Colson: The Republican Dream Machine gets rolling
Well, the Republican Dream Machine (or RDM for short) is in high gear already, and we still have 19 months to go before Election Day 2016.
The RDM, for instance, is blaming Hillary Rodham Clinton for the intransigence of Russian head thug Vladimir Putin, although what she could have done to forestall Russia’s rapid downward spin into belligerence and hostility toward anything remotely American is not exactly clear.
I got a chuckle out of some of the statements coming out of the recent GOP gathering in New Hampshire, where Republican hopefuls blindly spouted RDM doctrine against Clinton, the presumed nominee for the Democrats.
Former New York Gov. George Pataki was loudly derisive of Clinton’s much-publicized recent pit stop at a Chipotle restaurant in Ohio, where she apparently managed to buy a meal without being recognized by the staff at the place.
It appears, by the way, that she was at the counter on her own, without the usual phalanx of Secret Service agents and other handlers, though I can’t be certain of that.
In any event, the management remained clueless until they started getting phone calls from the media asking about the pit stop by the presidential wannabe.
For some reason, this little episode has the right wing in an uproar.
Pataki, who is somewhere near last place in Republican polls about the presidential race, apparently was trying to be funny when he remarked that he and his wife went into a Chipotle and they weren’t recognized, either.
Who in the hell would recognize Pataki other than his wife, his entourage and the tiny number of people who think he should be our next president?
And exactly what point was he trying to make when he noted that his wife was not wearing sunglasses (Hillary was), that he was not “in disguise,” and that he left a tip (Hillary didn’t tip)?
First off, is he jealous over not having even a remote chance of being recognized under any circumstances, in any venue?
Second, if no one recognized him, why on earth would they recognize his wife?
And thirdly, if he is trying to show he is on the side of the working class by proclaiming his alleged tip (remember, no one can corroborate this), he’s really not fooling anyone but himself. It is his party that has declared itself irredeemably opposed to raising the minimum wage in this country, not Hillary’s.
In honor of his hapless display of cluelessness, I’ve got a new nickname for the former governor — Politically Pathetic Pataki, or 3-P for short.
Another shot from the RDM dark nebula came from Rand Paul, who again trotted out the tragic killing of American diplomatic personnel during the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, which Republicans have been blaming on either Obama or Clinton ever since it happened.
Precisely how the horrific events of that attack could have been foreseen and prevented remains a mystery, of course, but that’s the glory of the RDM — facts are not needed, all that is needed is an appeal to the emotions of people who already suspect that Hillary, as a woman, would be almost as bad as Obama, a black man, at running America’s business.
The basic flaw of the RDM, of course, is their bedrock belief that everybody in the U.S. thinks just like the Republicans do, and will vote accordingly.
Republican strategists like to point to the 2014 midterm electoral results as justification for this belief.
But they conveniently forget that in 2008 and again in 2012, their idealized RDM candidates — John McCain and Mitt Romney— both were shellacked by that black man they so despise.
All that is proven by 2014 is that the American voter is as fickle as a drunken prom queen.
But the RDM will keep on cranking out its parade of hits, slamming away at Hillary for such non-issues as her use of a private email address while she was secretary of state (other former SOS chiefs have done the same ever since email was invented, and nobody yelled at them).
Happily, however, the Republican Party seems determined to prove yet again that it is its own worst enemy.
Take, for example, the party’s continued insistence that global warming has nothing to do with human activity, and that any other view of the issue is nothing but a lie concocted by liberals.
As proof, we have this from Florida, the state where the once-enticing term, “beachfront property” has become a “liquid asset” in the worst sense of that phrase, as rising sea levels threaten oceanside condos.
In Tallahassee, Gov. Rick Scott reportedly has issued a ban on the use of such troublesome words as “climate change” or “global warming” under any circumstance, in any context, apparently hoping the problem will go away if no one mentions it.
This view, of course, is the flip-side of the core Republican value that, if you repeat any lie often enough, people will begin to believe it.
And so it will go, as the RDM rolls on.
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Perhaps it’s because we are in the abbreviated days of winter and I instinctively know that the sun is shining down-under. But every January I go through a nostalgic period where Australian wine dominates my mind.