One year has passed. Barack Obama is President. The Patron Saint of Republicans is Rush Limbaugh – and Rush Limbaugh called for the failure of the new President. The strategy was simple minded – block every legislative effort, force failure, then recapture the Congress in 2010, then the Presidency in 2012. The passage of the health care bill defines success for the President. The strategy has failed:
The gamble was great – high stakes poker – the Republicans called Obama’s bluff. But Obama came up with a full house (pun intended). The Republicans had a flush – but it was not straight. Now the Republicans have drawn their guns and accused the winning team of cheating.
Republicans have repeatedly said that Rush Limbaugh is not the Party Leader – but what is the evidence? What did Limbaugh call for and what did the Republicans do? The facts are pretty clear.
The Republicans have consistently insulted the intelligence of the people. Hillary Clinton did well in the primaries so they chose a woman as the VP candidate – thinking that any woman would do. That was a fiasco. Then the Republicans chose a black man as the Chairman of the RNC – thinking that any black man would do – another catastrophe. McCain suspended his campaign to charge back to Washington to fix the economic crisis – another catastrophe.
The point is clear – the Republicans are not interested in actually governing – they are consistently playing the game of politics – in getting elected – and it appears that they are not very good at it. Perhaps they are too heavily influenced by Rovian politics. And perhaps they just don’t deserve to be in leadership positions.
The real problem runs much deeper. The Republicans staked a claim on the religious right back in 1980. As the religious right gained power and influence they became more radical – flaunting what they perceived as a ‘moral majority.’ The problem is the old axiom about fooling all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time – but failing to fool all of the people all of the time. The Republican time ran out.
The Republican dilemma is real – how do they reinvent themselves as rational leaders while maintaining the following of the radical right? The answer is simple – they cannot do it. Leadership is about being rational, consistently rational. Hooking up with the gypsies of political turmoil can only lead to banishment from the village.