Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Beware the false smile and the hidden brass knuckles.

If one were a casual peruser of the news either online or in the print papers, one might be tempted to think that the Republicans are having a series of second thoughts about the election results last November.

First there was Louisiana's Bobby Jindal giving a speech trying to tell Republicans that they are going to have to be more welcoming to Hispanics and stop saying stupid stuff.

Then there was Karl Rove agreeing with Jindal.

I think he is right. This formulation actually has been offered before by Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) who wrote a famous essay in the 1970s talking about the Democratic party being the stupid party and the Republican party gaining ascendancy because it was the party of ideas. Jindal understands that, so do people like Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio and Mitch Daniels and Scott Walker, all of whom have been emphasizing the same theme in recent weeks. I think they're absolutely on target.  
The Republican party can't simply be in mindless opposition to Barack Obama. It has to offer a vision of the future that is attractive and compelling for Americans to associate with.
 Then there was the vote-rigging scandal, which most Republicans of any real note have pretty much given up on and the most honest of whom scoffed at from the start.

Have the Republicans finally gotten a look at a Top Secret page of the Democratic playbook and realized that their stumbling around and saying stupid shit is creating enemies where they used to have friends?  Not so fast, bub, look again!

Last night, Rachael Maddow showed a memo being distributed among Republican activists, which was giving advice on what words not to say, and what not to call Hispanics in this new round of trying to lure innocent minorities into the Republican folder.  Her remarks included such things as statistics showing that Hispanics are not as conservative on non-immigration issues as most people within the Beltway think.

Now, a prominent Hispanic Democrat, freshman Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas, has come out and cautioned the Republicans on behalf of his fellow Hispanics.
“The worst mistake they could make is to start along this path and be insincere about it,” he said. “I think if the Latino community and the larger American community senses that the Republican Party is insincere, then it could spell even bigger problems for them later.”
 That's not all.  A very popular Republican, Colin Powell, has repeatedly cautioned Republicans that minorities are not going to blindly follow pretty words.  He squared off with Bill O'Reilly on this just the other day.

Powell pointed to the typically Republican-backed voter suppression laws as an example of one way in which the party has alienated minorities. 
“I don’t think the party recognizes the fundamental demographic changes that are taking place in this country,” he said. ”If you want these people to come to the Republican side…you can’t have policies that try to make it harder for minorities to vote.” 
He continued, “I think that one of the most terrible things that happened in the past election season is when we had a number of states that were going out of their way claiming that there was outright fraud, when there really wasn’t any fraud to be of concern to us, but we were doing things to make it more difficult for those people to vote.”
MSNBC's Morgan Whitaker goes on,
Voter ID laws are up for consideration in North Carolina, Montana, Nevada, Iowa, Idaho, Missouri, West Virginia, and Arkansas. Virginia Republicans, fresh off instituting a relatively nonrestrictive form of voter ID law last year, are on track to create further limitations, shortening their list of acceptable forms of ID. 
 This just seems to be more Republican attempts to paper over their differences with American voters rather than making real adjustments to how the Party really thinks in order to really attract and hold onto new voters.

Just like their cries in the 2010 campaign for "Jobs, jobs, jobs!" turned into the War on Women once the swearing into office was completed.

I think the old saw about being wary of Greeks bearing gifts should somehow be switched into something more appropriate to the times, like being wary of Republicans with smiles on their faces, but bearing brass knuckles behind their backs!

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