I woke up this morning wondering if Barack Obama or the Democratic Party should sign up registered Republicans on their email lists. You know, the kind of emails that say, “David–I want to thank you for your support.” Or, “This victory belongs to you.” I think it’s a sound idea. I think it’d do more for the GOP than anything else they might try while wandering the wilderness–or whatever they’re doing. See, every knight needs a dragon to vanquish. Every superhero needs an arch nemesis. And every liberal needs conservative. For my first post of the new year, I thought I’d take a stroll down memory lane to assess the Grand Old Party’s inexorable slide off the cliff.
“I hope Obama fails,” Rush Limbaugh from January 16 2009.
Rushing to defend Rush, in those days, were John McCain, Mitch McConnel and John Boehner–all appearing on Fox News to support Limbaugh’s remark. Most interestingly, Mitt Romney also weighed in. Remember, these remarks came in the first month of Obama’s first term.
“Rush is partially right, and I’m not going to try and parse words here, but of course we don’t want failed policies to succeed.” Mitt Romney to Neil Cavoto, January 29 2009.
Now contrast that remark with this one:
“That choice was not the choice of our party, but Americans always come together after elections. … I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed.” Mitt Romney, speaking at the Republican National Convention, August 30, 2012.
Who was he kidding? Oh right–no one. See, there’s nothing offensive here for a Republican listener, but a Democrat will remember his earlier lack of support in Obama’s first month–maybe even the quote. Add Mitt’s trademark smarmy smile, and you’ve got the perfect image of a slick salesman with a penchant for lying to your face. And speaking of lies:
“You lie!” Joe Wilson to Obama at 2010 State of the Union Address.
Joe Wilson brought the Republican Party to a new low. More recently, critics have decried McConnell’s threat to filibuster his own bill as sinking to a new low, but I rather think Wilson shouting at the President in the midst of the State of the Union Address did greater damage to the GOP. But speaking of ol’ Mitch:
“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Mitch McConnell to National Journal, Oct. 29, 2010.
This one fairly cemented the perception of Republicans as obstructionists. And, Republicans as the problem. See, with so many Americans struggling to keep their homes–and with the memory of Dubya’s Presidency still fresh in our minds, Mitch’s comment struck many reasonable folks as, well, unreasonable.
But no one does unreasonable quite like Rush. A man who has probably done more harm to the Republican Party than any other you could name.
“It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.” Rush Limbaugh speaking about Georgetown Law student, Sandra Fluke, February 29, 2012.
Anyone looking to characterize the Republican Party as “backwards” “sexist” even “vile” must look no further than its loudest voice. And when elected officials rally to the rotund one–Americans notice. Besides, it isn’t like there was a shortage of ammunition against the GOP for the raised specter of their “war on women.”
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Todd Akin, interview with KTVI-TV, August 19, 2012.
“I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” Richard Mourdock, October 23, 2012.
Ah, Mourdock. Democrats most certainly owe a debt of gratitude to him for this whopper:
“I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view. … If we [win the House, Senate, and White House], bipartisanship means they have to come our way, and if we’re successful in getting the numbers, we’ll work towards that.” Richard Mourdock, May 9, 2012.
Mourdock, an Indiana Tea Party member, unseated Dick Lugar–a Republican who Democrats could work with. But the slide off to extremism, (Mourdock’s remarks about compromise can be characterized in no other way) isn’t helpful for a party suffering the harsh judgement of public opinion. And it doesn’t look promising in a government that was deliberately constructed with a separation of power. Further, it belittles a large constituency of people. As does this other famous Tea Partier quote:
“I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party,” Allen West at Town Hall event in Jensen Beach, Fla.,April 10, 2012.
I’ve known many Tea Partiers who bristle at how the movement has been characterized in the media. Well–stop. Sending us folks like these two do nothing for advancing the cause of fiscal responsibility. It’s Side Show Bob taking his pants off at a four year old’s birthday party.
Finally, there’s this great quote from Newt Gingrich that sticks in my mind for its brazen eloquence, and utter disrespect for the highest office in the land. Whether or not you hate Barrack Obama, he is our President. Diss the prez today, and the other guy disses yours tomorrow. And so on, and so on. The bar keeps inching lower.
“He really is like the substitute referees in the sense that he’s not a real president. He doesn’t do anything that presidents do, he doesn’t worry about any of the things the presidents do.” Newt Gingrich to Greta Van Susteren on Fox News, September 26, 2012.
Thanks for that, Newt.
And thanks to the Cincinatti Tea Party, who gave us this:
And thanks to all those who signed their names to petitions to secede from the union.
And thanks to Janet Brewer for her infamous finger wagging.
And thanks to all those Republicans fighting tooth and nail on the Sandy relief dollars.
Thank you, Republican Party. This election really belongs to you. Four more years!