Watching the Republican Party attempt to assert power it doesn't have over the past few days has been bewildering and downright painful to watch. The opposition party did everything in its power to derail Obama's stimulus package, acting as if they were still running the show. The consequences of this behavior will lead them nowhere, and only irritate the public who are genuinely looking for substantive change. If the Republican Party wants to be taken seriously, they will have to rethink their strategy over the next few years and come up with some different ideas to the worn out garbage they served us under the Bush Administration.
I've come up with a list of 10 rules the Republican Party must now stick to if they want to wield any influence on Capitol Hill:
1. You don't get to talk about economics. We've had 8 years of Republican rule and Republican economics, and it hasn't exactly turned out well.
2. Accept that the free market hasn't worked. Yes, I know it's hard, and this might take a while for it to sink in (the financial meltdown should help speed up the process), but you must if you want to remain vaguely relevant.
3. Stop trying to 'Out Obama' Obama. Electing Michael Steele to chairman of the RNC was about as transparent a move as putting Sarah Palin on a Presidential ticket. Promoting African Americans and women to positions they aren't qualified for solely for image purposes is just sexist and racist. Michael Steele is no reformer, and he really isn't too bright. He recently told Wolf Blitzer, "Not in the history of mankind has the government ever created a job." There's no need to go in to the ridiculous statement, as it is, well, ridiculous. Obama isn't different because he is black, he is different because he is genuine and because he is brilliant. Steele isn't any of the above, and won't provide any meaningful change.
4. Stop using Joe the Plumber to promote the party. It didn't work for John McCain during the election, and it won't work now. Joe may be a nice chap, but he's no political mastermind and won't help restore the party to its former glory. His rise to fame was fun for a while, but it's starting to get boring.
5. Tell John McCain to retire. The public rendered its judgment during the election, and they chose to move on. McCain's instincts as a politician are shot, and he can no longer keep up with the big boys. The presentation of his own stimulus bill was counter productive, stupid and embarrassing. McCain's campaign fell apart because of his weak grasp on economics, and we certainly don't want to hear from him now the situation is even worse. McCain has served his country both militarily and politically for over 50 years. He is 72 years old, and should be enjoying retirement back in Arizona.
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Ben Cohen is the Editor of The Daily Banter.com