Hoyay! at the NRO

Lots and lots of silly at the NRO today, but this from Peter Kirsanow stands out:

It would be interesting to see the results of a more finely calibrated poll, one that compares how well-respected, competent, and effective the subject is perceived to be relative to similarly situated individuals. As a friend succinctly puts it, “When that big asteroid finally heads toward Earth, who’s the person you’d most want to be in charge?” I suspect Cheney would score at or near the top.

For folks who seem to gain all their national security beliefs from episodes of 24, these guys sure don’t know their Hollywood. As a matter of fact, when the big asteroid is heading towards earth, even in the movies we went with the black guy:

Sorry, Peter.








Sound Advice

That they will completely ignore:

Right now, nobody is listening to them and nobody cares what the GOP thinks. As painful as that must be for Republicans, it does provide them with an opportunity to do some thinking, so that when their time-out period is up and they rejoin the class, they will be able to come in with a new approach, some new thoughts and something of a fresh start.

While this line of thinking might sound a bit like trying to turn lemons into lemonade, that’s what life can be about; turning adversity into opportunity.

As long as Republicans were in power, while they weren’t in the mood to make changes, they also weren’t in a position to do the rebranding and retooling that parties are sometimes required to do. That can only be done when that party is out of view.

It’s easier to say that Republicans need to change than it is to say what they should change. But maybe Republicans should take a page from the Democratic playbook.

It would be unprincipled, intellectually bankrupt and pointless for the Republican Party to move from the right to the left on issues or overall positioning. But, on some issues, maybe they would be best off being silent.

I’ve pointed this out repeatedly, but the best play for Republicans is to just be quiet, let the public get tired of the Democrats, and let everyone forget why we hate and how much we hate Republicans. But they just can’t do it, and, as such, we have Dick Cheney with his 19% approval rating and the equally popular Rush Limbaugh out running their mouths 24/7.

Instead of simply sitting back and giving the Democrats enough rope, they have decided that they need to turn the volume up to eleven. The only upside to the sad state of Republican affairs is that “fascist” has replaced “defeatocrat” as the wingnut slur du jour. Variety counts, you know.








Still You Aint Ever Gonna Make Me Play the Game of…

FEAR! The House Republicans have now officially said to hell with it all and are going full metal 9/11:

Has anyone told these guys that we intend to put them in prisons, and not just release them in the wild? Love the music, too. I couldn’t figure out if it was a performance I should know or if it was from Lord of the Rings or one of the Call of Duty soundtracks.

*** Update ***

Memories:

Only the names change.








Breaking the Overton Window

Ross Douthat is a hoot today:

You can’t have a successful political party without centrists. Happily for Republicans still smarting from last week’s defection, you can have a successful political party without centrists like Arlen Specter.

***

This doesn’t mean that Republicans should be happy that their tent is shrinking toward political irrelevance. But more Lincoln Chafees and Olympia Snowes aren’t the answer. What’s required instead is a better sort of centrist. The Reagan-era wave of Republican policy innovation — embodied, among others, by the late Jack Kemp — has calcified in much the same way that liberalism calcified a generation ago. And so in place of hacks and deal-makers, the Republican Party needs its own version of the neoliberals and New Democrats — reform-minded politicians like Gary Hart and Bill Clinton, who helped the Democratic Party recover from the Reagan era, instead of just surviving it.

Hart, Clinton and their peers were critical of their own side’s orthodoxies, but you couldn’t imagine them jumping ship to join the Republicans. They were deeply rooted in liberal politics, but they had definite ideas for how the Democratic Party could learn from its mistakes, and from its opponents, in order to further liberalism’s deeper goals.

No equivalent faction — rooted in conservatism, but eager for innovation — exists in the Republican Party today. Maybe something like it can grow out of the listening tour that various Republican power players are embarking on this month. Maybe it can bubble up outside the Beltway — from swing-state governors like Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty, or reformists in deep-red states, like the much-touted Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Utah’s Jon Huntsman. But to succeed, such a faction will have to represent something legitimately new in right-of-center politics. It can’t sound like Rush Limbaugh — but it can’t sound like Arlen Specter either.

No political party can be effective without a center, now watch me crap all over the two remaining centrists in the GOP and then pretend that solid conservatives like Huntsman and Jindal are centrists. So Douthat doesn’t like Specter, or Collins, or Snowe. Fine. But pretending that the guy who voted with the Republicans 70% of the time is actually a liberal isn’t actually achieving much other than to further the current Republican delusion. It is only in the fanatical wingnut world where the answers to everything are tax cuts, more bombs, and prayer that folks like Souter or Specter or Snowe are “liberal.”

In other words, they only look liberal because you all are nucking futs. To the rest of us in what we like to call the real world, they are what they are- center right Republicans.








Once We Take Out the Judean People’s Front

Bradley Smith might be on to something here:

Now that Specter’s gone, we can turn to the real enemy – Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe! Then the only thing between us and victory will be Graham, Lugar, McCain, Murkowski, Grassley, Hatch, and some of the RINOs in the House. And the Governors, like Crist and Douglas and Lingle and anyone not named Palin or Jindal. And the Supreme Court Justices like the radical Kennedy. But time is on our side. If we get small enough, voters will finally see true conservatism, and then we’ll have to win.

Go read Red State and Hot Air and other “conservative” bloggers and tell me Smith’s sarcasm is wrong.

*** Update ***

The anti-Snowe movement gains momentum:

But while she wants the Republican party to be accepting of her positions on the other issues, she seems to forget that often she doesn’t even pass the “litmus test” of core economic issues. She, like Specter, voted for the stimulus bill package.

I don’t understand well all the consequences of Specter’s defection to the other side, but it seems to me that no matter how painful it might be, that’s probably what the Republican party needs.

She’s a witch!