Behold the USS Republican. She was once a grand lady that sailed America's ideological seas bearing dinner tables worthy of Norman Rockwell, lush thighs from whence butterscotch promises were released only after the proper nuptials were uttered and morals that were renewed with intent every Sunday morning. Amen, brother.
But Ronald Reagan's "morning in America" has long since faded for the crew of the USS Republican. The few remaining passengers have amassed on the far starboard deck, and the old girl is listing badly. Look there as beleaguered right-wing intelligentsia hang on nobly to the sinking pulpit. Why, that's George Will with his hand frozen in a loyal salute, as the common water laps at his feet. And is that a lone tear I spy rolling over Tony Blankley's cheek? Is he lamenting the sinking ship or his own inability to do the smart thing and climb aboard a blue lifeboat like Arlen Specter?
I am a liberal, and I admit this scene fills me with delicious glee, however shameful that may be. But now that trickle-down economics has dribbled down the sewer, now that the Bush administration's Wall Street fellatio has come to fruition, my gloating is hardly unearned. To that end, I've taken it upon myself to enumerate the elephantine troubles of the political right. Call it a public service.
The "nontraditional" Republicans ain't doing so good. I give the conservatives credit. They're digging desperately among their ranks in search of anyone who isn't old, rich, white and male. Their voices rise over the burnt wasteland of their party. "Let a thousand flowers bloom!" they bellow. OK, great. Let's take a look at this new multi-cultural bouquet:
Michael Steele: Apologizing to overfed gasbag Rush Limbaugh. Defiantly announcing "I'm done" regarding his relationship with the president (ooooh, I'll bet Obama really shook in his boots after that!). Does anyone seriously believe that Steele is the man to bring conservative principles to "urban-suburban hip-hop settings?"
Bobby Jindal: First off, he's freaky with religion, supporting creationism and intelligent design and interpreting the Bible literally. Read a few paragraphs of his accounting of an exorcism, and you won't want to sit next to him on a bus, much less vote for him to be, say, captain of a kickball team. Nonetheless, he's touted as a rising star of the right wing. But when Jindal stepped upon the national stage for that much-anticipated Republican rebuttal to Obama's February speech, he performed with the finesse of a Disney animatronic figure (although his speech wasn't as compelling as what you'll hear in the "Hall of Presidents" over at the happiest place on Earth). Does anyone seriously believe we've got a contenduh here?
Sarah Palin: Confidential to my fellow lefties: During the 2008 campaign, I poked around enough to know that there were plenty of intelligent things to be said for Sarah Palin's career. Fights with the Alaskan legislative body often had her on the fiscally sensible side. But did we hear about any of that? Hell no! I like to credit the intrepid Republican image team: Listen, sugartits, you're a pit bull in lipstick. Got it? Good. Now hitch that baby up on your hip, get making with the winks and stick to the script!
Of course, the righties made a cartoon out of Palin. Say "conservative woman" and you've just said kitten-eating Ann Coulter or Lucifer's own construct, Michelle Bachmann. And if all the inside mishandling wasn't bad enough, now Palin's got that little Levi Johnston problem. Does anyone seriously believe he'll disappear by 2012?
The everyday righties are really mad. By way of deluding myself into believing I am keeping my finger on the pulse of the common man, I often peruse the blood-red pages of the blogosphere. What I invariably find is a gaggle of angry white guys who've been backed into a corner and are swinging furiously at the air. Here's an example from "Oldandevil2": "The only thing I can think about the people who are still blindly supporting [the Obama] administration is that they are worthless fucking crack whores who have never had to answer for a fucking thing in their life."
Or try these musings posted on the day of Obama's inauguration by Internet phenom "Velociman": "Fuck him. That dandy, that piebald pimp. And his rat-shack wife, who was strolling down Pennsylvania Avenue today incomprehensibly dressed like one of the terra cotta soldiers from the Imperial Tombs of China exhibit. Only with a fatter ass. And snappers that looked like they could chomp through a coconut."
And from "Dan O," who reportedly hails from LaGrange, Ohio: "I fear for the future. No exaggeration. If there are that many ignorant people in this country who think this monkeyfucker is doing good, then just bring the end now. Why drag it out?"
Jeepers, I think somebody needs a nap.
Say "conservative" and you've just said senior citizen, very senior citizen. Last fall during an interview with George Stephanopoulos, John McCain kept describing himself as a "Teddy Roosevelt Republican."
Gee. Let me dust off the trusty ol' 1970 World Book and start figuring out exactly what it means to be a "Teddy Roosevelt Republican." Aha. I see the Tedster died in 1919. I guess that means McCain in about 150 years old.
Here's another Code Orange News Alert for all you indignant conservatives bellowing "socialism!" Guess what? That term has zero emotional significance for anyone under the age of 45. Cold war? Russia is no longer an evil superpower but another country that can be seen from the shores of Alaska. Time, my aged darlings, has marched on. You have not.
Political arenas change all the time, and maybe there's someone within that tangle of red faces, white skin and blue blood that can save this sinking ship. In the meantime, please forgive me for enjoying the sound of gurgle, gurgle, gurgle.
Visit the May 5 post at erin-obrien.blogspot.com for a complete set of links.