“Define irony: Bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash.” So said Steve Buscemi’s character in Con Air as the criminals rocked out to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Don’t look now, but the Republican Party is giving that definition a run for its money.
Let’s dispense with the wildly inaccurate post-mortems from GOP “experts” who got their derrieres kicked on election night (Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, George Will and especially Dick Morris, to name just a few), and look at what went wrong for the hapless Republicans, using Animal House as our guide:
“Face it. You (screwed) up. You trusted us.” That’s the message the GOP gave to America.
The people were looking for a real leader, but instead got Mitt Romney.
Despite President Obama presiding over the worst economy since the Great Depression, voters still rejected Romney—including Republicans, as three million fewer voted for Romney than John McCain. Yet this should not have been a surprise to anyone paying attention. I spelled out precisely why Romney would lose back on March 16th.
A horrible candidate, Mitt Romney was incapable of relating to the middle class and thus never sealed the deal with those voters. The overall ABO (Anyone But Obama) strategy backfired, just as I predicted, because it’s never enough to run against something. The Romney/Ryan ticket was wholly unable to articulate what it stood for, resulting in, ironically, an ABR (Anyone But Romney) backlash.
In response to a question on the progress of his novel after four years, Professor Jennings (Donald Sutherland) replies, “It’s a piece of shit … anyone like to smoke some pot?”
Like Jennings, the Republicans were also smoking something.
During the past four years, the Republican strategy has been to whine and complain, bashing Obama on meaningless issues rather than advocating a better course for America.
Obama is a Muslim socialist from Kenya who hates America and wants to destroy it. And since he isn’t a citizen, he is a treasonist who should be impeached. Oh, and the liberal media, Hurricane Sandy and Chris Christie are responsible for his reelection.
Most amazing, that wasn’t just the lunatics talking, but many in the mainstream GOP.
Those propagating such garbage don’t understand that doing so drives voters away from the GOP. Rather than intelligently trying to win the Great American Middle—the voters who decide every election—Republicans spewing insane rhetoric made swing voters reluctantly return Obama to Washington.
“Do you mind if we dance with your dates?” In the priceless scene at the blues bar, the white fraternity guys had no idea how to relate to the black people in the club. In the same way, the Republican Party never looked more awkward in dealing with Latinos, black people, and even women. Rather than being proud Republicans, explaining in clear, populist terms how GOP ideas are better for everyone, Romney and Company went back to the playbook of pandering.
Instead of winning over these large blocs, Romney got slammed, just like his predecessors (Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six elections). Incomprehensibly, no one inside the GOP has yet realized they are getting the worst of both worlds: pandering never wins votes, and drives away the party faithful.
Reinventing the GOP by acting like Democrats eliminates the need for the Republican Party. Not exactly a recipe for growth.
“You guys playing cards?” Flounder’s immortal line is like the deer-in-the-headlights, out-of-touch Republican mentality, one that projected cluelessness instead of a bold plan. And nowhere was that more on display than with Romney. At times, the Gaffe King made John McCain look like Daniel Webster (the $10,000 bet; talking about how many NASCAR team owners he knew; telling the unemployed he knows what it’s like—despite a $300 million net worth; stating that companies are people too; criticizing the 47 percent). The list could fill volumes.
And yet, too many Republicans chose to believe that a few solid debates magically erased Romney’s aloofness. It didn’t. That’s wasn’t wishful thinking. It was denial. There’s a difference.
“And could you get three dates for my friends?” Obama perfectly executed the classic bait-and-switch on Romney, just like Otter (Tim Matheson) when he secured dates for his friends after pretending to be the boyfriend of deceased Fawn Liebowitz.
Rather than focusing on the horrid economy, rising gas prices and unpopular Obamacare, Romney took Obama’s bait by discussing Bain Capital and whether he would release tax returns. Instead of seeing Obama’s trap and avoiding a no-win situation, Romney himself set the stage by running a stagnant and defensive campaign all summer. It became so bad that leading national Republicans publicly scolded Romney for his inaction. But it was too late.
Dean Wormer: “Here are your grade point averages. Dorfman, 0.2—Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life! Blutarsky—zero point zero!”
When will the Republicans get it? How many failures will it take to realize that coronating candidates based on wallet size and “whose turn it is” never works? Not only do they lose the presidency, but ensure disastrous results for every down-ticket Republican.
Given the climate, Republicans should have won not just the White House but at least four and probably six Senate seats. Instead, they lost two. Even Hollywood, where suspension of belief is a necessity, would not have scripted that feat.
Bluto: “Christ. Seven years of college down the drain. Might as well join the f***ing Peace Corps.”
It is now 28 years since the GOP put up a truly solid candidate—Ronald Reagan—who just happened to unify the country by winning 49 states with his Republican ideals. If the Party of Reagan doesn’t hire a proctologist to locate its head—quickly—it might as well follow Blutarsky’s advice. But don’t get your enema out just yet, because if history is any indication, Republicans will once again repeat their mistakes, parroting Kevin Bacon while being spanked:
“Thank you, sir! May I have another?”