Friday, April 17, 2009

That Catchy New Republican Slogan: *%#@ the Republican Party

Matt Cooper argues in Talking Points Memo that the Republicans should let Al Franken be seated out of their own self-interest. That's because the Republicans have failed to find a viable target for their attack-dog politics and Franken is an inviting target.
Franken is arechetypical Republican villain. His name has such an infuriating effect on the GOP that he could be just what they need in an age where the villains are lame. Franken, a friend of mine who I like a lot, is, O'Reilly aside, is I think a basically temperate and smart guy despite his role as a provocateur and comedian. He really didn't give the GOP much to work with in the 2008 campaign; they had to dig up his comedic past to really nail him. But he's the perfect foil for Republicans and conservatives. If Coleman wins, Republicans will have one more senate vote but they will have lost the kind of Democrat they instinctually love to hate.
Despite the left credential that comes from working with TPM, Cooper is basically an out-of-touch mainstream media guy. When was the last time that anyone remembers the Republican Party leadership acting in its own self-interest. As the various versions of conservatism have become less and less popular, Republican leadership on all levels has been ever more adamant about appealing to their shrinking activist base. While promoting the surge policy in Iraq, Dick Cheney was emphatic that "We didn't get elected to be popular. We didn't get elected to worry about the fate of the Republican Party." Now "Fuck the Republican Party" has practically become the mantra of everybody associated with the Republican Party.

In other words, the Republican leadership is not going to give in or compromise on Al Franken--or anything else.

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