You can understand how disappointing it must have been, especially for the folks who'd dreamed up the idea in the first place. They had to compromise, and compromising is never fun, especially when you really believe in what you're doing. And these folks certainly believe in what they're doing.
That was the bad news -- the compromising, I mean.
The good news? The good news is that there are still plenty of other ways for the Republican National Committee to embarrass itself.
There they were, assembled in Washington to stick it to the Democrats. The economy may be on life support. The unemployment rate may be heading for double digits, with the banking and credit systems only barely starting to thaw. There's still a war going on in Iraq, and another one in Afghanistan bleeding over into Pakistan, with the growing danger that Pakistan's nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists.
So naturally the GOP shock troops figured that this was the perfect time for a resolution that called the Democrats names.
"Socialist," to be precise about it. The GOP resolution was going to officially rename the Democratic Party the "Democrat Socialist Party."
No, really. This was how they were going to spend their time. This was how they were going to try to convince the American people -- who've been bailing on the GOP in large numbers, and in virtually every demographic category -- to return to the fold: by calling the Democrats names.
The "Democrat Socialist Party."
Consider it Joe the Plumber's greatest contribution to political discourse. (And how far has a party fallen when it starts borrowing its strategy from the likes of Joe the Plumber? What's next? Sarah Palin's "Discourse on Reason"?)
Anyway, cooler -- but just barely -- heads prevailed. Apparently it dawned on the party leadership (such as it is) that, as former chairman Haley Barbour put it, "Calling people names isn't useful." That passing such a resolution could open the Republicans, rather than their intended targets across the aisle, to even more ridicule.
So they scrapped it?
Not exactly. They "massaged" it. They softened the wording just a tad. Instead of trying to rename the Democratic Party, the revised resolution simply "recognize(d) that the Democratic Party is dedicated to restructuring American society along socialist ideals," and pointed out the Democrats' "clear and obvious purpose in proposing, passing and implementing socialist programs through federal legislation."
People who receive radio transmissions from distant planets through their fillings also find many things "clear and obvious." The rest of us tend to steer clear of these people whenever possible.
Where were we? Right -- compromise. The reworded resolution carried the day, and the GOP shock troops had to be content with just half a loaf.
But all is not lost. Not as long as that bold, brash GOP spirit lives on in the hearts of the faithful. In fact, the meeting may have adjourned, but the opportunities to take the fight to the enemy are still out there, just waiting for someone to give the go-ahead.
So get ready for Republicans egging the Democrats' windows, and throwing toilet paper into Democrats' trees. Prepare yourself for Republicans ordering lots of pizzas to be delivered to Democrats' doors. With anchovies!
And what if they dismantled a big SUV -- or even a truck, you know, like a really big one? -- and they took all the pieces into the Democrats' headquarters late at night when nobody's around, and then they reassembled the whole thing right there in the lobby? -- they'd just freak out!!! And then after that, they could --
The Republican Party: Ready to lead.
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.