Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Selective Appeal

I was eating lunch today and the flat screen TV in the restaurant where I was eating just happened to be on CNN (usually, it's on ESPN). A Republican spokesmen said that the "party was going to get back to listening to the people." I laughed out loud at that... get back to listening? Did they ever listen to the people? Maybe they did listen to some people... you know, like folks who make well over $100,000.00 a year (stop hatin' Keith). Maybe even folks that hang out in country clubs but, certainly nobody that I hang out with. I hear you... "That's your problem Keith, not mine. Maybe you should hang out with those kind of folks." Oh, believe me, I would if I knew anybody like that so I could learn how to have it going on like that too.

Last week, Senator Arlen Specter defected from the Republican Party back to where he began in the first place, The Democratic Party. Senator Jack Kemp, another Republican who I kinda liked (and not just because he once was a quarterback who won two AFL championships either) was lost to Cancer.

Senator Kemp understood and spoke of the need for inclusion in the party... something they have given lip service and tokenism to but, have not practiced. Ask Michael Steele if you doubt what I'm saying.

They are on a Capitol Hill that is radically different from the Hill that existed this time last year. There is a wildly popular president who is liked by 81% of the American public and there a nation where only 21% of the populace will even admit to being Republican. To make matters worse, the "permanent GOP majority" that former right-wing apologist and theorist Karl Rove envisioned, has given way to a Washington DC totally dominated by Democrats and "Obama groupies" who call them the "party of no" and, in the words of New York Times columnist Frank Rich, "somewhere between a doomsday cult and scientology." He's not far off. Nowadays, that's exactly what some of them sound like. One of the reasons Senator Specter said he left the party was because they "had embraced the extreme right-wing." (I know my cousin Arlene thinks he's an opportunist and he may be but, I'm just quoting what he said.)

How did the Republican Party fall out of favor so fast with the American public? Was 1995 that long ago? Back then, people were saying that the Democratic Party was out of touch with the American public and was on life support. Even though there was a Democratic president in office then, Bill Clinton, he was surrounded by a sea of Republicans in both the House and the Senate.

For one thing, the Republicans began to embrace the extreme right-wing and just plain old nut factions of the party. Do you remember the nutty rallies out in the mid-west last year that met the McCain campaign? Those people were so nutty and extreme that even John McCain was turned off by them. They were frightenly racist and held some very extreme viewpoints about everything.

These are the dogs you pull out when you need extra votes to push an election in your favor but, would rather not be seen with, after you win the election. The Republican party played with and got in bed with these people one too many times and pretty soon they began to dominate the party.

As much as I have disagreed with their policies in the past, I have never believed that either George W. Bush or John McCain were racist or that either man held some of the extreme views of these right-wing extremists. Yet, they have played with these guys and pandered to them for votes just enough to make you wonder.

I applauded John McCain when he chastised one of those people at a rally in Wisconsin. This person called Barack Obama a terrorist and called for him to be killed. John McCain chided him and said, "Wait a minute. Mr. Obama is a decent and loyal American. We disagree on politics and we are running against each other but, he is not a terrorist and we will not hear any talk of taking his life." A lot of folks never heard about that but, it did happen and it took a lot of courage for John McCain to stand up and say that. So, I give credit where it is due and I give him his due for that. Yet, if you lay down with dogs, you'll most certainly wake up with flees.

Another thing Republicans have done over the years has been to almost completely abandon the working class and becoming a party of corporate shills with all this talk of "trickle down" economics. People now know, after thirty years of "trickle down and voodoo economics", that very little actually trickled down.

The worse thing the Republicans did was to start scamming votes by saying that they were pro-God, pro-life, and pro-anything that didn't require them to actually be committed to solving a real economic problem. This worked really good for years until the bottom fell out of the economy last fall. People wanted answers and they got a replay of all of their same old tricks. Well, it didn't play.

In the movie "This Is Spinal Tap", the band that once played major arenas fell to a level where they were only playing small intimate settings of a few people. When the reporter asked them if their popularity had dwindled, one of the band members vehemently stated that this was not the case... only that the band's appeal had become "more selective". Sound familiar?


Sean said...

Man, you are preaching over here...
Great Post!

Toni said...

Hey Keith...Once again, great analysis.

Simon Bastion said...

You make good points here and you're right, it wasn't that long ago that the Democratic party was being declared dead and out of touch..Good post.

James Perkins said...

When any political party,Democratic or Republican no longer listens to the majority of the people...The people eventually make them pay.. That's the basis of true democracy!

Angie B. said...

Speak on it Keith!

Cheryl said...

Arlen Spector is an opportunist, but what he said about his former party swinging too far to the right was true.

Brenda said...

It's a shame...The Republicans have swung so far to the right wing, appealed to the loony factions and the evangelicals so long that they have virtually destroyed the two party system.

Jazzy said...

Always gems here to think on..Thanks for this blog good brother.

Grover Tha Playboy said...

The Republicans were always in bed with the "looney" faction-lolol as you call it..For as long as I can remember.

Lisa said...

Heyy Keith....Wow, you've really been hittin it with these political posts lately...You're on a tear.

Halo said...

Hey Mr. CNN....Thanks for breaking it down for people like me, who don't read newspapers much.

Vanessa said...

Great Post, good points made!

Anonymous said...

You're good at preaching to the choir.

Sunflower said...

Selective Appeal was the perfect title for this...The republican partydoes have a "selective appeal"
now... To the out of touch minority.

Captain Jack said...

You're right that this party only gives lip service to inclusion.
There is a Gay Republican organization- "Log Cabin"something or other..that gets the same treatment as Micheal Steele..They serve as nothing more than hood ornaments and worse.

Swaggie said...

Incredible analysis...but American politics works in circles and the American people are fickle..and have short memories..Watch..In a few years it will all turn around.
It always does.

Rich Fitzgerald said...

You are fast becoming the new 60 Minutes blogger. You can get a little of everything over here from Politics to World News to Andy Rooney type quips.

Good job.

Tate2 said...

Just finished reading this...As usual, you are on point with your political analysis...so on point that I can't even add anything to this that hasn't already been written by you and the other commenters.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...


I MISS reading you and writing my own stuff. Looks like you are holding things down FABULOUSLY!!


Arlene said...


I do truly love your writing and I share your liberal-leaning beliefs in most areas. But I think you "young" people lack an historical view of the past that makes it difficult to clearly see "who's zoomin' who." Kemp, Spectre, Rove, et al are the racists their generation raised them to be. These men were born into a time when places were proscribed. Each white man "had" his place; each black man "fought" for a place. Now we're at a point when we'd like to believe the playing field has leveled. There's still much to do.

On to "our friend" John Mc Cain: As I remember that incident, the audience member said that President Obama was a Muslim and for that reason needed to be killed. John never said that the idea of killing was wrong; that America has no issues with the religion of Islam; or that his running mate and campaign staff must not permit such hatred to be aired. He made this small remark and his campaign continued on its racist course.

By the way, young brother, what happened to the AFL?

ShellyShell said...

I was watching Hardball with Chris Matthews and he was talking about how Jeb Bush,John McCain and Tom Ridge are on a "listening tour" around the country. My thoughts were NOW they want to listen!

I didn't like Arlen's comments on Meet the Press. He said he wasn't loyal to the Dems! I think he really left himself vulnerable come election time!

I grew up outside of Buffalo so I know all about Jack Kemp. He had a lot of support there because he was such a big supporter of unions. Buffalo was loaded with plants!

Good analysis Keith!


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