If you’re a political junkie, it’s fun watching the Republican Party try and “reinvent” itself. Trust me, with nerds like Bobby Jindal and Paul Ryan as the leading 2016 presidential hopefuls, it will take more than just some feeble attempts at window dressing to turn this party around. The fact is the Republicans only have to return to being a political party which welcomes diversity. Be what they once were: a primarily moderate political party. Moderates are simply not welcome in the current version of the GOP. Today’s Republican Party was taken over by the extreme right, otherwise known as the Tea Party. It wasn’t too long ago when political lightweights like Sara Palin were actually considered presidential material. Not only was she not worthy of that office-she became a national joke best represented by Tina Fey’s remarkable impression of the then Republican Vice Presidential nominee. To common sense Americans, if this was the best the GOP had to offer, then they would surely lose. The interesting thing was last years choice of Paul Ryan as the VP choice. His very presence was almost erased from coverage after the Republican hierarchy realized the American people weren’t buying his policy-wonk ideas.
Ideas from Republicans on how best to revitalize America is what’s at the heart of their problem: there seems to be no new ideas on how to help the middle class. If you don’t believe me, google some excerpts from last weeks Republican National Committee’s winter meetings in Charlotte, North Carolina. You know there’s trouble when your chairman comes in the form of one Reince Priebus. Look up nerd in the dictionary and you’ll see the picture of this twit. A lame, uninteresting clod who couldn’t say an interesting or funny remark if his life depended on it…and what’s left of his political life just might. Should the Republicans choose this oddball again to run the party-look for more losses. The only places the Republicans can surely win are in the gerrymandered congressional districts which mandates a right-winger will always win the primary. This process helped the Republicans win the House of Representatives and gave the party a short-termed boost, but also helped put the GOP in the political corner they’re now trying to get out of.
Last week at this winter meeting, Priebus enthusiastically introduced the big star of the week: Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal. Two extreme nerds were on the stage at one time, before Priebus left to go sharpen some pencils. Jindal, the great GOP guru of the Republican Party proceeded to give his 7 point plan on how to reinvigorate his party. It sounded like he read a script from a recent Rush Limbaugh show. In Limbaugh’s narrow world, a person of Indian descent like Jindal is proof of the GOP’s diversity. All Jindal could keep repeating was how Democrats were for big government, more debt and taxes. He kept speaking in vague terms of how Republicans shouldn’t focus on the federal debt or even the economy so much as how to become the “party of growth”. He never seemed to offer specifics, just something about growing more jobs, taxing people less, and through this…jobs would suddenly appear. In other words, the Republican messiah offered the same old and tired litany which has shrunk their party’s appeal. What they simply don’t get is, talking about immigration reform doesn’t change their image. They’re mainly a party of white people who still believe in trickle-down economics. They honestly believe if you just tax rich people less-jobs will grow. George W. Bush did this, even during war time (unlike any other American President in history) and he had one of the worst job growth records of the past 60 years. The Republicans are still against Roe V Wade, and they’re against gay marriage.Mitt Romney, their last presidential nominee, not only wanted to double-down on trickle-down, he also was in favor of self deportation. Only in Romney’s bizarre idea of how the human mind works, would illegal immigrants in America voluntarily walk across our southern border, and say goodbye to the United States.
I’ve been in favor of a third viable political party for decades. It’s a tough thing to make this happen since the Democrats and Republicans will use all their money and power to assure that doesn’t occur. At the very least, I would hope to see a return of a sensible Republican Party. This may have a chance since, over the course of time, if the Republicans keep losing, they may see the light and return to being a party of moderates. Read or listen to a reasonable conservative, journalist David Brooks, and see what he says about the Republican dilemma. He is what I consider to be a common sense conservative. People like Bob Dole and Alan Simpson were once the heart of the conservative wing of the Republican Party, and I couldn’t stand those guys at one time. They now seem like a mere figment of my imagination and memory. I long to see people like them once again take back their long lost party now in the hands of the extreme right. They have spoken out against these “mad-men”, and they’re not talking about advertising.
Time is usually the ultimate healer. Any of us who have lost a loved one knows that over the course of time, our wounds of loss heal, at least to a certain degree where we can go on with our lives. The test of time will hopefully heal the Republican Party, who got caught up in what seemed “right” at the time. They managed to gain some early success with many tea party types voted into congress. But time also showed these people to be uncompromising and myopic in their view of America and the world. They put party loyalty over the pressing needs of Americans and we are the worse for it. No great nation can govern properly when one party devotes itself to blocking a President and the opposition of moving the country forward. To bring the country to a near halt every three months over legislation which was once just a formality is reckless and invites uncertainty. This is what has evolved from voting in the extreme right. It’s the Republicans who now have to see the error of extremism and banish the crazies to either a third party or get comfortable with becoming (ultimately) irrelevant. The next generation of voters are not buying into what the current Republican Party is selling. When your top account representatives include the likes of Bobby Jindal, Reince Priebus or Paul Ryan, you may want to go back and reshuffle your inventory of top producers: this group offers nothing of interest for future voters. Being an honest conservative doesn’t have much to do with being from the extreme right. That’s the lesson the GOP needs to understand.