This blog post started as an analysis of the Sarah Palin phenomenon. While criticising Sarah Palin is a rich and rewarding blood sport (and Jon Stewart and Tina Fey were pushed to new and ingenius heights of comedy doing so) I don't have time for it today. I have two kids and a job and I so very rarely time to write and so I need to cut to the chase. Thinking about Sarah Palin keeps bringing me back to this:
We need a stronger Republican party.
We need at least a two party system to maximize the health of America's government and that is vital right now. And of course I am delusional enough to think (i) I have a plan for that and (ii) a Republican will ever read this blog so.
So to the Republicans who I know and love:
What can we do to help you not be so very, very lame?
I'm kidding! Don't stop reading! SORRY.
Seriously, you guys need a unifying message and you need a leader. Right now, the real Republican voice is distorted by extremist voices speaking ridiculousness . You can and should be mounting a powerful, intelligent presence in the government.
So either unify the party or cut out the Right Wing Christians.
It won't be easy to unify the party: the RNC has long been a collection of disparate groups: small business owners, Wall Street, moderate Christians, right-wing fundamentalist Christians, the defense industry. My friend Tina, who is very smart, says that the RNC got Sarah Palin basically because the other guys were letting the right-wing fundamentalist Christians drive the bus. No more letting them drive the bus . It's not doing any favors to the intelligent, caring Christian moderate Republicans, Republican business owners or any of the other groups.
Stop the nosedive, RNC.
The Republicans need their own unifying message. Not "Obama Was Born In Kenya" or "Obama The Socialist Antichrist Ushering in an Era of Darkness". I suggest something more constructive for our fragile world, like "Fiscal Accountability"*.
(I agree that this deficit is a frightening thing but don't be fearmongers: tell us how you can fix it. One way you can fix it is by demanding that the executive branch manage it closely. If you are statesmanlike enough to run on that unpopular platform, I'll vote for you.)
Has anyone at RNC headquarters thought about shifting focus to woo the Blue Dog Democrats by loosening up on some of the big ticket controversies: abortion, for instance, homophobia. Take all the Right Wing Fundamentalist Christians out of the equation and bring back the good qualities of the Republican Party.
AN ASIDE TO THE RIGHT WING FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIANS
(others please scroll ahead)
I was a Christian for some time (and kind of rightwingish on some issues for a while). When I believed a lot of what you believed, I concluded Christians should not be in politics as Christians. I respectfully suggest you should not be in politics.
The essence of Christianity is a choice - free will. In an oversimplified but accurate nutshell: you guys think the decision to follow or reject Christianity determines the fate of your soul in the afterlife. (I personally don't buy it, but there you go.)
If you agree the essence of Christianity is choice, oppressing potential converts with rules that prevent that choice (I'm not talking about the criminal code here, but the Right Wing anti-abortion, anti-sex education, anti-gay marriage agenda) you are effectively preventing people choosing Christianity. Don't prevent choice, make Christianity the most compelling choice. Jesus did not make himself a compelling choice by passing laws, did he?
And aren't you worried that your agenda is kind of punitive, because certainly Christians are not supposed to judge others, right, let alone punish them.
Ah, but you say you're not in it for the converts or the punishment, you are in politics to prevent people from sinning. In fact, in the case of abortion, you are in politics to prevent young girls from murdering babies. If that is the case, then your best option under the rules of Christianity is to LOVE those girls, give them what they need, help them.
I'm not sure this is the case, but perhaps you are in politics to gain power FOR Christianity. But that can't be right. If you think the church should have power to tax and spend or imprison - then you are not following the teachings of Jesus, he was all about powerlessness.
BACK TO ALL REPUBLICANS
What was attractive about Sarah Palin was her endless faith in herself. It is a quality she shares with Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton believed (and at the time who knows maybe he was right) that no matter what the best thing for America was that he continue in the presidency. He really thought that. The capacity for tortuous self doubt just doesn't exist in some people. The lack of that gene may in fact be a requirement of politics,Could you please find someone like Palin and Clinton to lead the Republicans? Who has endless faith in themselves? And if they have faith in God, make sure they have enough so that they don't need to legislate God's power, but rather that their lives become a testament to it by their service to all people.
(Hint: Not Michael Steele)
* or even - and I would of course oppose this but it seems to be a common ground - "Preserving Our Heritage".