Monday, June 06, 2011

Republican'ts


If I were a Republican... Oops, pardon me; I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Let me rephrase that. If I were a principled conservative concerned about my party, I believe I would stop fighting it and just hand the steering wheel over to the Tea Party for the coming elections. Perhaps a stunning political defeat, like the Democrats suffered in 1972, will finally force the Greedy Obsolete Party to divest itself of the right-wing fringe element whose borderline insanity is destroying the final vestiges of a once formidable organization. Only an electoral smack-upside-the-head can convince these zealots that their reactionary philosophy of gutting governmental social programs, taxes, public schools, and labor unions is unacceptable to a civil society. Their attempts to lower the deficit by slashing popular programs that benefit the elderly or less fortunate, while leaving the Bush tax cuts intact, is simply immoral. The oblivious Tea Party is unaware that Poppy Bush had to raise taxes in the wake of the deficits caused by Ronald Reagan's tax cuts, and still cling to the discredited, supply-side, "trickle down" theory that was the bedrock of Reaganomics. When Newt Gingrich criticized the Paul Ryan budget plan that all Republican office-seekers must embrace to win the support of the party, he was pilloried by the radical right as too liberal. This is the man who led the "Republican Revolution" of 1994.

That old George Santayana quote about those ignorant of history being condemned to repeat it has grown tired, so let's try another: "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." Groucho's cousin, Karl Marx, wrote that, and though I heard it long ago, I never really knew what it meant until I  began watching it play out in front of my eyes. Now the meaning is unmistakable. The tragic backdrop for the unmaking and splintering of the Democratic Party in the sixties was the Vietnam War. In refusing to support the liberal Hubert Humphrey's candidacy for president because of his association with LBJ's disaster, the left-wing Democrats handed the presidency to Richard Nixon. After four more years of unrelenting horror, the Democratic Party was dominated by a radical, anti-war left whose tactics were repugnant to a great part of the electorate. Their nominating convention was a circus, yet they still managed to put forth a credible anti-war candidate in Senator George McGovern and a moderate running-mate in Missouri Senator Thomas Eagleton. I knew it was over the day I saw the newspaper headline, "Eagleton Admits to Past Shock Treatments." Electric shock therapy was the standard treatment for depression at the time, but still too shocking for voters to accept. Despite his broken promises, Nixon won 49 states.

The ongoing self-destruction of the GOP presents itself as farce this time, as the least qualified, most rabid anti-intellectuals of the Tea Party are calling the shots. Party members like Mike Huckabee, Haley Barbour, or Mitch Daniels, already see the writing on the wall and are sitting this one out, encouraging carnival freaks like Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum, and secessionist Texas Governor Rick Perry to consider a presidential run. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, though not yet an official candidate, told Iowa Public Radio that she has received the "calling" from God to run for the nation's highest office and promptly called for the teaching of Creationism in public school science classes. The clueless Mitt Romney has had to run against his own record as Governor of Massachusetts in order to pander to the Republican pit bulls, and Tim Pawlenty is still groping for a message. The desperate, discredited neo-cons are courting Jeb Bush, while disillusioned party elders see a large prospect in high-flying New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. And then there's Sarah Palin.

Palin believes that running for president is like vying for Miss Wasilla, and that a lack of substance can always be overcome by a "cute" personality. Her patriotic bus tour of American historic sights has become the most hilarious rolling disaster since the last Cheech and Chong road movie. Her knife-and-fork pizza summit with Donald Trump in New York City, where she strapped on a gigantic, silver Star of David, was only trumped by her visit to the Old North Church in Boston, where she explained the midnight ride of Paul Revere. According to Palin, Revere "warned the British by ringing those bells and sending up those warning shots and bells that we were gonna' be secure and free." So much for that "One if by land, two if by sea" business. When Fox News pointed out that she blew the Paul Revere story, Palin blamed the media and said it was "a gotcha" question, then insisted that her interpretation was correct. "Part of (Revere's) ride was to warn the British that were already there that 'hey, you're not going to take American arms; you are not going to beat our own well-armed persons individual private militia that we have.'" And this genius is currently polling at the top of prospective Republican presidential wannabees. The Tea Party is correct in one of their notable rallying cries. We do think they're stupid.

