The Wall Street Journal recently told its writers to stop using the acronym “GOP” for the Republican party, because they thought many no longer knew what it stood for. I think they meant the acronym, not the party, but maybe I’m being presumptuous. For many years the G.O.P. has meant the “Grand Old Party”, but it’s looking a lot less grand these days. So, maybe we need some new words for this tired acronym.
With the recent Florida battles between Gingrich (Grandiose Old Philanderer) and Romney (Greedy Oligarchic Plutocrat) and the circus of candidates and near-candidates for the GOP the last year, we should probably call them the “Goofy Odd Politicians”. We had Sarah Palin driving her bus all over the country but not throwing her hat into the ring and Donald Trump acting like a candidate to boost his TV show. Herman Cain pretended to be a candidate to sell books and boost his speaking tour and then got enamored with actually running until his history caught up with him (and exposed his total lack of a campaign management). Actually Newt has been trying to run a campaign without much management for some time (or maybe, he just CAN’T be managed!). Rick Perry showed us once again that Texas schools are not producing the brightest students around and shouldn’t be dictating what textbooks the rest of the country uses. Michelle Bachman showed how short-lived the appeal of the Tea Party is turning out to be. And Republican nee Libertarian Ron Paul took a step out of his rocking chair to show us how to return to the 19th century (complete with racism).
Gingrich and Romney have been accused of hurting the Republican party with all of their negative campaigning in Florida, but I’m beginning to wonder if there is much positive that can be said for this anachronistic dinosaur anymore. Some longtime followers of the Republican party have said that the candidates for 2012 represent the weakest slate they have produced in many a year — the “B” team, so to speak. If so, you have to wonder what’s keeping the “A” team on the sidelines. Or, maybe this IS the new “A Team”, with Herman Cain as B.A. Baracas; Mitt Romney as “Face” Peck; Rick Perry as “Howling Mad” Murdock; and Newt Gingrich as “Hannibal” Smith. The Republicans keep talking about “returning the country to a better time”; maybe it was the 80s! All I know, is they sure make a good comedy show.