I've never really cared much for labels. Identity politics and party-line loyalty just seems too tribal to me, and wholly unnecessary in a modern democratic society. And when there are only two parties that have any real chance of winning in a presidential election, it is almost guaranteed to cause extreme polarization of the two factions. But one thing is certain: anyone who will openly profess to be a proud Republican today, offering no caveats or apologies, not even a "yeah, I know he's an idiot," - that person is what the face of American Republicanism has become.
Republicanism has nothing at all to do with "conservatism" anymore. It's become more of a sickness than a legitimate political ideology. No self-respecting conservative could call himself a Republican by today's definition. And that's why Republicans have only the narrowest of hopes of preventing a total Democratic takeover in the next election. Their only options:
1.) Nuke everybody. All it takes is one, then . . . assured mutual destruction.
2.) Declare martial law and suspend the elections. We're due for another civil war anyhow.
3.) Recruit another Oswald. (And another Jack Ruby.)
4.) Get the Supreme Court to force Democrats to change the name of their party. After their bright idea to decide unilaterally who would be president in 2000, the Justices would not dare attempt to override the voters a second time for fear of losing their own skins. But they could still prove useful to Republicans, who might be able to convince the Court that by calling themselves "Democrats," the party is guilty of false advertising. After all, how long has it been since anything was decided in authentic democratic fashion in America?
The methods above, while certainly not very desirable, are by far the easiest ways for Republicans to keep the Democrats out of the White House. They certainly have no chance of doing it by ballot. Since the first three solutions are unquestionably illegal and murderous - as if those two things have mattered to most Republicans in the last seven years - and since the fourth would be a hollow victory, there is only one legitimate avenue that could possibly lead Republicans to occupy the Oval Office in 2009. It is a decidedly more difficult path.
5.) Renounce everything that W. ever said, vote to bring the troops home, close Guantanamo, repeal the Patriot Act, and force Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Mukasey, and John Yoo to demonstrate to the public that waterboarding is not torture by tying them to see-saws on the White House lawn while Condi Rice, Hillary Clinton, and Lindy England pour water down their throats until they all pass out at least twice, broadcast live on FOX News, during prime-time. Brit Hume and Fred Barnes can cheerlead, while Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly fight over who gets the last ringside seat.
When Bush and his merry band of bumbling bandits have dried out, prosecute them for every demonstrable crime they have committed, from waging an unprovoked, aggressive war, to systematic torture, to warrantless wiretapping of Americans. Remove every career Justice Dept. employee hired during George W. Bush's politicizing presidency, and let them reapply for their positions amongst qualified competition and be chosen for their abilities instead of their religious and political beliefs. Make sure that Karl Rove sees at least as much of the inside of a prison as former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman saw after Rove had him prosecuted for his politics instead of for his crimes.
Then the Republicans can pay back all the money they have embezzled, stolen, and taken as bribes, and remove the "income tax" from wages and put it back on capital gains and corporate profits (where it was intended to be in the first place). Agree to universal healthcare, put the money they have been wasting in Iraq into the Social Security "trust," and take back half the taxpayer's money they used to rescue Bear Stearns and use it to help the millions of taxpayers who are losing their homes because of firms like Bear Stearns. Admit that corporations are NOT "people," and therefore cannot enjoy the rights afforded to people while bearing none of the responsibilities expected of people. Give the energy companies a real incentive to "go green" by taking away all the taxpayer subsidies and tax breaks going to Big Oil companies while they make record profits from $4 per gallon gas.
Then they can get on their hands and knees to beg America's forgiveness for not doing all of that in the first place.
Now, that's a pretty tall order. But that's what it would take to keep the Democrats out of the White House - short of persuading Barack Obama to become a Republican. And not presuming to speak for Mr. Obama, but I have a hunch that if Republicans would do all of those things, Obama would be proud to call himself a Republican.
I know I would.
By JC Garrett