned my respect. Not because he's a "rock star", but because he's a good President.

Republicans need to recognize that distinction before they get off to the wrong start chasing the wrong thing.

May 20, 2009 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Bob: You're right, the Republican leadership doesn't even begin to get it. If they think they lost the election because of Obama's charisma or "star power" or the "Hollywood Elitists," they're just gonna keep on losing.

There was even a news item about the Republican National Committee almost voting to rename the Democrats the "Democratic Socialist Party" or something like that. Moderates (including Michael Steele) finally shot down the idea, saying that the RNC should focus on real problems instead.

May 20, 2009 at 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama should nominate Dick Cheney's lesbian Daughter Mary to the Supreme court.

Let's see them squirm out of that one!


May 20, 2009 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: LOL. That would sure put them between a rock and a hard place.

May 20, 2009 at 8:13 PM  

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