Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ohio GOP a stupid microcosm of national party

By Rick Morris

Ohio, considered the quintessential bellweather state in recent presidential elections, is often referred to as a microcosm of the nation. With its blend of urban and rural and representation from most of the country's major ethnic groups, the designation seems to fit.

Unfortunately for any folks with a rightist orientation such as myself, the complete incompetence and utter small-minded failure of imagination of Republican leaders in Ohio is mirrored by the national picture. Political observers everywhere are familiar with the lengthy bill of indictment against the national Republican party during the Bush years, from the arrogant pork-barrel spending in the "heady" days of one-party rule to the inability to carry out working governance in post-Katrina Louisiana or effective policies (prior to 2007) in Iraq to the overall tin-eared, ham-handed political machinations that have done nothing but empower Democrats and lead to a Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid.

But in Ohio, a sad similar inability to stop shooting itself in the foot afflicts the GOP.

Today's Cleveland Plain Dealer informs us of a plan, openly admitted to by the Einsteins at the Ohio Republican Party, to attempt to call the bluff of newly elected Democratic state officeholders with a mountain of public records requests and threaten lawsuits if the issues are not settled expeditiously. Also, in an editorial, the PD writes about the pathetic attempts by the barely-alive Cuyahoga County Republican Party to target Dennis Kucinich not in his next election -- but in a freaking recall!

As for the public records plot: if the too-clever-by-half dime-store Machiavellis who have been running this operation into the ground for over a decade can't figure out that they're only making martyrs of the Democrat officeholders with this stunt, then they're too stupid to live. And spare me the whining about how the "lib-rul media" is just trying to make the Republicans look bad on this. Yes, they most certainly are, but idiot Republicans don't have to keep handing them the ammunition to do so.

The party needs to realize that after years of governance by stiffs like Bob Taft, Betty Montgomery and George Voinovich, who all cared about nothing but polls and the politics of expediency, the public has no tolerance for the shenanigans of the GOP. Whether it be on a national or local level, the Republicans will NEVER NEVER NEVER beat the Democrats at their own game of shameless opportunism. The Columbus insiders who have aided and abetted the assassination of the Republican brand over the last decade need to realize that further alienating voters with political gamesmanship will not elevate the party back to power in the statewide offices and prevent what appears to be an inevitable loss of the House of Representatives next year. Winning with the superiority of public policy ideas will do that.

While I'm not a big fan of Newt Gingrich due to the fact that he talked a big game about government reform but accomplished little as Speaker back in the day, he is right that Nicolas Sarkozy had to overcome the enormous hurdle caused by Vichy French President Jacques Chirac's tarnishing of the UMP party label in his successful candidacy for President of France. Finally freed from the reign of the spineless and pathetic Governor Bob Taft, the Ohio Republican Party in 2007 needed to chart a new course, one built on demonstrating how conservative ideals of limited governance were the best means to carry the state forward. At every opportunity, however, the fools in charge never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. By not having the patience to wait out the honeymoon periods of Ohio's statewide officeholders, the party has played into their hands by making them sympathetic figures and has cast itself as a propagator of government waste as statewide employees scurry to carry out their tasks at the expense of actual duties. Well played!

And as for the recall of Kucinich, the Plain Dealer makes a good point (I can't believe I'm saying that, as Cleveland's Morning Mediocrity is not known for brilliant and pungent analysis) about how targeting the worst congressman in America with AN ACTUAL CANDIDATE AT THE BALLOT BOX is the way to demonstrate displeasure with his asinine antics. But why do that when you can grandstand with a recall campaign in the interim, then shirk into the default mode of dredging up an anonymous victim willing to play cannon fodder and collect 20% of the vote and no campaign contributions whatsoever against Kucinich next November?

For people like myself who don't like being governed by liberal ideas, these are the people who stand between us and that reality. God help us.

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