How About Starting With the Man in the Mirror?
Evidently, Republicans are semi-serious about their campaign to “stamp out the uglitude” in the hopes of winning some elections this century without redistricting every other week. At least they’re willing to spend money on it.
The latest pep rally took place in Charlotte, North Carolina where Republicans decided to shoot the messenger and move on. I have to agree with Christian Science Monitor reporter, Patrik Jonsson, on the takeaway from that meeting:
The meeting confirmed what most Americans can see plainly: The Party of Lincoln is having a crisis of confidence. The failure of Mitt Romney to connect deeply enough to win a race against a vulnerable Democratic incumbent shook the party establishment, which is already dealing with a powerful internecine and absolutist revolt from right-wingers in the guise of the tea party.
For now, Republicans say they’ll focus less on changing the message than tweaking the messenger. Talk of beefing up the party’s ground game and social media activities dominated much of the discussion, as did “tone” – how ill-chosen words by a few candidates, including Mr. Romney, helped shade perceptions and weaken the party’s message.
On Sunday, the GOP’s Boy Blunder, Paul Ryan, offered up this generic insight:
We have to expand our appeal to more people and show how we will take the country’s founding principles and apply them to the problems of the day to offer solutions to fix our problems. We have to show our ideas are better at fighting poverty, how our ideas are better at solving health care, how our ideas are better at solving the problems that people are experiencing in their daily lives. And that’s a challenge that we have to rise to. And I think we’re up for it.
I guess none of that had occurred to Ryan when he was blithely lying his way through the 2012 Republican Convention.
Few would argue that Republicans don’t have to “expand [their] appeal to more people” because their base is literally dying off. But the interesting thing about Ryan’s statement is that he has a sort of “drug pusher mentality” of “. . . try it. You’ll like it” about the GOP Platform despite the American public’s quantifiable and overwhelming repudiation of the ultra-conservative ideologies, policies and tactics that currently make up the GOP Bag O’ Tricks.
And where are these “. . . ideas better at fighting poverty. . . .at solving health care. . . at solving the problems that people are experiencing in their daily lives” going to come from? Certainly NOT from Ryan’s own signature Budget Plan which has been exhaustively analyzed and ridiculed by economists to the extent that his own running mate had to distance himself from it.
Moreover, comments coming from GOP Leadership, on all of the hot-button issues of the day, infer that the party is definitely in tweak rather than overhaul mode.
But why should the electorate believe any Republican about-face when they have just been treated to the most egregious lying ever to feature in a Presidential campaign? The one thing that is consistent about Republicans in 2012 was that they would say or do anything to get elected. Are we to believe that has changed?
Well, don’t struggle with the answer to that one—it’s NO. Here’s just a sample offering of Republican post-election ideas and legislation that we are expected to recognize as being “better” at fighting poverty, solving health care and the problems that people are experiencing in their daily lives”:
At the annual anti-abortion protest March for Life, last Friday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) took the opportunity to reiterate his commitment to banning abortion in America for good. Boehner said he will make it a national priority to “help make abortion a relic of the past. Let that be one of our most fundamental goals this year,” he said.
Okay. This is the Speaker of the House of Representatives unveiling his number one legislative priority. It has nothing to do with jobs, education, health care, the economy, immigration but rather a forty-year-old hobby-horse of an issue to weaken the law of the land. And to spend Congressional time and taxpayers’ money doing it. Again.
But wait! Speaker Boehner isn’t finished yet. He also managed to soak the taxpayers for more legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act, which has been adjudicated unconstitutional by numerous federal courts.
And, speaking of wasting taxpayers’ dollars, there’s this:
On Thursday, the first day of the 113th Congress, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) pounced on the opportunity to announce that she’d filed the first bill of the new legislative session. Something about it looked familiar.
It’s an effort that has been tried repeatedly by House Republicans—at least 33 times—only to fail, or ultimately be shot down by the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats.
And that, on the heels of a highly criticized failure, by the House, to wrap up work on a relief package for victims of Superstorm Sandy or move on a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
[So far, not much has changed.]
Or, how about this:
New Mexico state Rep. Cathrynn Brown proved that this week by introducing a bill aimed at throwing rape victims in jail if they refuse to honor their rapist’s right to control their body by carrying his child. This sort of insult to rapists will not stand, so Brown, standing up bravely for rapists who want the suffering they’ve inflicted to carry on and on for their victims, has proposed banning abortion for rape victims on the phony grounds that it’s “tampering with evidence”.
That ought to put a stop to slutty single girls using abortion as a contraceptive—a favorite Republican meme.
Arizona Republicans—some of the most Republicanuttiest in the Land are trying to mandate that religious oaths about defending the Constitution be recited in order to graduate high school.
Here’s the proposed oath:
I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; so help me God.
That should help. And how about the people who already take oaths like that? Like sherriffs? who inform the President they will not be enforcing his gun laws because they’re UNCONSTITUTIONAL [in their humble opinion]
If you’re not convinced this is really stupid, how about the part that says “I take this obligation freely”? Shouldn’t they add something like “because I really, REALLY need to graduate.”
And, just in case all of that fails to rebrand the GOP, there’s always election rigging . . .
Virginia Republicans have been on a ruthless tear in the past few weeks. On Inauguration Day, when Democratic state Sen. Henry L. Marsh III was attending the festivities in Washington, Republicans pushed through a surprise redistricting bill that passed along party lines—20 to 19. Marsh’s district would be carved up to create another African-American-dominated district in the vicinity of Richmond while essentially erasing a Democratic-controlled district in rural western Virginia currently held by former gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds.
The bill was proposed and pushed through with such speed that Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell said he was taken by surprise but would reserve judgment on whether he would actually veto the bill. After outcry over the electoral scheme, his office said the governor opposed the larger change, a position aped by the current AG and GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli—a telling head fake toward the center by one of the most extreme candidates in recent memory. If he actually becomes governor this fall, I’m willing to bet he’ll change his mind right quick.
As John Avlon, of The Daily Beast, commented:
Situational ethics are rampant in hyperpartisan politics, but this proposal is a perversion of political reform—transparently cynical and self-interested. It is the mark of a desperate party trying to rig the election results to stay in power for as long as it can. If Republicans want to remain competitive in swing states, they should work harder to reach out beyond their conservative populist base. These sordid proposals are nothing more than a scam and a scheme with the American people as the intended mark and the White House as the glittering prize.
I’m afraid this is still, very much, your Granddad’s GOP.