By the time the Vietnam War tore the Democratic party apart, they had already lost a previously dependable voter base. They didn't call it the "Solid South" for nothing, but LBJ's fight for civil rights legislation caused him to remark that the south would be lost to the Democrats for a generation. The party's sin was not in alienating white southern voters, but for ever granting political cover to openly racist and segregationist politicians in the first place. Ultimately, the extremists founded aggrieved third parties and ran their belligerent candidates, from Strom Thurmond to George Wallace, who demonized the "gub'ment," and the "pointy-headed intellectuals." Republicans will learn the same hard lesson for ever harboring the Tea Party within their ranks. Should the Republicans nominate an unacceptable "moderate" like Mitt Romney, there is every chance that the Tea Party will morph into a radical third party as early as next year and run their own candidate. Whoever their frothing mouthpiece turns out to be, he or she will only help to re-elect Barack Obama, while simultaneously destroying what remains of the current, anti-government Republican Party. I call that a win-win.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe O will not be re-elected because the job situation will keep getting worse. He acts like he wants to fix the economy but is incapable of doing so because he fundamentally does not understand how the free enterprise system works.

ElvisDylan said...

After Bush, Wall Street, war, lost job, lost health care, and lost savings, there is no way in hell I will ever vote Republican again. Obviously Anonymous has not suffered and doesn't understand. Clearly Sputnik does.

Sputnik57 said...

P.S. Regarding the situation with Congressman Anthony Weiner: He is an embarrassment and has become a laughingstock and he needs to resign immediately. And yes, I really liked this guy. Stupidity can sometimes occur in the smartest people.

Alan said...

I loved your comment about history repeating itself.
Chicago has long been considered one of if not the most corrupt major city in America.
Kennedy is elected with the help of the Chicago Mayor Daley, The Mob & Jimmy Hoffa
It was during Mayor Daley the 1st that the 1968 Democratic Convention and the police crack down happened. Since 1955, until Rham Emanuel was elected this year, All but 12 years had Daley or his son as Mayor.

When Rham left the White House to run for Mayor he was replaced by William Daley, Brother of Richard 2 and Son of Richard 1. Obama is part of the political machine that is Chicago.

performs said...

I have to partially agree with Anon that O "acts like he wants to fix the economy but is incapable." Where I differ is that it is because he fundamentally does not see how the free enterprise system is failing us.

Anonymous said...

Oh of course you liked him Sputnik. He is about as ultra liberal that you can get.

Anonymous said...

The problems facing us, faced by all mankind engaged in Democracy, may seem complex, or indeed insolvable, and we, in despair, may revert to a state of wish fulfillment-a state of "belief" in the power of the various experts presenting themselves as a cure for our indecision. But this is a sort of Stockholm Syndrome. Here, the captives, unable to bear the anxiety occasioned by their powerlessness, suppress it by identifying with their captors.

This is the essence of Leftist thought. It is a devolution from reason to "belief," in an effort to stave off a feeling of powerlessness. And if government is Good, it is a logical elaboration that more government power is Better. But the opposite is apparent both to anyone who has ever had to deal with Government and, I think, to any dispassionate observer.

It is in sympathy with the first and in the hope of enlarging the second group that I have written this book. David Mamet

Lisa Greenstein said...

Anon says,"This is the essence of Leftist thought. It is a devolution from reason to "belief," in an effort to stave off a feeling of powerlessness. And if government is Good, it is a logical elaboration that more government power is Better."

If a government's influence on society is good, meaning good for the many, not for the few at the expense of the many, then its quantity (more or less) matters little. Just enough is usually the best amount. The collective attitudes, ignorance and wisdom should dictate what a government needs to provide to keep us sustainable. More ignorance and selfishness requires more government.

Anonymous said...

"Spite voting is mostly a white male phenomenon, which is why a majority of white males vote Republican. It comes from a toxic mix of thwarted expectations, cowardice, shame, and a particular strain of anomie that is unique to the white American male experience."

Anonymous said...

Bless this oligarchy and plutocracy, forefathers must be rolling..

Catspaw said...

You're essentially right. With the exception that the GOP was some glowing light of a party prior to Nixon. The answer is NO. The Party had its glowing Eisenhower as a fig leaf over the crazies remaining from the McCarthy days.

In fact, the party has been living and breathing the notion that the best defense is an attack. This is what the Dems should learn. Attacck, attack, attack, and it makes not difference with what weapon.

This explains, for instance, Their choice of "tax breaks" as a mantra and the "weak on defence" and the bugaboop of "socialism." Neither of these makes any sense taken out of context. I have asked perhaps thousands of Americans to please define socialism, they can't do it, or when they do (just about), ask them to compare with what the gubmint is doing at that moment... And the light begins to go on.

Lastlay: Do not underestimate the GOP and its attack method. And do not think for a minute that bachmann is meant to run. She is meant to distract us. She is the feint in the boxing ring, the illusionist before the main concert, she is the lady with the deep decolté and the ice cream at intermission.

Should she win by accident, then too bad for the GOP, they will lose the election. But the party strategists know what they are doing and they are taking a risk. The GOP is not a political party, it#s an army, it is run for the interests of someone else. And it is run well.