It’s kind of a shame. I’m a nice liberal. I feel for my conservative brethren and I’ve warned them repeatedly that their behavior will get them nowhere fast. Yet they persist in childish obstructionism, total lack of original thought and at times downright nasty rhetoric. The Whigs managed to get two Presidents elected in the mid 19th century. They actually got four for their trouble since both elected Presidents (Harrison and Taylor) died in office leaving two VP’s to step into the Oval Office. When Millard Fillmore finished his term, that was the last we heard of the Whigs. In 1860, the Republicans got their first electoral victory and a fine victory it was too, none other than Abraham Lincoln. The Republican track record has been considerably better than the Whigs. Alas, I think the show is almost over. Look what happens, conservative ladies and gentlemen when you ignore my advice.
The Washington Post and ABC News asked a random sample of about 1000 adults which party they would put in the House of Representatives if the election was today. The GOP gets whupped by a whopping 12 points. The news doesn’t get much better with the next question.
Who do you have confidence in? Obama, Democratic Congressmen or Republican Congressmen?
Congress as a whole doesn’t come out looking too good here. Obama does not crack 50 but even among the sad Congressional numbers, the GOP is pathetic. The GOP’s decision making ability inspires the confidence of not even 20% of those polled.
You might suspect from these numbers that not too many people even want to be called Republicans anymore. You would be right.
As Keith Olbermann correctly pointed out tonight on MSNBC’s “Countdown”, this is worse than a five percent drop since August (at the peak of Tea Party mania). It actually says that one in five folks since August have disassociated themselves from the Republican party.
So what happens when a party becomes irrelevant? One thing that happens is that serious people start to simply ignore them. Since they now have no one outside the party with which to engage, they are left to talk amongst themselves and this can get pretty ugly. I wrote a short time ago that the Republican party was starting to eat itself as town hall rowdy’s attacked one of their own, Lindsay Graham. Yet another example occurred a few days ago at the Western Conservative Political Action Conference. John Ziegler, a radio talk show host with a major hard-on for Sarah Palin (he made a documentary about how she was abused by the media) interviewed the head of the CPAC, David Keene. Keene had made the grave mistake of accusing Palin of “whining” and other behavior unbecoming of a Presidential hopeful.
Now, if you haven’t noticed, you have to search far and wide to find any leading conservative who will call out Ms. Palin for her amateur hour audition for a place in national politics. Keene violated this rule. (Steve Schmidt, McCain’s campaign adviser violated it also but backed off his comments a few days later.) So Sarah’s valiant defender, Mr. Ziegler went up one side of Keene and down the other. The following two part video is long but instructive to Republicans who might want to stop internal bickering and start providing real leadership. For liberals, it’s just a hoot to watch! In part 1, the “interview” between Ziegler and Keene starts out well enough, but soon deteriorates.
As part 2 gets underway, Keene is now thoroughly irritated and suggests that Ziegler is deserving of physical violence.
Democrats fight among themselves all the time. That is one reason health care reform is so long in coming this year. The Democrats can’t get out of each other’s way (can you spell bluedogs?). Usually Republicans are an efficient single minded by the book voting machine. That is why these bursting seams are so unexpected and so symptomatic of a party in self destruct mode.
OK, let me try this one more time. My Republican friends, please follow my prescription:
1. Kick Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Jim DeMint and various other loony tunes to the side.
2. Try coming up with some original ideas, some alternatives that people can get behind. Right now we have a one party system.
3. Turn the other cheek and show Obama more respect than your man Bush got during his terms. This will buy you truck loads of good will.
If you don’t heed my warning this time, I can assure you that your grandchildren’s history books will read:
The first great Republican President was Abraham Lincoln and the last one was Ronald Reagan. After the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush, the GOP never won another election and ceased to exist altogether in 2011.