Tuesday, February 3, 2009

As the GOP Turns (Oh Wait! It's Flat, So It Rotates)

Yeah, I know. An understatement.

As you have probably read, recent polling of those identifying as either republican or conservative believe that the GOP needs to move further to the right (thereby dropping off the planet altogether... oh don't we wish?) and believe that she, the you-know-who from the north, should fashion the party. Forgive my use of the word fashion.

As the first African American takes the helm of the GOP--something that has been largely uneventful--it is clear Michael Steele is the leader of the GOP machine, but is not the leader of the GOP rank and file.

Steele who beat out several GOP candidates including Chip Saltsman who ran former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign and who circulated the "Barack The Magic Negro DVD" (also, here and here)] has a tough row to hoe.

As Joan Walsh correctly points out in Salon, a right wing radio host who has pretty much kept the GOP cats in line by outing anything they do that strays from his brand of conservatism and she-from-Alaska (who the infamous radio talk show host loves) are, in fact, the de facto GOP leaders. Too bad for Steele, and, actually, too bad for the limping and rudderless GOP.

Steele is, thus, left in the odd position of either strategizing with the radio host or coming under his fire like many who didn't tow the line:

These pratfalls commenced after Obama casually told some Republican congressmen (correctly) that they won’t “get things done” if they take their orders from Limbaugh. That’s all the stimulus the big man needed to go on a new bender of self-aggrandizement. He boasted that Obama is “more frightened” of him than he is of the Republican leaders in the House or Senate. He said of the new president, “I hope he fails.”

Obama no doubt finds Limbaugh’s grandiosity more amusing than frightening, but G.O.P. politicians are shaking like Jell-O. When asked by Andrea Mitchell of NBC News on Wednesday if he shared Limbaugh’s hope that Obama fails, Eric Cantor spun like a top before running off, as it happened, to appear on Limbaugh’s radio show. Mike Pence of Indiana, No. 3 in the Republican House leadership, similarly squirmed when asked if he agreed with Limbaugh. Though the Republicans’ official, poll-driven line is that they want Obama to succeed, they’d rather abandon that disingenuous nicety than cross Rush.

--The New York Times, 31 January 2009 (excellent reading, BTW)

Meanwhile, the great northern state (where state taxes do not exist, but oil revenues certainly underwrite the state budget), suffered a one billion loss in bizarrely-timed market investments, and is projecting a one billion oil revenue fund reversal, with perhaps a three billion problem next year.

So mavericky she-from-the-north goes hat in hand (among the elitists) to Washington to ask for a share of the stimulus moneys (not the only thing she did while there, but that is a topic of another post) while, in fact, criticizing the stimulus bill. Apparently, she likes the slap-and-kiss approach.

Meanwhile, she-from-the-north is cutting and borrowing to make the balance sheet in Alaska work. It should be noted that Alaska is the number two state living off of federal dollars. Only New Mexico takes more money.

In trimming the Alaska budget, perhaps she-from-the-north is using this handy implement designed by a man who characterizes the she-from-the-north family as "the perfect American family" (is THIS odd or what!). I am a little puzzled by families with babies out of wedlock being called "perfect", but hey maybe that works for this man. I don't know about you, but giving implements of destruction to the "perfect American family" is beyond bizarre.

In the meantime, Limbaugh writes in The Washington Post his views on the stimulus package (turn off your chuckle-meter or you will break it) and proposes a bi-partisan plan so laughable that its audacity is but a footnote.

And the topper? The GOP has summoned Joe the Plumber to help them design outreach to conservatives. And NO, that is not a joke.

No one could make stuff like this up.