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The Four Horseman of the Republican Apocalypse

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By Wendy Binnie

After the huge tax cuts for the wealthy by Reagan, they became much richer while most workers lost income. The so-called filter-down and ‘voodoo economics’ along with huge deficits added more to the national debt than all previous presidents combined. It created a false economy, which Bush Junior revived, in order to outdo his hero, once again creating more national debt than all previous presidents combined, and enriching the wealthy with even larger tax cuts.

With those tax cuts continuing until 2011, the bailouts and stimulus costs will increase the national debt trillions more, with a devastating effect on the dollar. The wealthy will also be able to make safe investments in the meantime to safeguard their fortunes, while most people will lose almost everything. And they dare to make the bogus claim that Obama is bleeding the wealthy.

When it is necessary to think about Republican leadership these days, the inclination is to think of something out of Monty Python’s: the Knights who say ‘Ni.’ Instead of saying something that leaves us with a grin or a much needed belly-laugh, these clowns prefer to say, ‘No.’ ‘Ni,’ would have been much more fun. And as a country and a people we could use a little light-heartedness. Unfortunately, we have a clown show that is pathetic. Big on Volkswagens, and short on humor. The Knights who say Ni are a band of knights from the comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail; feared for the manner in which they utter the word ‘ni’ (pronounced like knee but clipped short). They are the keepers of the sacred words: Ni, Peng, and Neee-Wom. Republicans would do themselves and the country a huge favor if they said “Yes” once in a while. The Party of Ideas has lost not only its edge but its raison d’être.

What we have in its place is a party of buffoons and ‘naysayers’ who not only fail to understand the mood of the country but also what it takes for their own survival. They are anti-Darwinian for good reason. They don’t seem to know how to apply it to the survival of their own party. They should rent the Peter Sellar’s movie where he plays a gardener who has learned all he knows from watching television and tending his beloved garden. Because his answers are so simple he is thought to be a genius – this is a problem in today’s world, thinking someone is smart when one doesn’t understand them. It is decided by the ‘powers that be’ to run him for president. Well, that movie came out in the seventies and we all thought it was a joke at the time. Little did we know what the future would hold. The last line superimposed on the screen was: "Life is a state of mind."

Now that the man who should not have been president is gone, the remnants of the shattered party he left are trying to justify their existence over the last eight years. And if you think picking up gossamer is easy, try to put together what happened over the last eight years into some sustainable and rational framework. Despite the fact that the truth has a way of leaking out no matter what you do, the party of Lincoln (sic) seems to have morphed into the party of Limbaugh. Consider that if we had to single out the four people most like to drive the Republican Party, we’d probably have to begin with

Rush, Newt, Sarah and Cheney. These are the four horsemen who are most likely to drive the Republican Party into obsolescence; not that they are likely to engender much sympathy—there are too many out of work people in middle America whose homes and lives are on the line. We need a viable republican party; Mr. Bush, to his credit, has stayed out of today’s politics – not so his veep. Mr. Cheney has much to answer for and when history does get around to evaluating Mr. Bush’s presidency, Mr. Cheney might well have to take the blame and he will owe Mr. Bush a huge apology.

Not many seem to have a smidgen of the kind of smarts needed to save their party from ultimate ruin. What’s really sad, however,

is when the real prophet comes along, he’s poked fun at and called a Democrat; that was Powell, who called for rationality and inclusion and new ideas—which was enough to give old Limbaugh hissy fits. They even had the audacity to refer to him obliquely as a traitor. (See Darth Cheney’s commentaries.) Powell is no traitor, he’s a realist with a good grasp of what’s going down; and it’s not good from their perspective. And if they had half a brain, they would beg him to come back and lead the party. Maybe then somebody would take them seriously.

They keep thinking the Emperor’s clothes are magnificent; instead of taking a fresh peek to discover that “My God, the Party hasn’t got a bloody bandana to cover its shanks.” No, the prospects are not well. And now as they turn their guns on Sotomayor in her bid for SC judge, they do nothing but shoot themselves in the foot. So much for the party of ideas. They’d do much better to define themselves as the party of the Twinkies and disposable diapers; at least then they could look forward to a half-life of five hundred years—something they might like to delude themselves with at this point in their rush to jump into the Black Hole of Republicanism.

As I was saying . . . 

Wendy England Binnie a novelist and op/ed writer lives in Oak Trace Villas.