Friday, April 24, 2009

Republicans Literally Reduced to Name-Calling

I actually had to verify this, then re-verify this, then — screw it, just to be sure — go back and look at both sources and rub my eyes with my fists like a Warner Brothers cartoon character stranded in a boat with Foghorn Leghorn as he slowly morphed between being a giant feathered chicken and a Kenny Rogers Roaster.

From Greg Sargent's The Plumline blog:
Over a dozen members of the conservative wing of the RNC have submitted a new resolution, to be eventually voted on by the entire RNC, that would call on the Democratic party to rename itself the “Democrat Socialist Party.” If the RNC adopts this resolution, the RNC’s official view would become that Democrats are socialists. From the resolution:
RESOLVED, that we the members of the Republican National Committee call on the Democratic Party to be truthful and honest with the American people by acknowledging that they have evolved from a party of tax and spend to a party of tax and nationalize and, therefore, should agree to rename themselves the Democrat Socialist Party.

This is it. This is how bankrupt they are. This is all they have, all they have been reduced to. This is the Grand Old Strategy of the Grand Old Party:
• I am going to call you names.
• Then I am going to dare you to call yourself these names too.
• If you don't, I'm going to call you the names again.
• In 2012, people will give us back the nuclear codes.
Still, it's hardly a surprise, is it? Their bold plan during the '08 campaign was to reiterate the word socialist until they won that election, and it didn't work, but maybe the word just didn't have time to take hold. Maybe we should hear it lots more and get it registered somewhere. Also, maybe it didn't have enough pizzazz! *

* — After the election, they looked at Barack Obama, a charismatic black leader, and seemed to say, "A negro! Where can we get one of those?" as if doing so would provide instant charisma for a suddenly moribund political philosophy that had just imploded under the success of its own implementation. Then, presumably, they remembered that Alan Keyes was always sitting on standby next to a fueled jet and ready to fly to any state or district in the country where the Republicans needed to put on a blackface candidacy to win an election; remembered how that's worked out for them in the past and deleted his number from the RNC Rolodex and went with Michael Steele instead. (Of course, after another front-runner turned out to be a racist.) Someone told me that Keyes actually made it out for the tea parties, but I don't believe him. Personally, I think he's sitting inside the hangar of a private airport, secretly wondering if his Blackberry just isn't getting any reception at all, while a guy at the hangar desk who looks like a William Sanderson villain suspects that turning in "this guy what looks like the drug smuggler from LOST" will get him a DEA reward.

The funny thing is, it's not working. Michael Steele's RNC Chairmanship has been a joke, making him not only an unfortunate figure of tokenism for the nation but also in his own party as well. He's truculently apologized to Rush Limbaugh for having the audacity to pretend to speak for the Republican party, and has been consistently undercut by party sounding boards whose only qualifications are making it onto FOX News after hosting an afternoon drive-time Zoo Crew on ClearChannel Radio. Putting him in charge of the Republicans has been like watching a teacher leave a classroom full of middle-school pituitary cases under the charge of the kid wearing the scoliosis brace.

For instance, Steele (as that article points out) lukewarmly criticized the usage of "socialism" in describing the Democrats, something he should have done with far more vigor. Because the more Republicans flog the term socialism, the more it causes people to look it up and say, "Hey, this actually doesn't sound bad." Moreover, since guys like Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, O'Reilly, Boehner and McConnell keep using the term — and since their approval numbers are low even for the heart-rate of a hibernating bear pumped full of quaaludes — it inadvertently makes people approve of it because, honestly, anything these assholes hate has to verge on competency even by accident.

Thus, amazingly the GOP leadership wants to take a failed campaign strategy, one that demographically only increases positive awareness of the political system they're condemning and one that only intensifies support for whatever it is ("Because, hey, at least it isn't another idea from these shitheads") and institutionalize it.

It's as if some lowly wanderer stumbled across a tiny glowing Orb of Failure and marveled at how he could wave it at crops and desiccate them, place it on children's brows to steal the breath from their bodies and plunge it into riverbeds to evaporate them. Then he walked for days until by accident he happened upon a marvelous city with fabulous god-like beings called "computers" that had wired all the billions of people of the world together; and then he looked at his Orb of Failure and said, "I want to plug it into those."

