Republicans, Let’s Play Grown-Up
“Let’s play grown-up.” When I was a child, that’s what we said when we ran out of things to do like playing potsie or throwing rocks in the vacant lot. You’d go in and take your father’s hat and your mother’s purse and walk around saying, “Would you like tea?” In retrospect we weren’t imitating our parents but parents on TV, who wore pearls and suits. But the point is we amused ourselves trying to be little adults.
And that’s what the GOP should do right now: play grown-up.
The Democrats in the White House have been doing it since January, operating with a certain decorum, a kind of assumption as to their natural stature. Obamaland is very different from the last Democratic administration, Bill Clinton’s. The cliché is true: White House staffs reflect their presidents. Mr. Clinton’s staff was human, colorful, messy, slightly mad. They had pent-up energy after 12 years of Republican rule, and they believed their own propaganda that Republicans were wicked. They were oafish: One dragooned a government helicopter to go play golf. President Obama’s staff is far less entertaining. They’re smooth, impeccable, sophisticated, like the boss. They don’t hate Republicans but think they’re missing a few chips (empathy, logic, How Things Really Work). It is true they don’t know what they don’t know, but what they do know (how to quietly seize and hold power, for instance—they now run the American auto industry), they know pretty well.
Does anyone honestly think they can dial back the crazy on this? It seems like it is already out there and way too late. You’ve had Rush, Newt, Tancredo and others calling her a racist for days, you have all the groups that stand to do some serious moneymaking out there screaming radical activist (think Wendy Long and company), and the assorted right-wing magazines like Commentary and NRO and the Weekly Standard have already pretty much staked out a position on the lunatic fringe, and of course the WingNet has followed suit. How do you roll that back?
Can the Wurlitzer play in reverse?
And yes, as many of you have noted in the comments, the admission that the Republicans aren’t grownups and need to “play” to pretend to be adults is rather amusing.