Monthly Archives: April 2009

The Right Reverend Balz will deliver the eulogy :

“How much more can the Republicans take? Demoralized, shrinking and seemingly lacking an agenda beyond the word “no,” Republicans today saw their ranks further thinned with the stunning news that Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter is switching parties and will run for reelection in 2010 as a Democrat.”

And that will doubtless inspire Joe Lieberman to declare Specter a dangerous socialist.

Or something.

See? What did I tell you?

“Specter is worried about his own survival — and particularly a primary challenge from the right. Many in the GOP might say good riddance. After supporting President Obama’s stimulus package, Specter was persona non grata in his own party. So it may be easy for some Republicans to conclude that they are better off without people like Arlen Specter.
But his defection is a reminder that the Republican Party continues to contract, especially outside the South, and that it appears increasingly less welcome to politicians and voters who do not consider themselves solidly conservative. Northeast Republicans have gone from an endangered species to a nearly extinct species. Republicans lost ground in the Rocky Mountains and the Midwest in the last two elections. That’s no way to build a national party.”

What “National Party”? The next Republican convention is likely to be held at a VFW hall in Wasilla. That is if Alaska hasn’t declared it’s independence from the U.S. and made Caribou Barbie “Empress Sarah I.” Of course Texas Republicans are threatening to do the same. I’m sure Rick Perry would look fetching in a ceremonial schmata.

Just make sure it’s cut on the bias, Rick.

“The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll shows the depth of the party’s problems. Just 21 percent of those surveyed identified themselves as Republicans. That’s the lowest since the fall of 1983, when just 19 percent identified themselves as Republicans. Party identification does fluctuate with events. But as a snapshot indicator, the latest figures highlight the impact of Obama’s opening months on the Republican Party. From a high-water mark of 35 percent in the fall of 2003, Republicans have slid steadily to their present state of affairs. It’s just not as cool to be a Republican as it once was.”

Oh Prunella! It was never cool to be a Republican. Why do you think so many of them over the past decade have claimed to be “Libertarians”? Why has Clint Eastwood so altered the arc of his career he now makes Sidney Lumet look like Lionel Chetwynd.

“The Republicans have many demographic challenges as they plot their comeback. Obama has attracted strong support from young voters and Latinos — two keys to the future for both parties and once part of the GOP’s calculation for sustaining themselves in power. Suburban voters have moved toward the Democrats. Specter can see that problem acutely in the suburbs around his home in Philadelphia home. Obama is also holding a solid advantage among independents, the proxy measure for the center or swing portion of the electorate.”

“Swing” all you like, dear. It’s gobbledegook. The American people have never been as “polarized” as you would like to believe. Or as ideologically rigid. The public’s regard for Obama has nothing to do with “going left.” It has everything to do with going competent. After 8 long years of President Low-Normal they’re rather taken with a well-mannered gentleman who never looks stupid and always speaks in complete sentences.

“Reihan Salam, co-author of “Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save America,” said this week that the danger for Republicans is to believe they now represent a vast, silent majority that is waiting to reassert itself. A louder voice from a smaller cadre of supporters is not the answer, he warned. That will just prevent Republicans from reassessing their old agenda, developing new ideas and once again learning to reach out broadly.”

Good luck with that. The Republican party has been for years concerned solely with it’s “base” — which is now indistinguishable from Free Republic.

“The Post-ABC News poll points to the progress Republicans have not made since Obama was sworn in last January. The approval rating for congressional Republicans has slipped from 38 percent in February to 30 percent today. Congressional Democrats have seen their support drop too, but still remain 15 points higher than the Republicans.”

Which again proves it’s not a knee-jerk left/right thing.

Not that you’re paying any attention to this.

“More discouraging for a party trying to pick itself up after two bad elections is the wide gulf in public trust between the president and congressional Republicans. Sixty percent of the country trusts Obama to make the right decisions for the country’s future — but just 21 percent trust Republicans in Congress. “

High time the party repaired to “fittings.”

“Despite their solid opposition to the president’s economic and budgetary policies, Republicans in Congress have seen this trust quotient decline eight points since January. A CBS News-New York Times poll found that 70 percent of Americans believe Republicans have opposed those policies for political reasons, rather than because GOP lawmakers genuinely believe the policies are bad for the economy.”

Now what was I just telling you? See?

Betcha don’t.

“In the first 99 days of the Obama administration, it has sometimes felt like the Republicans have had a different “leader” each day. Last week the leader of the party was Dick Cheney, attacking Obama for his decision to end the harsh interrogation techniques on some terrorist suspects and to release Justice Department memos outlining those procedures.
Earlier, Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour have taken the spotlight. Rush Limbaugh? He too led the Republicans for a week last winter. Michael Steele, the Republican National Committee chairman? He was pretty visible for a time earlier this year, wasn’t he? The list goes on. Don’t forget Newt Gingrich or the two elected “leaders” in Congress: House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY). “

Here’s what the party’s most important leader has to say.

“That tells you something. At this moment when the journalistic world is awash with assessments of President Obama’s opening months in office, it’s useful to reflect on one reason for his strong start: he has been blessed with weak opposition. The Republicans may be united, but they have yet to find a leader who resonates beyond their conservative base or an agenda that attracts real support.”

What? You mean there isn’t a Capo di tutti teabags ?

“The way back will require both strategic thinking and some luck. Obama has put so much in motion that, say some savvy conservatives, it’s almost inevitable that some initiatives will fail. Daniel Casse, a conservative strategist, believes by this time next year, Republicans may have any number of opportunities for taking on Obama that will look more attractive to the voters. But he hardly underestimates Obama’s formidable skills as a politician.”

Yep. He shouldn’t be misunderestimated.

“For Republicans, the gubernatorial races in 2010 will showcase some of the party’s beyond-the-Beltway up and comers. That group includes Jindal, despite his poor performance delivering the Republican response to Obama’s speech to Congress earlier this year and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., who has caught the eye of some prominent Democratic strategists. “

Or rather the nose. They can smell dead meat.

“Those 2010 races will also give some shrewd Republican policy entrepreneurs the chance to incubate some new ideas for the party — ideas that can reach beyond the conservative base and offer a way forward. If there are people ready to seize the opportunity.
Republicans have been on a downward slide for the past four years, a decline that began not long after the reelection of former president George W. Bush in 2004. Many Republicans have blamed most of the party’s problems on Bush’s leadership. But the problems go deeper than any one person. Specter’s shocking departure may provide a wakeup call to Republicans that a broad reassessment is now urgently needed..”

Wake up? Where? They’re tearing done the Century Plaza Hotel.

Time to hit the streets Pubbies — You’re Homeless!

Sing us out Liza