Nip it, nip it in the bud…
Posted February 8, 2013on:
Morning Widdershin friends — for those of you in the Northeast who are in the path of the projected blizzard, why not consider giving the guys who drive the snowplows a ride to work?
As a kid, no matter how sick I was, I always felt better after watching a rerun of The Andy Griffith Show. I loved Mayberry and all of its characters. There was Andy spinning homespun life lessons, Floyd coiffing on Main Street, Goober selling his quarter a gallon gasoline, Aunt Bee who was Mayberry’s first feminist who could whip up the best fried chicken this side of Mt. Pilot, but also pilot an airplane, and then there was Barney Fife.
Barney was my personal favorite — totally lacking a whit of self-awareness, always acting like a Chihuahua trying to herd a Brahma bull, and always managing to find the most negative aspect in the most positive situations. For good measure, if it was going to rain on a parade, Barney would always bring his own watering can. Undoubtedly, Barney Fife was one of the all time greatest teevee characters — so successful was Don Knotts’ Barney Fife that he became type cast as the well-meaning, but clueless, bumbling brunt of jokes in a lifetime litany of sitcoms.
The Republican Party has come to remind me of Deputy Fife. Just two months from a campaign where you heard nothing but the dystopian disasters awaiting us unless the Ayn Randian wrecking crew was elected, there is not one grandiosely ballyhooed campaign policy that is dared to be whispered in polite political circles. To hear them tell it, they were the Knights Templar standing between us and a stock market crash, the dollar being in free fall, continuing housing market doldrums, crippling deficits, skyrocketing interest rates, and general economic collapse as our Chinese bankers and overlords came to foreclose on our way of life.
Isn’t it amazing that not a mewl or chirp can be heard of any of their policy prescriptions just two months after they were spewed at us with so much Citizens United dark money. I find this remarkable as we look at just the last couple of weeks — the stock market hitting pre-2008 levels, the housing market rebounding, the deficit projected to be down by almost a half trillion dollars, interest rates continuing at near historic lows, and of all the industrialized economies of the world, while others are experiencing double and triple dip recessions, we are the envy. While job creation is still slow, the November and December job numbers were revised upwards by a quarter million and January’s job creation exceeded expectations.
In the face of all this optimism, just like Barney Fife, the Republican leadership can be heard to say, “Yeah, but…”
The approach being taken by the gloomy Republican band of doomsayers is the wet dream of every marketing major — rebranding, revamping, reforming, reformulating, revising — “re-re’ing” their message. The most consistent “re-re’er” is none other than the Republican political stunt double for Punxsutawney Phil, Equivocating Eric of the sub-phylum Cantor. Every year for the last four years, right on schedule, Equivocating Eric has come out from the shadows of palace intrigue to bestow upon his tens of admirers, his prescription for a “new and improved — ‘bestest’ of all time” Republican message.
While Punxsutawney Phil comes out to see his shadow, I believe these annual sightings of Equivocating Eric is to see whether he casts a reflection in a mirror or like Barnabas Collins (or Edward Cullen for you Twilight fans) he is condemned to roam the earth in his unquenchable passion for the blood of the last remaining vestige of the social safety net.
Equivocating Eric, Bobby Jindal, Karl Rove, Bob McDonnell and their ilk have a long hard slough in front of them when it comes to rebranding the Republican Party. For instance, you have the likes of two almost assured Republican Senate candidates — Steve King of Iowa who wants to “electrocute illegals at the border like livestock,” and Paul Broun of Georgia who “doesn’t know if Barack Obama is an American or a Christian, but knows for sure he’s a Marxist, Socialist, Nazi.”
Then you have the newly elected Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, who is supposed to be the paragon of Tea Party intelligentsia, but who has yet to vote “for” anything by casting all “no” votes in his Congressional maiden year. Added to that you have, “If I were King, er.. President,” Rand Paul and any number of lesser-ran, but equally fringe hinterland wanderers — a virtual rogues’ gallery of the same clowns with different make-up.
There’s a saying out in the Nebraska, “It doesn’t do you any good to pack ten pounds of crap into a five-pound bag because you just have double the crap and less room to hide it.” Call it what you will, but rebranding, revamping, reforming, reformulating, revising — “re-re’ing” something won’t change what’s already there.
The only way Don Knotts could break away from the character of Barney Fife and become a movie hero was to become a bespectacled talking cartoon fish in The Incredible Mr. Limpet. Maybe there’s a lesson there for the Republican Party.
This is an “all skate” open thread.
18 Responses to "Nip it, nip it in the bud…"
Comments are closed.