Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | May 14, 2009

The Party of D’Oh!

Did I really have to hear this?  The RNC reportedly is planning to “rebrand” the Democrats as the “Democratic Socialist Party,” in a special session next week that is being seen as a sort of rebuke to Chairman Michael Steele for – one unfortunately supposes, given the tenor of Republican discourse over the past few months – being a general wiener-head.  (Hat tip:  Allahpundit, Politico)

Leaving aside the peculiar invertedness of the “rebranding” idea, we can still wonder just why the RNC would call a special session and then use it to perform this playground activity.  The RNC’s choices become even harder to follow when we read further in Roger Simon’s Politico piece, and discover that earlier plans to use this session to adopt a resolution denouncing Specter, Snowe, and Collins, for voting for the Obama “stimulus” package, have been dropped.

It’s worth considering the latter for a moment.  It would be one thing if the RNC had merely decided not to denounce the senators in question for their votes.  Specter is outta here, and it no longer matters to him.  Perhaps the thinking is that there is no point in sticking it to Snowe and Collins, and ending up with first one more, and then two more Democrats in the Senate.

I’m not saying I agree with that thought process, but it would be recognizable and coherent, if pusillanimous.  Occurring in conjunction with the proposed resolution on the name of the Democratic Party, however, it strikes me as untethered to any, well, rational foundation.  How one arrives simultaneously at the conclusion that it would be too much to denounce an actual vote by some Republicans for an actual socialist bill, but a brilliant idea to adopt a virtual graffiti policy vis-à-vis the other political party, centered on the charge of “socialism,” is not clear to me.

I don’t know, it looks juvenile, opportunistic, and irrelevant from here.  Don’t get me wrong:  of course the Democrats are, platform-wise, socialists.  Everything they propose entails more central authority by the state over every aspect of our lives, including, but not limited to, decisions about how property and capital will be used.  They are big, flaming socialists.  But I don’t propose that the RNC beef up its anti-Democrat resolution-zinger by altering its text to “Big, Flaming Democratic Socialist Party.”  (That would be a waste of time.  If we’re going to do this, let’s go for the whole ball of wax, and make it “Big, Flaming, Doody-head Democratic Socialist Party.”  If you’ve got a consensus, and a special session coming up, well, git ‘er done!)

Here’s a crazy thought.  Instead of coming up with meaningless – let’s be honest, moronic – rhetorical gestures, why doesn’t the RNC hold its special session for the purpose of putting together a positive GOP position on, oh, I don’t know, economic recovery, health care, energy policy, immigration, and in general, the proper size and constitutional limitations of government?  I know that’s a pretty radical concept.  It’s a lot to digest all at once, so I’ll leave everyone to just think about it.  Let it sink in.  See how you feel about it.

There are more important things to discuss, after all, like Wanda Sykes and how Obama was laughing at her “jokes” about Rush Limbaugh.  I have to say, I think Rush has handled this beautifully, by simply ignoring it.  Many of the troops, not so much.  What I think Rush knows is this:  that his power lies in getting his own message out.  He does far more damage to the cause of the left by making his points, and making them stick, than he could possibly do by letting the left drive what he talks about.  The minute he lets the left hijack his radio time, he becomes Samson falling asleep, with Delilah lurking in the shadows clutching her scissors.

We could all take a cue from that.  It will never exhaust the left to produce indignation-inducing moments.  They cannot be made to tire of it.  They can’t be rebuked out of it; in fact, the more attention we pay, the more we tear our hair out, the more the whole dynamic is like parents being jerked around by a toddler’s calculated bids for attention.

I don’t expect government to create a world in which there are no stupid, offensive jokes, and no one in positions of public trust laughs at them.  So why let these throw-away events loom so large in political debate?  Sure, the left has a laughably obvious double standard about this sort of thing, and Obama’s sense of invulnerability to criticism clearly extends to behavior no Republican could get away with.  But spending so much time pulling this issue this way and that hasn’t accomplished anything substantive.  It has hijacked a whole lot of air time and many, many lines of print that could have been put to better use.

Sykes’ comments were mean-spirited and in bad taste.  Obama laughed at them.  What else did we expect, after all?

Maybe we were so transfixed by the Pundit-Base Smack Down we didn’t have time to think about it.  If I read one more column by an actual paid, syndicated pundit about how awful Segment Bad of the right-wing/conservative/Republican “base” is, I may just call a special session myself so a bunch of us can resolve that RINO Pundits are actually Really Stupid Poopyhead RINO Pundits So There.

