Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Stupid Party: If Not Now, When?

Jindal: a rising star until his SOTU response.
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal gained a lot of ears recently when he called the Republicans the "stupid party" in a speech aimed at revitalizing his fractious, moribund posse, as in "we've got to stop being the stupid party."

Since then House Majority Leader Eric Cantor gave a speech -- which also garnered a bit of attention -- in which he said that his party needs to appeal more to the middle class by (?), by which he meant stay the same but sound nicer.

A little bit of real change was offered by the Republican half of the Gang of Eight who put forth a framework for an immigration bill that included a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers. Florida senator Marco Rubio, part of said Gang, has been anointed the shining "Latino" star of the Republicans and slated to give the official Republican Party response to Barack Obama's State of the Union address next Tuesday.

Oddly, though Marco Rubio is considered a tea-party darling, Rand Paul is being offered up to give the unofficial tea-party response to Obama's SOTU because the tea partiers got their feathers ruffled by Karl Rove's Conservative Victory Project in which Rove will leverage establishment Republican angst into another of his famous grifts: Give me money to fight off tea-party primary challengers so we don't have loopy candidates in 2014. That went over like a lead crumpet for the Rand Pauls and Rush Limbaughs of the world, whose collective underwear are now hopelessly in a bunch. Hence R-Paul's alt speechifying.

Rising star Marco Rubio: He's a tea-party Latino. What could go wrong?

And now comes out of the House that a pathway to citizenship for undocumented Hispanics will pass when they pry it out of the tea-party caucus's cold, dead hands. Good luck, stupid party.

House tea-party caucus: Let's let them craft the immigration bill!
That malarkey comes on top of the recent Republican talking point that the sequester, which was crafted as the ultimate poison pill back in the summer of 2011 and is due to kick in March 1st, isn't so bad after all because it'll cut spending without giving the Democrats a chance to add new revenues to the stew. This strategy, which is actually more like a suicide note, is limping along on two cylinders as more and more Republican congresscritters realize that it will not only tank the economy, which they're certain to be blamed for, but also cut the crap out of their beloved defense spending.

Oh, what's a stupid party supposed to do? (Hint: stop being the stupid party.)

But this they cannot do. Although sensible gun safety reforms are quite popular among the populace, the Republicans are likely set on trying to shoot down all of the reforms, which won't look good on their résumés. Why doesn't this worry them?

Karl Rove: One last grift? At least.
It does worry Karl Rove. Well, no it doesn't. He just wants to grift money from those conservatives who are worried about it. No, the reason it doesn't worry the tea-party radicals in the Republican Party is because the famous 28% of conservative dead-enders live in enough gerrymandered safe districts that it actually pays to be the stupid party and work to kill gun reform, immigration reform, Obamacare, and so forth. For these radicals in the safe districts of the South, Midwest, and Plains states, being stupid is a feature and not a bug.

Thus, in spite of the admonishments of  Republican "guiding lights," such as Jindal, Rubio, Cantor, and Paul Ryan, the beleaguered, fractured, dissolute, disloyal opposition is not going to stop being stupid anytime soon. For them, stupid is yesterday, today, and a good deal of tomorrow.

Stay tuned if you dare. And if the networks decided to carry the Rand Paul unofficial tea-party SOTU response -- wanna bet it's ALL of the networks?? -- then tune in to that. It should be a real doozy. If it isn't, well, that would be really stupid.

Kentucky senator-for-life Rand Paul: couldn't be dogcatcher in a blue state. Go Rand!

Serious, non-sarcastic, depressing note. The combination of this messed-up rump Republican Party and the Very Serious People in the DC beltway mind-trap has the ability to screw this country up for a good while longer. But you didn't need me to remind you of that, did you?

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