Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Last 100 Days

I’m referring, of course, to that of the GOP.

So much has been made of the Obama administration’s first 100 days that only Frank Rich of the NY Times has been chronicling the GOP’s final political death spiral during the same period of time.

Now that Mr. Obama is finally losing that new President smell and we’re taking down the bunting and cut ribbons from the three and a half month-long supermarket Grand Openings (gauging a presidency in its first 100 days is like appraising a marriage based solely on the honeymoon), we’re seeing the other side. And in the Limbaugh-led GOP’s hysterics over losing power we’re seeing not checks and balances or even “loyal but principled opposition” as much as mule-stubborn obstructionism. As Rich said, we need the GOP (Yes, believe it or not) even if no other reason than to act as a counterweight to an admirably ambitious if at times naïve Obama presidency.

Perhaps this is actually why Joe Biden said in the first days after the 2006 midterms that was the first political equivalent of the Night of Long Knives for the GOP that the Republican Party needed to get back up. We (myself included) jeered the future Vice President for saying that. But I think that then-Senator Biden was referring to checks and balances.

Instead of principled leadership, we’re just seeing more of the same clownishness that’s characterized the GOP and its hardcore constituency for at least the last 8+ years. We’ve heard threats of secession. We’ve seen Tea Parties in which the new President was called a “Socialist” and even “Hitler.” We’ve seen a completely united front opposing necessary legislation such as Dick Durbin’s homeowner’s relief bill and the $787 billion economic relief bill and stubborn lawsuits in Minnesota keeping the 100th Senator from the Senate a half a year after the election. And no one in sight remotely resembling a leader other than a confirmed drug addict who does a radio show out of his house.

The latter-day GOP reminds me of a Theater of the Absurd play that could’ve been written by Pirondello: Six Million Characters In Search of a Leader. With the way the Republican Party has been conducting itself, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they opposed even a safe, pragmatic nomination such as Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court in the proud minority tradition of “loyal but principled opposition” solely in the interests of reigniting ideologies that are as anachronistic as the GOP itself.

What we’re seeing on Capitol Hill is a strange mixture of rigid organization on the part of the Democratic White House and the complete opposite on the Republican side, a party once notorious for its message and focus discipline. Nowadays, blind ideological opposition to progressive and necessary legislation is the closest thing the GOP has to discipline.

Party discipline to ideas is what the Democratic Party is showcasing under President Obama. Party discipline to ideology, while it may have worked for the GOP these past eight plus years, plainly does not work now and the sooner the Republicans understand this, the sooner they, too, will recover with the rest of the nation.


At May 3, 2009 at 5:39 PM, Anonymous Cats r Flyfishn said...

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.”

Charles Darwin

The Republican Party will not survive because they are NOT responsive to change. And Pennsylvania Democrats will not support Specter if the precinct Committee people have their say and they will.

At May 3, 2009 at 5:44 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Not with Pat Toomey impatiently lurking in the wings.

At May 3, 2009 at 8:45 PM, Blogger Bukko_in_Australia said...

The Repubelickin' Party has devolved into a cult based on Southerners, Christopathic snake-handlers and stupid-heads. It will die a well-deserved death.

But the class and economic forces it used to represent are still alive. They will not seek to reanimate the corpse of the "R" Party any more than a cicada would seek to crawl back inside the abandoned skin it has outgrown. Although I predict the ruling class will seek to keep the Gooper brand kicking as a diversion.

What's going to happen is that the Republican class is going to stealthily take over the "Democratic" Party. The upper-class minions have already infiltrated it. The "Dems" who voted against the "cramdown" legislation are an example. Harry Reid is an example. Every fucking "Democrat" like Diane Feinstein who's become a multi-millionaire while serving in political office is an example. Alluding back to your sci-fi YouTube clips, the "Dem" Party is now a pod-person.

The ruse that "Democrats" represent the working class should work to fool the sheeple for a few election cycles, though. Then there will be a "D" collapse as the Greens become the people's party, and some Ron Paul-ish libertarian force becomes the voice of the economic right wing. There will be a lot of roiling floodwater to pass under the bridge as that happens, though. It will be interesting to see, for those observers who aren't drowned in it all.

At May 3, 2009 at 9:34 PM, Blogger WereBear said...

They don't have a bench at all. That's going to hurt them.

If there was a sensible and charismatic figure in the entire party, they would have popped up by now.

Instead, to use a baseball analogy, they've been picking players based on how well-tailored their uniform is, not how well they hit or pitch.

They don't have a Buckley any more, either.

At May 6, 2009 at 1:48 AM, Blogger William N. Grigg said...

Three years ago, prior to the last Bush mid-term congressional elections, the GOP went all-in holding the following cards: Executive dictatorship and perpetual war.

They lost, big time, and have been hemorrhaging chips ever since. Now they're trying to arrange a buy-in by playing on fears of ... well, executive-led dictatorship, which apparently works just fine as long as the President is of the right party and color, but becomes a world-historic threat when he isn't.

There are some places where the GOP isn't even bothering to disguise its appeal to racial antagonism.

In Phoenix, for example, Joe Arpaio, a rotten pillar of the local GOP, was recently caught on video chatting amicably with the head of the local National Socialist Party during the Nazis' counter-protest at an immigrants' rights march.

Arpaio posed for a photo with the Nazi, who warmly informed him that he and his fellow jackbooted jackoffs "have your back."

Stuff of this sort is happening at the periphery of the GOP in many places. In Arizona, where fear of the Brown Peril (viz. Mexicans who work here without government permission) is the central Republican concern, literal Nazis participate openly in Republican politics.

Somewhere, Barry Goldwater is suffering the dry heaves. And he probably joins me in hoping that the GOP will soon go the way of the Whigs.

At May 22, 2009 at 1:57 PM, Blogger Joseph said...


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At May 22, 2009 at 3:11 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

You're kidding, right?


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