That this isn't even the first iteration of their own failure of aggressive partisan rebranding makes it even funnier. They do all right telling lies about themselves for a while — "compassionate conservatism," "not being riddled with homosexuals and pedophiles," etc. — but they come up short with other people. "Freedom Fries" did nothing to France short of fueling its American Contempt Machine for another decade.*

* — It even managed to do so with exquisite efficiency. I'm trying to imagine something more blunderingly offensive than creating the side order of Freedom Fries to spite an entire nation that you're busy directly insulting via an echo chamber that keeps referring to them as "Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys." I'm not sure that tactlessness on this order can happen without a wild kind of moronic genius. All that comes to mind is apologizing to a hostess for deliberately vomiting at her cocktail party by interrupting her hosting an important dinner, putting a wet turd on a salver and sending it in to her as your calling card. Even that doesn't seem like enough.

And as for the Democratic Party, this isn't the first namechange attempt by a long shot. Note the first word in the proposed namechange, "Democrat Socialist Party." For years now, the Republicans have attempted to subversively convince Americans that the Democrats aren't a "democratic" party by refusing to call them the Democratic Party and instead shortening it to "Democrat Party." The implication being, of course, that anyone who is a Democrat is implicitly socialist or communist or maybe just some hemp-faced tree-dicked babyraper homo — anything, in short, other than actually democratic. That I felt any obligation to explain that to a reader speaks volumes about the success of the strategy and exactly the kind of sophisticated thinking at work here.

Naturally, any prolonged thinking about the topic invariably brings up the fact that re-branding and re-naming the Republican Party is infinitely easier than rebranding the Democrats. You can probably come up with five new names off the top of your head. Feel free to share some in the comments section. Here are some starters:
The Torture Party
The "We Invaded a Country Armed with Maps of Tons of Explosive Material and Couldn't Find It Even Though WE HAD FUCKING MAPS and There Were TONS of It, Until—Oops, We Realized We Actually Just Made All This Shit Up" Party
The "I Oppose All Rights for Gays Except for the Right to Take Them Into My Eager, Waiting Mouth Inside a Public Toilet" Party
The Go Fuck Yourself Party
It's hard to conceive of any group under this much easy firepower opening themselves up to more of it by starting a re-branding debate, but these aren't world-class thinkers, here.

These are the same people who raise their voices in shrieking torment at earmarks, then raise them again at the cutting of the development of the F-22, a plane assembled in over 40 states and very likely just out of earmarks. These are the same people who send the Governor of Louisiana to explain why states absolutely need zero funding for prediction and reduction of the scope of natural disasters. These are the same people whose governors declared their refusal to accept stimulus package monies and then, when that news cycle was over, took all of it anyway. These are the same people who slashed regulations, regulatory budgets and regulatory agencies' oversight while staffing them with laissez-faire freebooters taking an eight-year government holiday and then alleged that the collapse of the market was brought on by aggressive over-regulation.

These are basically children. This explains neatly why they encourage supporters to throw things (tea) to show their displeasure (apparently with bodies of water???). Why they shout so much. Why books apparently suck. Why the best expression of what you believe in should be in 48-point font, less than 12 words and sitting there, like a beacon, over a set of Truck Nutz. (LONG MAY THEY WAVE.)

These people are toddlers who just seriously suggested that the way to reenergize their position in the national discourse was not to re-think their atavistic social policies or the fundamentally flawed economic policies they proffered from 2000-2007 and then proffered again in 2008 as a solution to what they enacted from 2000-2007. No, their solution was to find something better to yell on the playground.

Why stop there, anyway? Why not THE BUTTHOLE PARTY of the UNITED BUTTHOLES OF BONERLAND? They've already rhetorically seceded from the United States in the first place — apparently Obama, Reid and Pelosi have re-dubbed it the United Socialist States of America — so they might as well call the occupation government whatever they like.

The only problem is, supposedly they speak for 55 million people. Or maybe the problem is that this isn't a problem at all. When you try to infantilize a third of the American electorate by reducing your entire platform to what "axiomatic" hogwash is brief enough to be screamed the loudest and most often, maybe screaming it again is a solution. Why go to the effort anymore of attempting to scare the shit out of your supporters and the mushy middle with tautological descriptions of Democratic poopyheadedness?

Why not just call them The Poopyheads?

It can't hurt. If anything the Democrats will just fuck up the opportunity you give them anyway.