Eve Fairbanks discusses the theatrics and cunning stunts of the last few weeks from the GOP and asks a fair question:
Why are Republicans taking so many pages out of their failed candidate’s campaign playbook?
The Republican Party has been using a grab-bag of strategies to counter Obama’s policies over the past month. They rail against the stimulus package for its (supposed) pork. They hammer home their points with gimmicky videos and props. They speak in warrior rhetoric and revel in heroic, fighting-man stunts. But if there is one strand running through all these strategies, it is that they evoke a discomfiting feeling of deja vu. We’ve seen this stuff before: The GOP is currently reliving John McCain’s presidential campaign. The return to the strategies of their fallen candidate may be the saddest illustration of the current state of the party.
I honestly think it is because of the echo chamber, and because they simply have not had to think for so long that the echo chamber just rules. As far as I can tell these days, there are only three events Republicans remember throughout history, and those three events are the basis for every decision they make. The events are WWII (in which a damned furriner, Churchill, is the conservative hero), the Reagan administration, and the Republican take-over of Congress in Clinton’s first term. It doesn’t matter that they “misremember” those three cherished memories and don’t seem to have the ability to accurately assess those time periods. If you are wondering why the Bush administration and the past eight years is not one of those three memories, it is because they decided the day he left office that he is not a true conservative. Down the memory hole with you, George, and take those damned dogs with you!
Let’s just take one of these to prove the point. As WWII is one of the pivotal moments Republicans remember, every enemy is Hitler -Saddam Hussein? Hitler.
Kim Jong Il? Hitler.
Barack Obama? Hitler.
Likewise, anyone who does not do precisely what the wingnut crowd wants is instantly an appeaser and akin to Chamberlain.
Iraq War Critics- Appeasers.
Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and Arlen Specter- Appeasers.
And on and on. So what you have is a movement centered on a fictional history based on three events they don’t remember too well, and they are completely at the mercy of the echo chamber, which has themcompletely dumbed down by talk radio and the circle jerk of self-referential pundits that tells them exactly what they want to hear. If you remember correctly, the wurlitzer was telling us after the last electoral drubbing that this is a center-right nation, despite the fact the GOP got hammered.
In other words, they think they won because “conservative values” still rule the day. Now what are they doing? Well, since they were told they won, they believe it, and they are continuing to do the same things they did during the “winning” election, spicing that up with their favorite memories from their three events- calling everyone an appeaser, feigning fiscal responsibility while pretending no one remembers the last eight years, chucking out tax cuts as a solution for everything while pretending Reagan balanced the budget and never raised taxes (Health care a mess? Tax cuts! Market melting down? Tax cuts! Need some economic stimulus? Tax cuts!), and unifying in opposition to the Democratic President just like the good old days of 1993.
Like I said- they aren’t very bright. Break out the celebratory tire gauges, bitches!
*** Update ***
*** Update #2 ***
I swear to FSM that I did not see this until someone linked it in the comments:
But in the warped fantasy of Transatlantic Neoconomia, the world in which every diplomatic challenge is another 1938 and all peaceful negotiation is “appeasement”, any snub of St Winston is sacrilege, a sign that the Atlantic bridge is crumbling.
It’s too early to judge the tenor of Obama’s foreign policy. His taste in Oval Office decor bodes well, however, especially given Bush II’s disastrous tendency to view the world in Churchillian terms of good and evil.