by Dr. Thomas Keister
After watching how much of the last week went down for the Republicans, one gets the feeling someone needs to take them to a neutral corner and explain how the whole "comeback tour" is supposed to go. You had Michael Steele become the new head of the RNC, emerging from a slightly ponderous candidate pool as the first African-American elected to the position, you had continued punditing on the media crush on Rush Limbaugh, as he has recently found a way to turn his noise to 11, and more proof of the blind failing the GOP has been reduced to in sound-biting. There was no doubt more to cover this past week, but hell, if I wrote about the Republicans full-time, I'd probably develop an ulcer.
Andrew Card, former Bush Chief of Staff, made remarks earlier in the week regarding the level of respect President Obama is showing the job thus far. His problem seems to be that Obama is doing work in the Oval Office with his sleeves rolled up, or tieless, or some other form of casual. His complaint comes with a comparison of the level of respect Card believes that Presidents Ronald Reagan and both Bushes showed the Presidency, which he labels "tremendous." Sure, I guess if you were going to go with a dress code measuring stick, you might have an argument, but trying to talk of respect for the Presidency, when you were a top level lackey to the undisputed worst President in this country's history, is kind of like trying to hype a fighter while his ring crew is still trying to wake him up following a knockout.
Steele, who survived several rounds of voting, during which Mike Duncan dropped his bid to remain RNC chair, featured candidates who had to resign from a whites-only country club or who treated the election as the perfect CD release party for a racial parody song, is now off to a dubious start in his new role as one of the top Republican noise-holes: “You and I know that in the history of mankind and womankind, government—federal, state or local—has never created one job. It’s destroyed a lot of them.”
Yeah, Michael Steele, the new head of the Republican National Committee, and former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, actually said that. Since there was no struggle to maintain a straight face mentioned in any account of the remark, it is fair to assume that he actually believes that. Without even getting into the ludicrous notion that government has never created a single job, this is ironic coming from the head of the RNC, given that our previous President, a Republican, created two notable jobs, the director of Homeland Security and the director of the White House Office of faith-based what the hell ever.
Puzzled, but hardly surprised by the maelstrom of attention given to Rush Limbaugh here in recent weeks. I was wondering how hard the far right-wing would strain, and seeing as how the rest the Republicans could do so far was criticize the occasionally casual workplace dress code and try and create an urban legend of political science, Limbaugh has clearly taken the lead. There's been all manner of spin on his `I want him to fail' statement, and why? His job is to whip up conservative interest and outrage, but now it's to rebuild confidence rather than confidently reassure. Obviously he wants Obama to fail, but he wants the Democrats to fail more. The concept of such failure leading to a Republican rebirth in the 2010 elections would allow Limbaugh to take partial, if not full credit for that, and at every opportunity he can possibly get his hands on. The fact mainstream media had paid it so much attention is merely helping Limbaugh draw in more suckers to listen to the 14 million suckers a week that listen to his show, which apparently warrants $38 million a year through 2016. Damn, that's not even Howard Stern money, and he draws not even a quarter of your audience.
At any rate, I hope the GOP gets amped up, and starts trying to offer more than whining about contraceptives and wardrobe choices. It may make sense, when you really get down to it, but why offer it as a marquee issue? It was weak, and it made them look not only like they were nitpicking, but like they didn't want anyone to get laid, either. Thanks to the recession, a lot of people are getting screwed, but why do they want to step in and stop people from being fucked?
by Dr. Thomas Keister