From a spectators point of view, January has been one of the funniest months on record when it comes watching the Republican Party. They have staggered from one disaster to the next, displaying the finesse of a drunken frat boy and the strategic thinking of a headless chicken. Their attempts to outmaneuver the President have resulted in a series of missteps so hilariously stupid you might wonder whether they have been infiltrated by MoveOn.org.
It remains to be seen whether the Democrats can effectively capitalize on the Republican’s self inflicted wounds, but it shouldn’t be too hard given their consistency and willingness to continue making the same mistakes over and over again.
Here’s a recap of what happened in January:
1. The Republicans and gun lobby implode after Obama’s inauguration. Writes Matt Taibbi: “The gun lobby’s response to Obama’s inauguration was to organize a “Gun Appreciation Day” on Martin Luther King Day that left five of their own gun-loving members accidentally shot. Then they responded to Obama’s inaugural speech by doubling down on the “elitist hypocrite” ad that earned them near-universal condemnation previously.”
2. Alex Jones goes insane on Piers Morgan. This was one of the most epic meltdowns on live television you are ever likely to see. Alex Jones literally offered to fight Morgan on his show and looked about a split second away from pulling out a hidden gun and blasting the Brit as he was questioned on America’s horrendous gun related homicide rate. If the Right wanted to make the argument that America needs more guns to stop gun crime, Jones was not the man to do it. A scary, red faced gun nut making physical threats might have gotten viagra popping, middle aged white guys excited, but to everyone else it was another disgusting example of how crazy gun culture has become in America.
3. The NRA takes out an ad asking why Obama’s daughters have armed security guard when they go to school, and regular Americans do not. Equating the lives of Sasha and Malia Obama with that of regular citizens was not only tasteless, it was completely pointless. Despite there being a legitimate danger for regular American children when going to school, the Obama girls are a major international target (as is the President). The ad was again widely condemned as a huge mistake by the gun lobby.
4. Using Django Unchained to woo African Americans on gun control issues. Larry Ward, president of Right wing marketing group ‘Political Media Inc’ and Jonathan David Farley, a principal at ‘The Warren Group’ decided that they could use Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti Western, Django Unchained to persuade African-Americans that they should support 2nd Amendment rights and reject gun control. Given half of all homicides in America occur within the African American community, and African-American support for gun control runs as high as 83 percent in major polls, this has to go down as one of the stupidest ideas ever.
5. Sarah Palin gets fired from Fox News. This may turn out to be a good thing for the Republican Party. As Chez Pazienza notes, “The reason for Fox’s decision is obvious and can’t be questioned by anyone with a brain and a lick of business sense: Palin’s star has fallen…..Her steady decline as a celebrity, despite her best efforts, ultimately gave Ailes all the reason he needed to kiss her goodbye once and for all. Ailes once said that he hired Palin because she was “hot and got ratings”; these days, she isn’t and doesn’t.”
This is true, but Palin was also a major symbol for the Republican Party – the living proof that being stupid could work to your advantage, even to the point where you could become Vice President. That symbol is now dead, leaving a massive void to fill with no serious contenders on the horizon. The dispassionate icing of Palin was another example of the Right’s cannibalism that is now accelerating faster than anyone could have imagined.
6. John Boehner announces that ending abortion is ‘One of our most fundamental goals this year’. The Democrats had a field day on women’s rights issues in the Presidential election as the GOP went out of its way to alienate half the voting population with its 19th century policy proposals. True to form, Republicans have decided to reject political reality and forge ahead with their massively unpopular ideas anyway, presumably believing that if they ignore the evidence it will disappear. If Republicans genuinely believe a crusade to end abortion rights in America in the 21st century is a good idea, they really are beyond help.
7.Georgia RepublicanPhil Gingrey says Todd Akin was ‘Partially right’ on ‘Legitimate rape’ claim. Yes, that’s right – Gingrey (a doctor himself) chose to quote well known women’s reproductive specialist Todd Akin on this hotbed issue. As a result, we can probably expect see Gingrey climb the ranks of the GOP in the near future and head up careful planned strategy to woo women voters.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.