Of course, how many of us can we fit under the Teeny-Tiny Little Pup Tent?  That’s the size tent we members of Segment Bad want to have.  We’re too cheap to spring for anything bigger.   We have a separate tent for the firearms, see, and another one for the Bibles.  Because the people tent has to stay small.  Although, of course, we only use it when we’re not tooling the aging RV around America, Ma riding shotgun with the .12-gauge in her lap, looking for literate people with all their teeth still in their heads, so we can pop ‘em one.

If Frum and Brooks and Parker didn’t have to keep pointing out our shortcomings, and those of that walking carcinogen Sarah Palin, they’d have time to rail against the frightening fiscal irresponsibility of the new Congress, or something like that.  Maybe type a few words about, say, the validity/invalidity of the anthropogenic climate change concept, or the dangers of spiraling government debt, or the dependency created by welfare programs.

Instead, they have to take time out of their schedules to lecture us on our unsuitability as a constituency for Colin Powell and Arlen Specter, and on that darned miniature tent we keep putting up while they’re not looking, and, well, have they mentioned the tent in all this?  Maybe we could settle this tent hash of theirs by sending someone to Cabelas for a really big one, or three or four, and having them delivered to these tent-obsessed pundits.

Although I suppose the pundits are referring to the kind of tent you hire for outdoor weddings, and my Cabelas reference is a particularly ghastly Palinesque allusion, evoking icky images of dressing out Bambi, breaking down rifles for cleaning, and being out in the woods miles and miles from a Sephora.  Sigh.  Just trying to be helpful with this tent problem.  It really seems to be weighing on some of our number.

I’m trying to think of the last time complaining incessantly about one’s fellow political party members resulted in party growth.  I can’t say I’m having much success.  Maybe someone can help me with this.  It doesn’t seem likely to impress Americans who are watching the 2009 Democratic spending spree with alarm bordering on horror.  What are the folks over on the right doing?  Giving each other rhetorical wedgies.  Explaining in excruciating detail how Obama laughing at Wanda Sykes is TOO a signal that civilization as we know it has only hours left on life-support.  Resolving solemnly to take the spray paint – metaphorically speaking – and alter all the Democrats’ signs and banners.  In dead of night, no doubt, with squealing-tire sound effects.

The thing is, America can’t actually afford to have more than one major political party dedicated to preserving adolescence as far into middle age as possible – and the Democrats have had a lock on that one for some time now.  Republicans are terrible at it.  Just look at what we look like, trying to make hay from indignation-on-cue about the Sykes Hate Speech and the Obama Hate Laughter.  And posturing with the resolutions about how our political opponents are lying, lying about what they’re really for!  Lying!  Liars!  Socialists!  Candy pink Socialists!  We’ll show you!

We look like… Democrats.

Of course, we also look like Republicans, falling on each other with the flaming arrows and the poleaxes, as if someone spun us around blindfolded a few times, and now we can’t tell where the enemy side of the battlefield is.  Republicans using each other as piñatas has been standard for most of my life.  But you’d think we’d have learned by now that this is not a high-payoff method for increasing our party membership, or attractiveness to voters.

Back on that suggestion I made earlier, about how the RNC’s special session should spend its time next week.  The thing about grown-ups is, they’re so boring.  They spend their time getting things done and stuff.  I mean, if the RNC got together and did something like look at what the GOP Congressmen put together on health care for America, and economic recovery, and encapsulated principles from it, and came up with serious alternatives to the left’s government-heavy perspective on everything – that would be, well, maybe not nearly as much of a good time as officially resolving to call the Democrats the So, Like OMG Socialist Democratic Socialist Party, Sho Fizzle.

But if some effort were put into it, and maybe some thought, and stuff like that, well, who knows?  The RNC might even come up with an agenda for Republicans to discuss amongst themselves, other than Michael Steele:  Should He Stay or Should He Go.


  1. There are days and news items that make me proud never to have gotten around to joining the Republican Party. Been an independent since the day I first registered to vote 175 years ago or so. That piece at HA on the Sarah’s-got-cooties poll of INSIDERS fits right in, doesn’t it?

    I didn’t leave the Republican Party. It never reached me!

    First time in a very long time I’ve begun to think we might as well start thinking about a third/new party as about trying to shock these guys sensible.

  2. Every time I read something of yours I come away impressed, often in an entirely unexpected way.
    Today it’s “Doody-Head”.

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