I’m digging deep into the archive for this post-election musical message. Unless you were raised around Southern California surf culture you’ve probably never heard of this band or this tune, but when I was growing up my sister and I played this album until the needle wore through the grooves (for you young kids out there, that’s how we used to play music back in the dinosaur age: with a needle placed in grooves on a large circle of vinyl. I know, weird, huh?)
Anyway, so a few thoughts on the election before I crawl back into my writing cave, which is going very well, thank you! Keep in mind, none of this applies to Tennessee, which as we all know is the Republican Party’s last stand. But I’m just going to say right now: last night was a stunning rebuke of the Tea Party and Republican extremism. Scott Brown, the guy who ushered in the “Tea Party wave”? Gone. Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin and their crackpot ideas about women and rape? Gone. Marriage equality passes in Maryland and Maine. Marijuana legalization measures pass in Colorado and Washington.
Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers and the rest? You guys just pissed a fortune down the drain for nothing. You could have used that money to “create jobs,” like you always say you will. Instead you tried to buy the election and you failed, big time. Way to go, assholes.
David Siegel? Enjoy your time on your Caribbean island. We’ll get along fine without you and your predatory time share empire.
And Mitch McConnell? You failed at your stated number one priority: making Obama a one-term president.
Before the election, Bruce Barry wrote:
Is losing two in a row to a guy you frame as a proto-socialist Kenyan enough to get through to the faithful that a gay-baiting immigrant-hating anti-science white people’s party is just not going to fly long term as a vehicle for national political influence?
Really good question. If it doesn’t, it should. The demographics are not in the Republican Party’s favor. They’re going to have to stop being the party of cranky old white guys. They’re going to have to stop being the party of anti-government-except-where-women’s-bodies-are-concerned. They’re going to have stop being the party of intolerant Christian bigotry trying to legislatively force their views about birth control and reproductive choice on non-believers. You know, once upon a time evangelicals were pro-choice and pro-contraception, even using the Bible to support that viewpoint. Whether it was political opportunism or a reinterpretation of Scripture that caused their complete about-face I have no idea, but it’s important to remember that their current position on this issue is a relatively recent thing.
So, we’ve made our statement and we’re waiting on you. Are you going to crack open that echo chamber and join the rest of us in the reality-based community? Or are you going to double down on the denialism? Will Sen. Bob Corker join in another Frank Luntz-sponsored inauguration night strategy session on obstructionism? Will Republicans continue to be the party of no?
Will conservatives continue to deny every fact that doesn’t match their ideology? Are we going to keep hearing about how the BLS and CBO and every other statistical barometer is biased? That the polls are skewed and the science is wrong and the birth certificate is fake? Or have you guys got the message that this just isn’t working for you?
I honestly don’t know if the Republican Party is institutionally capable of changing. I’ve mentioned before how the Fox News echo chamber has not served the Republican Party long-term. It’s served as a petri dish for extremism, not moderation.
Last night we switched to Fox News for a brief period because we heard the mood there was “funereal.” I got to see Greta Van Susteren interview Sarah Palin — and let me say, Palin looks awful. Her cheeks are sunken and hollow, something she tried to compensate for with extremely poofy hair, and she was so over-bronzed I wondered if she was headed for an interview on Univision next. Has she been ill? I haven’t heard anything to that effect but she did not look healthy. Anyway, Palin was saying that she “couldn’t believe the country would do this,” she couldn’t believe the country would vote for “crushing debt” and then there was a bunch of word salad about the Founding Fathers wrote in the Constitution that we’re supposed to have a balanced budget (it does? Pretty sure you guys haven’t been able to pass that one), which Obama hasn’t done, and she just couldn’t believe it all. And that’s the Republican Party in a nutshell. They just can’t believe it so they stick their fingers in their ears and go la la la la. I just wonder how much longer they can keep this up.
And also, I have a message for Democrats. For God’s sake, in the name of all that is holy, please sweet Jesus use this momentum and educate your base that elections are not every four years. They’re every two years. Hell, they’re every year, but national elections are every two years, and these races are just as important as the presidential one. The failure of the Democratic Party to send this message after 2008 is how we got in this mess to begin with. People stayed home and turned the House of Representatives over to a bunch of crazies, who then redrew congressional districts to suit them. So please, please, please use your awesome OFA ground game to start educating your voters now. If we’re going to keep moving forward we need to keep the momentum going. God, I’ve been saying this for years, since 2004, and for some reason Democratic Party organizers just don’t seem to get it.
And to the news media: the first one of you yahoos who starts blabbering on about Paul Ryan in 2016 or Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton is going to get a pie in the face. Give us a fucking break.