Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why am I not surprised?

You’re probably aware that Pat Buchanan (senior advisor to Nixon, Ford, and Reagan, and former Republican presidential candidate) has been on a tirade this past week, hurling his racist views, and charging that Sonia Sotomayor is unqualified to be a Supreme Court Justice. He claims that she is merely an “affirmative action appointment” - never mind that she graduated summa cum laude from Princeton, attended Yale Law, or that she has more judicial experience than any nominee in the past 100 years. Nope. Not according to old Pat B. There’s no way that any of Sotomayor’s accomplishments were merited in accordance with anything other than her race.

That bothered me, but not as much as the response - NADA. No, Not from liberals - they’ve launched the obligatory counter-attack. But the silence from the G.O.P. leadership, in my eyes, echoes their agreement.

I googled the names of prominent republicans, curious if any of them denounced Pat B.’s comments with the realization that his statements are destructive to party progress. Not surprisingly, my searches didn’t turn up any hits. Not even when I cross checked Pat B.’s name with -- (drum roll please) -- Michael Steele. Was I really expecting something else? **sigh**

Steele has become a symbol of all that’s wrong with the Republican Party. Seriously.

1. He sounds ridiculous. Like most republican leaders of today, his rhetoric rarely makes sense. I hate to break it to you Mr. Steele, but minorities aren’t going to be drawn to the Republican Party by you saying “y’all come”. And you can keep your fried chicken and potato salad. Uncle Barack is barbequing on the white house lawn next week.

2. He looks ridiculous. As John Stewart pointed out, very reminiscent of the Angry Customer from Sesame Street. Lemme think, what else looks ridiculous? How ‘bout that squirrel on Sarah Palin’s head? Or Mitt Romney’s forced smile? Mark Sanford’s alligator tears? Or hell, just plain old Rush Limbaugh...

3. He IS ridiculous. I would call him an “affirmative action appointment” - if I thought he was actually QUALIFIED. This man has no appeal with minorities, whatsoever. Consequently, he has no shot at attracting diverse populations of voters. If this is what Republicans think we want, they are sadly mistaken. They haven’t heard a word we’ve said in the past 50 years. We’re already hip to that game and not interested in being bamboozled. But hey, kudos on their ability to effectively swindle Michael Steele.

I concede that Steele is only symbolic of the party’s issues; he himself is far from the problem. The G.O.P. has been flailing around desperately like a deep sea fish on dry land ever since George Bush endorsed John McCain’s presidential bid with a tap dance (no, really – the President was tap-dancing, literally). The longer the fish remains out of water, the more wildly it thrashes. Until, of course, it dies. One could only hope for as much.