Monday, February 16, 2009

The Problem With Oregon Republicans, Part 3.

  • For Part 2 of this white paper series, go here.
  • For Part 1 of this white paper series, go here.
In 1953, chafing under the developing Stalinist government of the SED, the workers actually had an uprising.

Just like every mass movement in the people's name only, this was a Bad Thing™. The famous poet and playwright Bertholt Brecht famously, wryly and critically observed thus:

After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had thrown away the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

Ironically, Brecht moved to East Germany after being targeted by Tail Gunner Joe, and still died one of East Germany's most celebrated cultural treasures, even after that criticism. The people didn't much care for the suppression of the Uprising at all, but the SED government liked it enough to rename one of Berlin's most famous streets–Unter den LindenStrasse des 17. Juni. Which should surprise us not. But I digress.

Why am I going on about East German and Cold War history? That's about as far away from Oregon Republicans as they are from winning the Mahonia Hall next time out.

I have in the past opined that the Republican party is as addictied to message and symbol as a tweaker is to his or her crystal (no disrespect meant to drug users). This works into it to.

Set the wayback machine to November 2004. Smarting from what was one of the first to be many well-deserved electoral setbacks, Ron Saxton (who would go on to carry the R standard only to lose it to Governor K) decided to go for credibilty by assuming the mantle of Owly Pundit. On a day in November 2004, Ron turned his big, wet compassionate eyes on the citizenry not wise enough to be watching Judge Judy at the time and begged us for a more powerful Republican party.

This was after the Rs recieved a drubbing that should have suggested to them that they were on the wrong track. But Oregon Republicans are incapable of learning the lessons of history.

Come back up to the present. The Oregon Republican party passed a turning point where they refused to turn by electing the past (Mr. T.) to guide them to their future. The national Rs elect renowned black man Michael Steele as chair and Mr T. gloats that this changes the perception of the party as the party of old rich white businessman.

Do you see the theme yet? It changes the perception. They telegraphed thier whole playbook right there and then.

Caught on the wrong side of history and, frequently, the wrong side of brain, the Republican party simply amps up the message.

Just like those ungrateful proles in 1953 East Berlin, today's voter just. won't. go. along. We look around and see our commons crumbling, life being reduced to eat or be eaten, we finally figure out it's because of Republicans, and they start losing elections.

They can't choose another electorate. So, the recode the message. Use different words. WRITE IN ALL CAPS. Let us paint you the picture ... did we use oils last time? Let's try watercolors. Oh, we used those? How about gouache? Tattoos? Igpay atinlay? PUMP UP THE VOLUME! Be "cool". Talk "ubby-dubby" like those kids on Zoom always did.

The Message™ didn't take? Rearrange the Message™. Reboot the Message™. Massage the Message™. Embroider the Message™. Color it green. Fly a gay-friendly flag from it.

Just don't look behind it, because you'll find that the Republican party may have a great message (or at least great production values–kind of like Battlefield Earth) but the message is like (if I may be allowed one more Commie reference) a Potemkin village–party out front, nothing in the back. Such is the addiction of Message™ over actual substance, but this apparently does not bother them at all.

The Republican party looks like a party that's trying to bring itself up from it's past, but in reality, it really is still the party of old, white businessman, terrified with the idea of becoming a Caucasian minority in thier own homeland (which we got by carving a new life out of the American Indian).

But, gosh, if we'd just listen to the Message™, we'd Get On Board™, and elect more Republicans. We'd have to disbelieve our lying eyes about what letting Republicans touch our stuff has done, but it's so important to elect more Republicans.

If only they could dissolve the people, and elect another. That'd be sa-weet!

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