Beginning of the End for GOP?

Mitt Romney, oft befuddled, for a reason

By Bob Gaydos

Everyone pretty much agrees Mitt Romney has had a rough couple of weeks. He got the whole Libya embassy thing wrong, then repeated it the next day to make sure everyone knew. Then he called half the country lazy victims looking for a government handout and said he didn’t have to worry about them. The only insight he’s given voters into his tax returns is to show the most recent one, in which he paid more than he was required to, apparently so that he could justify his claim he paid at a 12 percent rate. And he apparently wonders (in public) why they can’t open the windows on airplanes when they‘re flying.

Even the Fox News team has struggled to spin some of this into electoral gold.

But I think it’s time to give Mitt a break. It’s not all his fault. After all, he is a product of his environment, acting in ways he feels are best suited to, not only his survival, but his success. It’s a kind of political Darwinism in which a particular species adopts the least favorable traits of its least socially adaptable members and the best of the rest try to prevent the extinction of the entire species.

Of course, we are talking here of the Republican Party. More specifically, the 21st century version of the Republican Party, of which Mitt Romney, by virtue of his name and great wealth (his birth environment), is a leading member, at the moment.

The perfect example of the decline of the party as a viable organism was the field of candidates put forth in the presidential primaries this year. It was far from the best the party had to offer, but it did include the most outlandishly conservative, if not radical, members the party has to offer. Also, some of the dumbest.

Newt Gingrich was easily the smartest. Also the most dangerous. Michelle Bachmann lives on another planet, Rick Perry can’t count to three, Rick Santorum reminded the country why they hated him in Pennsylvania, Ron Paul isn’t really a Republican, and another guy sold pizza. This is who Republicans apparently wanted to hear. How could Romney lose?

He outspent and outlasted the rightwing brigade and changed his opinion every day. He had to to get the votes of enough Republicans to be their presidential nominee. He still changes his opinion regularly, even though he is the nominee. Habits are hard to break.

But look back four years. John McCain, a respected naval hero and well-known as a contrary Republican senator, who voted his conscience, not the party line, on things like immigration and regulation, decided he had to sell his soul and agree with all the ultra-conservative views of the people running his party if he hoped to be their presidential nominee. His tongue-tying, butt-kissing performance (especially in South Carolina) was an embarrassment. Then he picked Sarah Palin, the personification of his party’s embrace of devolution, to be his running mate. Like Mitt picking Paul Ryan, Mr. No Abortion Under Any Circumstances, McCain felt he had no choice. The troglodytes were in power. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Of course, this decline of the Republican Party as a vital organism traces back to 2000 when it chose the affable but clueless George W. Bush to run for president and the Supreme Court stole the election for him. With Karl Rove pulling strings behind the curtain and Dick Cheney at his side, Bush and his Republican Congress created a massive deficit by slashing everyone’s taxes, starting two wars (off budget), creating a Medicare prescription program without paying for it, and bailing out failing banks.

Then the Republicans — all of them — blamed Barack Obama for everything and, since they have no shame, asked President Bush not to come to their convention this year, lest people remember what he did.

There used to be a breed of proud Republicans who were able to work through their differences with Democrats for the good of the country. New York offered Nelson Rockefeller, Jacob Javits, Kenneth Keating, Ben Gilman, George Pataki. There were similar examples across the country. Today, they are virtually extinct. RINOs they’re called by the troglodytes. Republicans in name only, because they believe in science and think government is obligated to help its least fortunate, as well as its wealthiest.

Mitt’s dad, George, who once tried to be president, would fall into that category. He would have a problem with Republicans in the Senate voting unanimously to defeat a jobs bill, that was mostly a Republican creation, just so Obama, the Democrat, couldn’t get credit for creating jobs while he’s running for reelection.

Pick an issue. To avoid the harsh backlash of the ultra-right, a Republican politician today often must discard decency and common sense. You’ve witnessed the Romney campaign. Yes, he made his choice. He could have run as a man of principle. Instead, he chose to run as a man of blind ambition. People without medical insurance can use the emergency room.

There are undoubtedly a variety of ways that a species begins its descent to extinction. For the Republican Party, it appears to have started with the loss of its soul.

Tags: , , , , , ,

10 Responses to “Beginning of the End for GOP?”

  1. Howard Garrett Says:

    Bob, you wrote a great editorial, right on the mark. But then again you always do.

  2. Randy Hurst Says:

    Wow! You said it, and you said it well. Please keep writing. I only wish I could your article as a “My View” column in, say, the Times Herald Record or other local propaganda rag just to see some “balance”. Perhaps that is too much to wish for.

  3. Roseanne Sullivan Says:

    This is right on the mark! Common sense at its best, Bob! So well written and succinct.

  4. Marshall Rubin Says:

    By all logic the Republican Party should have died years ago. It bacame comatose after Nixon was ousted, but partly due to opposition party over-confidence, has bounced back, time and again.

    The GOP has one major trait that Democrats lack: a steadfast tenacity. Regardless of how outnumbered, the GOP always relies on its pool of powerful tools, i.e. the willingness to repeatedly lie,
    its knowledge that the general public has a dim memory, and the ability to drum up the sort of public fear that has led to the passage of the Patriot Act and other repressive measures,

    Couple that with the fact that by and large, corporate America provides the financial blood line that enables the GOP to keep going.

    So, it would be a grave mistake for well-meaning pundits to write-off the Republicans despite their outrageous behavior. If hopefully they lose big in November they’ll lay low like a cancer in remission and patiently await for new conditions to arise, and they will go back to their arsonal of deadly tools. WARNING: NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE GOP’S ABILITY TO COME BACK, EVEN STRONGER THAN EVER. That would be a grave mistake!!

  5. KeLeMi Says:

    The Republican Party is like the EVEREADY Bunny. Keeps going and going and going …

  6. BobGaydos Says:

    Barry Adelman on Facebook: ‘The Buddha said there are three things you can’t hide from very long: the sun, the moon and the truth. Bob Gaydos spreads some truth in this blog.”

  7. bob mullin Says:

    I agree with Randy. Send it to “My View.”

  8. Idrea Says:

    “Like!” (Sharing.)

  9. Jean Webster Says:

    And I can’t figure out how people who are poor, without work, or low paying jobs think that the Republicans are on their side. What’s the matter with them?

    Also, I agree that we cannot become complacent when it comes to the GOP. They have huge resources….

  10. LeeAgain Says:

    Bob, I wish I could take this excellent piece of writing and emblazon it across every computer screen in the country the day before election day. Maybe then the public would not forget.

Leave a Reply