In what I believe could become a regular series on this blog, here is the new installment of the project of GOP reform. After a warning issued by Utah’s very own Jon Huntsman Jr that the Republican Party might soon become as irrelevent to the America of the 21st century as the Tories are in the United Kingdom, it’s now the House Republicans’ turn to take the final blow. John Boehler, House Minority Leader, is wearing his schadenfreude on his sleeve: “How to schedule the energy reform in the House? I have no idea. I’m not in the majority.” Cue recomforting pat on the back.

John Boehner: calling the waaaambulance

John Boehner: calling the waaaambulance

Let’s face it, it may not be easy being the minority those days, when the majority’s popularity comes as easy as product placement. The GOP is the Pepsi to Coca-Cola, it’s the Burger King to McDonald’s: we still have them around, for the sake of the good old days, for what they represent to an older generation, for the sake of simply being able to choose – but no one would ever deny the overwhelming popularity, quasi-hegemony of the other brand.  The GOP will quickly become a vintage antique in New York’s Lower East Side thrift stores if it carries on refusing the inevitable: change. Change they refused to believe in, but it happened nevertheless, and political races are all about momentum. Wait, what momentum? The Democrat’s hold on the House is near absolute, which doesn’t give the Republicans much leeway for lawmaking. Reduced to tagging along and keeping silent, Boehner is shaking his head in disbelief at the short and painful downfall suffered by the once-almighty party. He’s still clinging on to the hope that a party in the opposition tends to rise from its ashes at the first opportunity for conflict, and Boehner already knows that the bloodshed over the stimulus bill is far from over. “We will have an opportunity to talk about this probably every week for the next 18 months. As this money begins to roll out, some of it is not going to meet the straight face test. It is just not going to happen, and trust me, you will know about it.”

Or maybe we wont. The dissonance is strong in the Republican Party, so much that every point Boehner could possibly make can be counteracted by someone in his own camp. House Republican Whip Eric Cantor wants the debate of the stimulus bill to be over. Embarassing at best, a waste of valuable time at worst, the GOP received word of deadly attacks by the press and public opinion accusing the Republicans to drag their feet when necessary measures have to be made. The question of federal spending might be the new administration’s sorest point, but Boehner might be in another minority – the one willing to debate on every bill. It also appears that Republican Governors don’t necessarily want much to do with their Capitol Hill brothers (Huntsman told the Washington Times, ” I don’t even know the congressional leadership. I have not met them. I don’t listen or read whatever it is they say because it is inconsequential—completely”. Ouch!) Faced by an extremely powerful Nancy Pelosi and a President slowly leaning away from attempts at bi-partisanship, the Republicans appear to refuse, deny, object, and oppose for the beauty of the principle.

What the GOP needs is to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh’s vain and empty attempts at controversy. This is not what Coco Chanel had in mind when she said that elegance is refusal. Refusal without ideology and without decent alternatives is nothing short of childishness. Waiting for Obama to stumble upon hardship or worse, to fail altogether – regardless of the fact Republicans will be on the sinking ship with everyone else – is not constructive. It’s not going to rebuild the party or grant it the credibility it so desperately needs. What the GOP needs is a thinker, an idealist, a builder – in short, a leader. A charismatic figure to gather round, a strong voice to unite with, an ideology to stand behind. Amidst the loud and lewd cacophony heard from Utah to Massachussetts and from Alaska to Florida, no one is standing up to give Boehner something to throw back at us Democrats, buoyant, pro-active and strong as ever. Why do I even bother? I could just as well lean back into my chair and eat popcorn while watching Bobby Jindal humiliate his colleagues on national television for the ninth time today. I could crack a karma joke at Mitt Romney, who was just robbed. Yet I firmly believe that no thought process can  be complete without a contradicting voice.

I might be just handing out a baseball bat to a bully, but I appreciate a fair fight. The question of government spending is on everyone’s lips. Obama called for restrictions and control, but as Boehner righteously pointed out, questions remain as to how the Democrats will pay for their $410 billion omnibus bill. Obama has alread gone so far ahead in the power scheme that the only thing Boehner and his pitiful consorts have left to do is to keep on saying “no”. It’s a recipe for failure, as they paved their own way with dischord and disagreement in times when conservatism could have meant more than an economic ideology. The Republican Party failed to address the American people’s need for a political and social life model. They’ve never really stepped out of their Congress pedestals, and Governors were too busy launching their own political committees to address a crunching and crushing middle-class. I feel for Boehner. I keep having this mental image of a tiny man wrapped around Nancy Pelosi’s finger. I used all my weekly empathy allowance on a man losing at the musical chairs of politics.

But I’m not so far gone in my sympathy to call for a do-over. I’m ready to move on.

Thanks to schmiss @ ontd_political

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