Washington, DC. Having realized that their brand is in serious need of spiffy new packaging, the Republican Party is launching a campaign to convince voters that there really is such an animal as a "New Republican." The project, brainorphan of Republican strategist Alex Castellanos, features Republican new kid on the block, former Governor Jeb Bush and radical upstart Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
The ad, which aired for the first time last Sunday, features the pair borrowing Jeff Foxworthy's You Might Be a Redneck schtick and modifying it ever so slightly, all while being buoyed atop bouncy, generic indie folk.
Says Governor Bush, "If you believe that every parent ought to be able to choose their child’s school, and that the economy should be driven from the bottom up, not the top down from Washington, then you’re thinking like a New Republican."
Then Governor Jindal chimes in with, "If you don’t think the Republican Party should be the party of big government, big business or big anything, you’re thinking like a New Republican."
Apparently, the focus groups Castellanos ran this ad by did not include any humorists, historians or people with perceptible cognitive abilities or with memories lasting longer than about five minutes.
Take Governor Bush's passive-aggressive call to arms. Aside from being a thinly burkaed promise to destroy public education by grabbing all the funds and handing them to their backers and cronies who run charter schools, what if all parents picked the same school? Then what? And yes, the economy is being driven from the bottom up. Driven like a herd of cattle to the slaughterhouse. But he's right. The profits are definitely not staying at the bottom.
By the way, Jeb Bush is known as "The Smart Brother."
Governor Jindal's laughable attempt at passing off the Republican Party as the champion of The Little Guy and definitely, positively, swear to God not the party of Big Business, and steadfastly opposed to "big anything," should keep cynics amply supplied with grist for their snark mills for days. I'll pass on the obvious penis jokes but mention that he left out "big ideas." Doubt that he noticed.
And yet this smug masquerade might just work if only they were not chained at the ankles to the Tea Party. Those guys are not going to start thinking like mythical New Republicans. They're going to continue to demean women and minorities. They're going to keep equating science with demonic possession. They're going to obstruct anything and everything. They're going to fight against equal pay, raising the minimum wage, civil rights, marriage equality, voting rights, the unemployed and of course Obamacare. They're going to pursue their bogus scandals like suicidal junkie Quixotes. And every time someone like Jeb Bush waxes poetic (and uncannily human) that undocumented immigrants enter this country as an "act of love," they're going to rear up on their hind legs and demand that 12 million people be deported. Or shot. Whichever.
We've seen this attempt at rebranding before. It was called "Compassionate Conservatism." Jeb's dumber brother ran on it, and won, and he had so goddamn much compassion that up to 1,000,000 Iraqis who never did a thing to us are dead, their country decimated and we're still digging ourselves out of the economic abyss that neocon misadventure created. And these compassionate conservatives also had something of a crush on torture, but they renamed it "refined interrogation techniques." Sweet.
The point is, I can call myself an omniscient interplanetary sex mariachi, but that doesn't make me one. Here's hoping we don't get fooled again.
©2014 Kona Lowell
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