They dream of Rush Reagan.
I would be delighted if the GOP were to transubstantiate itself into something humane, pragmatic, data-drive and debate-worthy, because God knows we need all hands on deck these days.
But they won't -- they can't -- and so you now have the spectacle of a party/movement/cult that, on one hand, has clearly no fucking idea what it's core values even are anymore, but on the other hand is sprinting from camera to camera reassuring themselves that all they need do rebrand their atrocious ideology instead of rethinking it.
And if all this sounds a trifle familiar, it is because it is a shot-for-shot remake of the same incandescently brilliant strategy they trotted out after getting their milkshakes chugged in 2006.
Because ignorance and racism yoked to the service of plutocracy is not some weird, leftover ornament from the Very Very White Christmas --
-- of an age gone by.
Reformers. But… but, they just can’t help themselves. Like well-dressed junkies, they go back to get their fix; like spoiled children, they break down and cry and demand attention; like washed up athletes and Little Misses, they can’t stop talking about their Glory Days, when what they did mattered, at least to them.
And they expect America to sit quietly, smile politely and listen, once again, to how they could throw that football over that mountain. How, if things were different, they would have won. But always, always, revisiting whatever scene makes the best excuse and gets the most sympathy. And for Republicans, it’s always 9/11/2001. Always.…
Ignoring both the slowly suffocating voices of their own consciences as well as the advice of party stalwarts like Barry “Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's ass" Goldwater, the GOP spent the last 30 years wallowing luxuriously in the electoral mudhole that Richard Nixon clawed into the soft, red clay of Lester Maddox’s Georgia and George Wallace’s Alabama.
Because it fucking worked.
Because coaxing every miscreant, homophobe, gun nut, blood-and-soil Aryan nationalist, garden variety bigot and Christopath out from under every rock and rotting log in the Confederacy, down a rose-petal-strewn red carpet and into the Party of Lincoln won elections.
And as long as it was working, everyone who had hitched a ride in the Party of God's windowless clown wagon was quite content to busy themselves with aggressively ignoring the monster they had made, calling Liberals "traitor" and Turning Rush Up Louder when the screams from the vivisecting of the American Dream in the back of the van got too ear-splitting to ignore.
It was only after the tires had long since shredded off the Republican Long Con and the sparks from the rims had set the world on fire that the Party "moderates" finallyfinallyfinally started to wake up from their long Reagan-mancrush/tax-cut/heroin nod and wonder why everything smelled of shit, fascism and Fake Jesus, where all of those millions and millions of freaks had come from and who had given them the keys to "their" Party.
And so the African-American Michael Steele will serve out his term RNC Chair as the deeply-closeted Ken Mehlman served out his; front man for a Party that hates what he is, flesh and bone.
A Party that will trot him out on Let’s Pretend Unity Day when they need to shuck the media into believing that the legions of 27%-ers have been magically raptured away and that three decades of failure, lies, Limbaugh and Bush never happened.
A Party that will heave him into the boiling spotlight every time another George Allen fuckwit gets into political trouble and goes to the Karl Rove/Lee Atwater/Newt Gingrich, one-page, all-purpose, GOP “Blow that fucking ‘I-hate-darkies-too’ dog whistle as loud as you can” playbook --
-- to save himself.
Of course Steele's past political genius moves, from getting Mike Tyson and Don King to campaign for him...
From Pam’s House Blend:I don't care if Mike Tyson is your brother-in-law, he's a flipping ear-muncher, rapist and head case. What an endorsement. And Steele even said this (don't fall off of your chair):"Let me tell you about Mike Tyson," Steele said. "He is one of the most engaging and smartest guys I have ever had a chance to go toe to toe with in a debate."But wait, there's more...At a news conference at an Italian restaurant, Tyson said he would likely go just four rounds and that future stops on the tour might include bouts with women, possibly professional boxer Ann Wolfe....When asked if he was joking about fighting women, Tyson said, "I'm very serious."...The man who vowed to eat Lennox Lewis' children and bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear has said he's in no mood for a comeback.But wait, there's even more...why stop at Tyson -- Steele scored promoter Don King to campaign for him:"Yeah, Michael Steele, y'all, the next United States senator of the great state of Maryland," King bellowed as he descended the stairs of the Republican nominee's big blue campaign bus and set foot on Pennsylvania Avenue. "He cares about Jesus."...King, 75, served about four years in prison for manslaughter for stomping a man to death in 1966, according to news reports. In 1954, he shot another man - King said the victim was a burglar - and was acquitted."He is brilliant, charismatic, hardworking and totally amoral," said Thomas Hauser, author and lead writer for the boxing Web site Secondsout.
