In the aftermath of their beat down in the November elections we heard a lot of Republicans speak out about the need to “re-brand” the party. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal called on Republicans to “stop being the stupid party” and put an end to their inflammatory rhetoric. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said that Republicans had to come to grips with the changing demographics and be more inclusive if they wanted to have any relevance on the national stage. Former Republican Congressman and current host of MSNBC’s popular Morning Joe warned that if Republicans continue to allow the NRA leadership and Grover Nordquist to set their national agenda “they will be reduced to a regional, southern party with little influence in national politics.”
Apparently not everyone got the memo.
Republicans chose their new shining star Senator Marco Rubio to give the Republican response to the president’s State of the Union address. In his remarks he talked about how he could not have gone to college without the help of government loans. He talked about how is parents were currently being supported by Medicare and Medicaid. And then he spent the rest of his remarks criticizing big government and the president’s plans to grow it even more. Rubio is not the first conservative to rail against the evils of government while simultaneously slurping from the government trough. His hypocritical rhetoric is indicative of a consistent thread that runs through the heart of the conservative movement…do as I say not as I do.
John McCain, mini-me Lindsey Graham, Kelly Myotte and a host of other Republican war hawks beat their chest for fiscal responsibility. They demand deep cuts in government spending that would ravage social programs depended upon by millions of Americans. But they refuse to cut military spending; often procuring billion dollar weapon systems that the DOD says it does not want nor need. Their excuse for this fiscal hypocrisy…that America cannot afford a weakened military at this time of global unrest. While making this patriotic proclamation they stonewall the appointment of Chuck Hagel, the president’s nominee for Secretary of Defense. They say that they will not appoint Hagel until the White House answers all of their questions on the attack on the consulate in Benghazi. Hagel’s appointment has nothing to do with Benghazi. It is merely being used as leverage for political gain. Even if he is appointed he will be in a weakened position. All of which emboldens our enemies and sends a message that America is in disarray militarily.
But the unquestioned leader in the march to marginalize the Republican Party is NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre. LaPierre is the puppet master of the Republican Party. Even Grover Nordquist bows in deference to LaPierre’s power. But LaPierre’s efforts in the recent gun control debate show clear signs of a man who has lost sight of reality.
In a recent op-ed in the conservative “Daily Caller” titled “Stand and Fight” LaPierre explains his opposition to any sort of gun control legislation:
“It has always been sensible for good citizens to own and carry firearms for lawful protection against violent criminals who prey on decent people. During the second Obama term, however, threats are growing. Latin American drug gangs have invaded every city of significant size in the United States…After Hurricane Sandy; we saw the hellish utopia that gun prohibitionists see as their utopia. Looters ran wild in South Brooklyn. There was no food, water or electricity. And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark, or you might not come home at all…Meanwhile, President Obama is leading this country to financial ruin, borrowing over a trillion dollars a year for phony “stimulus” spending and other payoffs for his political cronies. Nobody knows if or when the fiscal collapse will come, but if the country is broke, there likely won’t be enough money for police protection…Hurricanes. Tornadoes, Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face-not just maybe. It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival.”
LaPierre’s inflammatory rhetoric is not a defense of the second amendment. It is sales promotion for gun manufacturers who line LaPierre’s pockets.
This is a case of racist fear mongering at its worst. If Republicans really wanted to “re-brand” their party, you would hear Republican leadership speaking out against LaPierre’s vitriolic language. We’re still waiting.
Republicans like to talk about a kinder more inclusive type of conservatism. But given their post election actions...their words have little meaning.