I’ve lived in the political wilderness so I have some idea of what the Republicans must be feeling. I mean, who is this guy anyway? And how come the American people were so silly and stupid as to elect him? I thought that about RR, George HW, George W and, when I was living in Virginia, George Allen. But, I sat in my corner and groused. I worked for candidates, I wrote letters, and I bought funny books about the right wing. I bought a W countdown calendar. I didn’t go out and buy a gun to protect a woman’s right to choose. I tried to tell myself that it will all end and the good guys will win again and I was right. The country, by a still surprising to me margin, elected a black man who has a great wife, kids, mother-in-law and now, dog. Suddenly a family kinda like the Cosbys, but for real, is living in the White House and he is leading people like me out of the wilderness.
It has been 100 days and President Obama is not going away. If anything, he is getting higher approval ratings and popularity than when he began. So what is it with the Republicans? Bill Maher has written a great piece for the LA Times. His analogy: “The G.O.P is acting like a Guy Who Got Dumped.”
The conservative base is absolutely apoplectic because, because … well, nobody knows. They’re mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore. Even though they’re not quite sure what “it” is. But they know they’re fed up with “it,” and that “it” has got to stop.
Here are the big issues for normal people: the war, the economy, the environment, mending fences with our enemies and allies, and the rule of law.
And here’s the list of Republican obsessions since President Obama took office: that his birth certificate is supposedly fake, he uses a teleprompter too much, he bowed to a Saudi guy, Europeans like him, he gives inappropriate gifts, his wife shamelessly flaunts her upper arms, and he shook hands with Hugo Chavez and slipped him the nuclear launch codes.
Do these sound like the concerns of a healthy, vibrant political party?
It’s sad what’s happened to the Republicans. They used to be the party of the big tent; now they’re the party of the sideshow attraction, a socially awkward group of mostly white people who speak a language only they understand. Like Trekkies, but paranoid.
Look, I get it, “real America.” After an eight-year run of controlling the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court, this latest election has you feeling like a rejected husband. You’ve come home to find your things out on the front lawn — or at least more things than you usually keep out on the front lawn. You’re not ready to let go, but the country you love is moving on. And now you want to call it a whore and key its car.
That’s what you are, the bitter divorced guy whose country has left him — obsessing over it, haranguing it, blubbering one minute about how much you love it and vowing the next that if you cannot have it, nobody will.
But it’s been almost 100 days, and your country is not coming back to you. She’s found somebody new. And it’s a black guy.
And there, to end on an unfunny note, you have it: The Republican Party is in real danger of becoming the irrelevant party of white people in a world that is changing. Janet Napolitano had it right. We need to worry about the next Timothy McVeigh who is influenced by Representative Michelle Bachman and Governor Rick Perry.