Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Attack of The Zombie Republicans. by John Batchelor

The GOP’s living dead won’t stop haunting their party, says lifelong Republican John Batchelor. Now Rush, Newt, and Dick are doing what zombies do best: laying waste to everyone’s brains.

The Republican Party has become many bad things—intolerant, inert, fly-blown, incoherent, and delusional—but the worst is that the GOP is no longer young. The GOP, according to a Gallup poll, has lost, forgotten, ignored, just generally scared off the younger voters, non-white voters, and female voters in all demographics.

What is a political party that is vastly white, middle-aged, male, Southern, pious, conservative, aggrieved, impotent, nostalgic, rude—and regarded negatively by more than half the respondents? Time magazine’s Republican political consultant Mike Murphy looks at the demographics and warns of a coming “ice age” for the party. That is grossly optimistic. No longer in second place, the voter self-identification polls place the Republicans well behind the leading independents and the second-place Democrats. The GOP is the equivalent of a shrinking third party on its way to becoming a museum piece beside the Whigs, the Greenbacks, and the Prohibitionists. The GOP is like a zombie cartoon reading the daily headlines of the last four years and asking, “Am I dead?”

The attack of the living dead Republicans does have the camp fascination of a George Romero movie as pieces of brains fall out. Last week, Deputy Minority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, in some quarters regarded as cunning, boasted soberly not only that, without any polling evidence, “I think we’re got a shot at taking back the House,” but also that the Obama administration was comparable to Putin’s rule in Moscow. Cantor did not explain if he meant that the Obama administration is Soviet socialist, which is balmy, since Moscow is a robber baron paradise these days, or if he meant the Obama administration stands for tyrannical one-party rule, which is dopey, since Cantor appears to think of himself as virile leader of the opposition.

Last week, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a generalissimo of zombies, fresh from smearing Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor for “new racism,” presented more startling delusions at a congressional fundraiser in Washington when he claimed that the Republicans were the “majority party.” He offered no facts to counter the Gallup poll’s certainty that the Republicans are a minor minority party. Nor did Gingrich, who increasingly pontificates with the bravado of the vacuous TV anchor from the old Mary Tyler Moore Show, Ted Baxter, note that the cash raised in the ballroom of swells was down by a third from last year; nor did he explain his demagogic remark that the Obama administration “has already failed,” with bailouts that are chiefly a continuation of a Republican administration’s panicky policies.

The GOP is the equivalent of a shrinking third party on its way to becoming a museum piece beside the Whigs, the Greenbacks, and the Prohibitionists.

Gingrich did take aim at his demagogic pal Rush “Obama to fail” Limbaugh when he said, “I am happy that Dick Cheney is a Republican. I am happy that Colin Powell is a Republican.” This coy rhetoric was meant to point to the dull disputes between Limbaugh and those Republican politicians who he claims are unwelcome in the party because they don’t agree with him. Limbaugh routinely runs his mouth about disloyal or “squishy” Republicans, as if he was outing the skin-job Cylons on Battlestar Galactica. It is trite, but it can quickly turn vulgar. On TV, Limbaugh recently baited Colin Powell and the Republican moderate stragglers again when he boomed “What has Colin Powell ever done that makes him so valuable to the Republican Party?”

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