There’s a lot of talk lately about the future of the Republican party with speculation about the 2016 candidates (yes, God help us it has already begun) and supposed “new blood”. Who are the fresh faces that are supposed to save the Grand Old Party? Well, if you believe Time Magazine it will be Marco Rubio. But if you believe Jon Stewart of the Daily Show it’s Frank Luntz 1. Even Bobby Jindal is still being hailed by many in the media as a potential savior in spite of the fact that when given the chance to become his party’s torchbearer he failed miserably 2. Some on the left are thinking that Chris Christie, the very large and in charge Governor of New Jersey might be someone even liberals could vote for, mainly because he uncharacteristically praised the President for his reaction to Sandy, that massive storm that struck the Northeast in October of last year 3. On the other side of the spectrum some conservatives are once again trying to revive Paul Ryan as the new face of the GOP. Of course, Ryan is not all that new but he is definitely young and that has to count for something right?
One thing that all these men have in common besides being male 4 is that they are all being framed, packaged, sold, and hawked to the American public as being more moderate than the “old leaders” of the GOP that failed so miserably in the last election. The only problem is is that it’s a lie.
None of these men really represent anything moderate or all that different from the frothing at the mouth Republican base. Rubio signed the Norquist pledge to never under any circumstances raise taxes–a stupid and foolish thing. He voted against raising the debt ceiling and in so doing helped to put the world economy into jeopardy. He helped ensure that the Violence Against Women Act didn’t get voted on in Congress. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
Bobby Jindal isn’t any better. He is rated as being a 100% pro-life candidate. That means on any issue having to do with abortion, he always sided with the pro-life stance. Always. He voted to make the Patriot Act, one of the most egregious violations of civil rights this country has ever seen, permanent. Not long after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, he voted to end the moratorium on drilling the Gulf….his state hadn’t even begun to recover much less his state’s environment.
What about Christie? He’s essentially taken the same stance on gun control as the NRA. He has vetoed tax increases on millionaires while slashing education in his state. He has vetoed two bills that would have helped NJ families suffering from foreclosures. He is very pro-life and anti-reproductive rights.
And then of course, there is Ryan. He is all for gutting Social Security and Medicare. He has co-sponsored legislation for “personhood” laws as well as seeking to ban abortion even in cases of rape or incest. It doesn’t get any further right on this issue than that. He voted against regulating the subprime mortgage industry who preys on the poor and lower middle classes like leeches. He wanted to keep “Don’t ask, don’t tell”, was against gay adoption and enforcing hate crimes legislation for LGBT victims. He voted against alternative sentencing and supported more prisons. He voted to spend more money on sentencing and punishing juveniles. Ryan is the epitome of an ideologue. There’s no way on God’s green Earth he should be considered even remotely moderate.
The final person is Frank Lundstrom. He’s not a politician….he’s a Republican Strategist. His is famous for coming up terms and slogans that evoke emotional reactions in people in order to change the actual perception of the party’s stance on issues. For example, he’s the one that advised Republicans to call the Estate Tax a “Death Tax”. He is the one that coined the name for Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America”, which was in truth, a manifesto for how Republicans would fuck us all over but with a smile on their face. He told Republicans not to say “privatize” in regards to Social Security, but use “personal accounts” instead–when in fact, all they want to do is privatize Social Security. Back in the 1990’s he famously told Republicans in Congress to use the following specific words every single time they talked about Democrats and Democratic policies: “corrupt,” “devour,” “greed,” “hypocrisy,” “liberal,” “sick,” and “traitors.” He is the one who coined “government takeover” when referring to healthcare reform.
So, no he’s not a politician but he tells the politicians what to say to get an emotional reaction out of people and manipulate how they feel about an issue. Never mind the truth, never mind provable facts….he’s helped to make you feel a certain way and you never even knew he was behind it all. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain folks. Except we have to start paying attention to the fact that not only Luntz, but most of the mainstream media is desperate to revive the sagging fortunes of the Republican Party. After all, without two opposing sides to an issue, you can’t have controversy and controversy is what makes news popular. So we will be told that the GOP will be “new and improved” with all the same old tired ideas and the same old tired faces but with different words–essentially it will all have a shiny new wrapper on it provided by Frank Luntz, the U.S. news media, and their filthy rich backers (Murdoch, Koch Bros, etc). Don’t get distracted by the sparkly paper….remember, it’s a paper thin cover over a box that is quite simply full of shite.
1. This is a short video that I implore you to watch. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh while you’re crying.
2. I am referring, of course, to his disastrous speech given on behalf of the GOP after Pres. Obama gave Congress the State of the Union speech 2009. If you haven’t seen it, you really should. It is a primer on what NOT to do in public speaking.
3. You know that bi-partisanship is dead when anyone gets overly excited about praise justifiably given from a member of one party to another. I mean, really? Regular compliments are now “newsworthy” and praiseworthy in themselves?
4. At least liberals have Hillary Clinton as their current front runner and “face” of the Democratic Party. She’s neither young nor new, but that doesn’t matter to us. What matters is the substance of her ideas. We’re so silly that way.