...to sprinting anonymously and at the speed-of-light the Hell away from his own Party’s sinking popularity while remaining dog-loyal to its positions, principles and policies in the hopes of head-faking his way into the Senate just two years ago...
For One Senate Candidate, the 'R' Is a 'Scarlet Letter'By Dana MilbankTuesday, July 25, 2006; A02The candidate, immersed in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country, sat down to lunch yesterday with reporters at a Capitol Hill steakhouse and shared his views about this year's political currents.On the Iraq war: "It didn't work. . . . We didn't prepare for the peace."On the response to Hurricane Katrina: "A monumental failure of government."On the national mood: "There's a palpable frustration right now in the country."It's all fairly standard Democratic boilerplate -- except the candidate is a Republican . And he's getting all kinds of cooperation from the White House, the Republican National Committee and GOP congressional leaders.Not that he necessarily wants it. "Well, you know, I don't know," the candidate said when asked if he wanted President Bush to campaign for him. Noting Bush's low standing in his home state, he finally added: "To be honest with you, probably not."...It's not an ideological matter. Even as he berated the president, the candidate allowed that he opposes a pullout from Iraq, agrees with Bush's veto of human embryonic stem cell research, and supports constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage and flag burning."He's the best!" cheered Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) when he stopped in to shake the candidate's hand during the lunch yesterday....The candidate looked the part of the contender, wearing a monogrammed shirt, his French cuffs sprouting cuff links coordinated with his necktie. He ate carefully, removing the gelatinous yolk from the four-minute egg in his salad. But he spoke with little caution as he ladled a heaping portion of criticism on his own party....The response to Katrina was "a monumental failure," he continued. "We became so powerful in our ivory towers, in our gated communities. We forgot that there are poor people." The detachment remained after the storm, he said. "I could see that they weren't getting it, they weren't necessarily clued in. . . . For me, the seminal moment was the [Dubai] port decision."...He spoke of his party affiliation as though it were a congenital defect rather than a choice. "It's an impediment. It's a hurdle I have to overcome," he said. "I've got an 'R' here, a scarlet letter."That left the candidate in a difficult spot. "For me to pretend I'm not a Republican would be a lie," he reasoned. But to run as a proud Republican? "That's going to be tough, it's going to be tough to do," he said. "If this race is about Republicans and Democrats, I lose."
... are any indicator of future performance, his tenure as the greeter at the Palin/Limbaugh Swinevolk Casino (From HuffPo)
Rush: 177, Obama: 0Obama tried to charm them, Rush tried to bully them. And the results are in. Round 1 goes by unanimous decision to Rush Limbaugh. Not one House Republican voted with the president on the stimulus package even after his "charm offensive."These guys are the barbarians at the gate, there's no charming them. President Obama went to visit them, he invited them over to the White House, he had drinks with them, he stood by while they bad-mouthed Congressional Democrats, he adjusted the bill for them, he cut out the contraception education and he added tax cuts. In the end, what did he get for his efforts? A big fat doughnut. Nothing.Not one House Republican voted for his stimulus package. 177-0.On the other side, they went groveling over to Rush, tripping over themselves to court his favor and take his tongue-lashings (how grotesque does that sound?). In the end, he got them all (and all the national attention -- which was his true goal)....
-- should be entertaining.
And hey, at least one Conservative Leader of the first water --
-- has lovely things to say about his prospects.