GOP Whiffs... is the conservative movement in collapse?
The last month or so has not been kind to the Republican Party.
Starting with an election they could have won, the GOP has had as much political competence as Barney Fife did with his one bullet in the fictional setting of Mayberry USA.
All they had to do to defeat President Barack Obama was nominate a candidate who could seem at ease with common folk and was not afraid to be critical of some of the ways the party has treated minorities in the past.
Instead, they put forth an auto-matron who was about as comfortable in his own skin as one of those guys in Disney’s Hall of Presidents. Come to think of, most of those robots seem more life like than did Mitt Romney.
This, along with some less than stellar Senate and Congressional candidates got them spanked pretty hard on November 6.
Elections. Strike 1.
As we inched closer to the so-called fiscal cliff, essentially a self-imposed deadline to come up with a plan to address a growing federal deficit, they dropped the ball again.
Mitch McConnell, trying to embarrass the Dems, as opposed to actually trying to legislate, decided to hold a vote on the pending debt ceiling. This was a naked political stunt, and everybody knew it, but that did not dissuade McConnell, who is forever looking for ways to legislate gotchas, instead of actual policy.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the vote. Apparently Senator Mitch missed an episode of School House Rock. If he had seen it, he would have known you needed a majority to get a bill passed. Seemingly unfazed, or unaware of this little requirement, he forged ahead, only to find out late he did not have the votes.
So what does Senator Mitch do? Does he admit defeat? No. He filibusters [a polite way of saying thanks, but no thanks to a bill] his own bill. That’s right, he uses a stall tactic to essentially kill his own bill because he cannot get it passed.
But Senator McConnell is small potatoes compared to the debacle Republican House Speaker John Boehner presided over last night.
Boehner you might recall has been “locked” in negotiations with President Obama over this fiscal cliff issue. At some point he got frustrated and decided he, and the House of Representatives needed a backup plan, should those negotiations fail. A sort of Plan B, if you will.
Sadly, it appears our Speaker was with Senator McConnell when they ditched the showing of that School House Rock video, because he too forgot that you need a majority of votes to pass a bill.
And so last night, Speaker Boehner, after his Plan B failed in his own party, turned out the lights on Congress and sent everyone home for the holidays, because the GOP would not support raising taxes on a few, to benefit the great majority of Americans.
Legislating. Strike 2.
Which brings us to this morning and the amazing press conference by NRA President and spokesman Wayne LaPierre.
Mr. LaPierre said earlier this week, after the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut that the NRA was ready to offer “meaning contributions” to the ongoing dialogue about gun control and gun access in the United States.
After numerous other shootings around the country, the NRA has typically followed a strategic formula that called for lying low a few days and then issuing a statement that said essentially that “now was not the time for any type of discussion.”
But this was different. Because most of the victims were children, many in the country are calling for something to be done to limit assault type weapons and over sized ammo clips. The NRA heard this and signaled a few days ago that they were ready to respond.
We were all waiting as the NRA President stepped up for his moment and then it happened. Not only did he not offer any meaningful contributions, he essentially called on the federal government to fund armed guards at every school in America.
Understand what he was saying. A conservative leader in America was calling for more federal spending so that we could have a retired police office or an ex-war vet with a gun at every school in America.
I’m not sure this could have gone worse for the gun lobby, the conservative movement, or the GOP. It was breathtakingly bad.
In essence, the conservative movement, and by extension the GOP, had a week to study for an open book test and failed... epically.
Politics. Strike 3.
And with that, just like Mighty Casey, the Grand Old Party struck out.
Frequent Democratic critic and conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post says the Republican Party is incapable of governing.
Sadly, at this point, I would have to agree.
What we are seeing is the schoolyard equivalent of a bully getting upset that everything is not going his way. Rather than try to get along, he decides to just take his marbles and go home.
That’s too bad because we need a strong two party system. America functions better when both parties are serious and capable of governing. It keeps the other guys honest.
Too bad the GOP can’t seem to figure out how they can do that these days.
Labels: Barney Fife, Congress, Conservatism, Disney, GOP, Jennifer Rubin, John Boehner, Mighty Casey, Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, Newtown, NRA, Republicans, Schoolhouse Rock, Washington Post, Wayne LaPierre