Sometimes I can’t help but feel just a little sorry for the Republicans. It’s bad enough they had their lunch handed to them in last year’s elections. Despite an avalanche of soft money and an entire cable news channel at their disposal, Barack Obama easily bested Thurston Howell III and the Democrats actually increased their majority in the Senate.
But last night, after the President gave what many have now called his best speech ever, Marco Rubio had the “honor” of presenting the alternate reality that was the GOP response. When it rains, it pours. If this is how the Republicans plan on rebutting Obama in his second term, I’d stay out of Vegas for the foreseeable future if I were them. 2014 is already starting to look bleak.
The fact is, despite all the claims by Rubio and later Mitch McConnell, there wasn’t one single proposal laid out by Obama that wasn’t either practical or popular. The man spent just over an hour throwing down the gauntlet and setting the trap for his opponents. They, in turn, quickly did their best to fall into it. No wonder Rubio reached for a bottle of water. If you had to spit out that much bullshit in that short a time, you’d need a whole damn ocean to wet your whistle.
The major problem for the Republicans is two-fold: they are peddling a message that few outside the converted are buying and they are up against a president who has learned his lesson from his first term and plans on keeping the pressure on. He probably isn’t going to win every battle, but he will win a good chunk of them, and at the GOP’s expense.
The highlight of the night was the “they deserve a vote” moment. It was both precious and priceless. Whether or not he gets the assault rifle ban that he wants, Obama has made gun control a major issue for Republicans. Imagine Republicans having to explain to voters why they didn’t support sensible gun laws. Ain’t that a hoot.
Immigration reform is all but a given and not because the GOP wants it, but because they know if they don’t go along with it, they are finished as a national party. That might happen anyway, especially if the economy continues to improve.
It may be painful for them to admit, but 2012 was the Republicans’ best shot at seizing power in Washington in years and they failed miserably at it. They had a lousy message, even lousier messengers and last night they had a rebuttal that was lame at best and, at worst, deliberately misleading.
If the GOP seriously thinks that all it has to is dress up the same old turkey of a message and “rebrand” it to the American people to be successful than it hasn’t learned a damned thing about how and why it lost in the first place. Marco Rubio is a perfect example of the party’s arrogance. The reason he was chosen to give the Republican response – the Tea Party response by Rand Paul can now be seen it its entirety on the Sci-Fi channel – is because of his heritage. White bread didn’t sell too well last year, so let’s go with whole wheat. Either way, it’s a shit sandwich.
Pitiful, if predictable.
You know what, I take it back. I don’t feel sorry for the Republicans. They made this bed. Now it’s time for them to “lie” in it.