Dog catches car…
Posted June 19, 2015on:
For you city folk, there is a rural phenomenon where a dog will actually chase a car. Crazy, I know, but it happens. People have always tried to explain why dogs chase cars, but outside the thought bubbles of Snoopy no dogs have commented. One thing I do know, catching a car by a car chasing dog leaves everyone scratching their heads. What happens then?
This is the same conundrum facing Republicans these days. They might be on the cusp of being “the dog what caught the car” on any number of issues. Let’s review.
First and foremost, there’s the Supreme Court case of King v. Burwell where the ACA is on the chopping block courtesy of a simple legislative drafting error. There’s Donald Trump’s “word salading” a run for the Republican presidential nomination. Then there’s the winnowing down of the Republican field being outsourced to the Republican media operation of Fox News. In addition, there’s the dissing of Pope Francis over his encyclical regarding climate change. Add to that immigration, the environment, same-sex marriage, birth control, sex education, abortion, infrastructure spending, STEM education, or any number of other issues – take your pick – and the Grand Old Party is pre-diluvian in its positions and thinking.
If the Supreme Court violates the judicial keystone of upholding legislative deference to the executive branch in terms of implementing legislation, the resulting “major go-to-pieces” represented by the King case could go a long way in flipping both the House and the Senate. Remarkably, two-thirds of those who stand to lose insurance subsidies live in Republican districts.
There are those on the Left who secretly hope the Supreme Court does get its conservative activism robes in a bunch and rule against Obamacare. Polling suggests a majority of Americans want Congress to fix what is, in essence, little more than a grammatical error.
The resulting Republican stalemate over health care would be a Fort Sumter-esque first shot of an especially bloody civil war over what to do. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul would be tripping over their respective high-heeled cowboy boots to filibuster any fix. Vulnerable Republicans would be caught with their “subsidies down”. Mitch McConnell’s frustration would mean his world-class frown wouldn’t end until just below his kneecaps.
As for Donald Trump and his ongoing rant about his fellow candidates, the Republican Party has not a soul to blame, not a soul, but themselves. It was all well and good to encourage “the Donald” as long as he was in search of a Kenyan birth certificate, but now his antics are being described as dangerous and delusional. A trained seal knows from whence his fish comes and Trump’s same old tricks are golden when it comes to headline grabbing.
Trump also knows the first commandment of political hucksterism, always attack upward. His shots at Jeb! (to be read with emphasis), Rubio, and Walker are nothing but precursors of what his performance will be if he gets on a debate stage. Now that will be must-see-teevee.
Speaking of the Republican debates, there is no better example of the dog catching the car. With Fox being nothing more than the communications arm of the national Republican Party, Prince Priebus has deigned it acceptable for Fox and Roger Ailes to pick winners and losers in the GOP debate lottery. Messaging and chronic indignation has always fostered a marriage of convenience between the GOP and Fox, but now the parenting skills of the “debate babies” are causing massive marital discord.
When you are likely to have twenty candidates and try to limit the debate to only ten candidates, you have just as many candidates off stage as on the stage (that is the extent of my mathematical skills). Such an arrangement fosters plenty of sound bites for the disgruntled. If you can’t organize a debate, how on earth are you going to organize the dismantling of the federal government while at the same time increasing defense spending and reducing taxes?
Then there’s the problem of resolving the differences between the encyclicals of Pope Francis and the Brothers Koch. The Pope sees climate change as real and the Brothers Koch have declared it whimsically imaginary. The difference between the two schools of thought is punctuated by about a billion dollars in Koch contributions siphoned through a web of front organizations.
Trouble is: More and more people, particularly those declaring an affinity toward religiosity, believe as does the Pope – we should be good stewards of our planet. This presents a particular problem for those demonstrating a proclivity for sucking on the tailpipe of the Koch political machine. You can’t exactly proclaim moral superiority when your morals are dictated by choosing the Brothers Koch as your ethical higher power.
We could go further in our metaphorical analysis, but there is no need. Just like an angry dog, the “Party of No” has forgotten that just exhibiting unfocused anger leads not to a logical conclusion, but to general confusion.
Just like a tantrum throwing two-year old, the anger of the Tea Party and the ultra-conservative base has fostered no sensible Republican policy alternatives short of pants wetting. There’s something karmic about promoting calculated inaction resulting in unneeded suffering and then that inaction resulting in self-inflicted pain. Just ask any car chasing dog – all you get when you are successful is a sore, flat head.
I hope your Friday is a good one and I’ll be back tomorrow with a cavalcade of the ridiculous for your perusal. Take the conversation in any direction you may desire.
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