This is a party that isn’t merely trying to erase the past; it honestly does not recognize it had anything to do with the Bush administration. Republicans have retreated to the 1990s and the glorified days of Reagan in the 1980s. They have stepped up the class and racial warfare to levels so absurd and unbelievable that no one is paying attention to them. Calling Obama a Magic Negro or a socialist or a Communist doesn’t frighten the public because the words are meaningless, and Americans have learned what real fright is having lived through eight years of the Bush administration.And the topper to all this is The Great GOP Plan: they are hoping, praying, and wildly cheering for a major disaster to befall Barack Obama and America.
With Arlen Specter’s departure, we now have prominent Republicans like Senator Jim DeMint saying this is proof that the party is ready for a resurgence of public support. He thinks losing a senator from a large northern state is a positive thing, and the intellectual stalwarts of the party such as Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh are urging Specter to take RINOS like John McCain, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe with him (a RINO is a Republican in Name Only).
This is a very odd spectacle. You would think that a party that has lost the White House, Senate, House of Representatives, plus multiple governorships and state legislatures would seek a way back from the political wilderness. Instead, the Republicans are folding up their big tent and eagerly embracing oblivion. Senator DeMint has said this week he would rather have 30 senators who are true to the Republican cause than 60 who are wavering in their political principles.
Some Republicans are fighting back. Putative party leader John McCain, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and dynastic standard-bearer Jeb Bush have formed something called the National Council for a New America. They are joined by Republican Congressional leaders like Mitch McConnell and John Boener in hosting a series of town hall meetings designed to listen to Americans and their concerns in order to re-brand the Republican Party.
There are two problems with this. As John McCain well knows, the people who attend Republican town hall meetings – the rank and file of the Republican Party – are the disaffected and marginalized middle class – almost exclusively white – who respond to the Republican fear-mongering. These are the people who are afraid of immigrants, who think liberals are traitors who should be swinging from lampposts, who believe the left has destroyed the moral fiber of this country, and who have a profound distrust of government. Because they are the base of the Republican Party, their own disaffected and marginalized status has come to define the position of the party in this country.
The second problem has to do with re-branding the party into some other image. Republican leaders don’t recognize that George W. Bush destroyed the brand. It is permanently identified with incompetence, corruption, religious fanaticism, crony capitalism, deficit spending, and the utter abandonment of the people’s constitutional rights. The realization is slowly sinking into the national consciousness that Republicans should never, ever be allowed to wield political power at any level lest they bring even further ruination to the country.
This is a group of people so certain that they are right, so convinced that disaster is imminent, so desperate for vindication that they want the country to be destroyed for the simple reason that they can then leverage that disaster into political power to undo the Obama administration.
And every piece of legislation that Obama passes, every week that goes by with Obama still having good poll numbers, makes the Wingers more and more nervous and angry. What they are truly afraid of is that the public believes Barack Obama and will support his agenda...and they are terrified of the fact that agenda will work to improve the lives of Americans.
So they dredge up misleading facts, half-truths, and damn lies to declare the Obama agenda already a failure: Government health care is already a way of life in Europe and Canada and you'll have to wait six weeks to see a doctor! The government will waste trillions and destroy your small business! Barack Obama isn't even an American citizen! He will destroy America as we know it!
They are so afraid that he might be right that we must never be given the chance to find out. The Party of No doesn't just dislike him, they despise the President with a hatred that borders on the lunatic. They must lie and cheat and steal their way to stopping him, because if Barack Obama is proven right, then the Republican Party is finished.
And that is what the Wingers truly fear.