Am I missing the joke?

by lestro

I mean, this is funny and all, but I don’t get it:

“As a black, Roman Catholic conservative from Washington D.C. and Maryland, I know how to lose elections,” said Michael S. Steele today in Virginia. His audience, a gathering of House Republicans, knows all too well, too. But now, he said, as the new chairman of the Republican National Committee, “I’m in the business of winning elections.”

He somehow thinks that joining the RNC as its leader puts him in the business of winning elections? Haven’t they gotten HOUSED in the past couple of major election cycles? Like, beaten so badly people are wondering if the Republicans can come back?

How is that the business of winning elections?

Then again, swinging bullshit like this, maybe Steele is in the right place:

“Now my mom was a sharecropper’s daughter, with a fifth grade education,” he said. Referring to Democrats, he went on, “If my mom knew how to balance the budget, I’m sure the rest of the folks out here on the other side should know how to do that as well.”

Because any idiot can tell you the last president to balance a budget was Clinton and that the two largest periods EVER in debt growth and deficit spending occurred during the reign of George W. Bush and his hero, Ronnie Reagan, who also left the country floundering toward a recession thanks to spending money like drunken monkeys and cutting revenues at the same time.

Republicans like to call Democrats “Tax and Spenders,” but Republicans prove to be just Spenders (BIG spenders at that), with little to no regard to taxes, which is the revenue stream for the government.

And anybody who has ever tried to balance a budget – share croppers or not – knows that you have to increase your revenue if you want to increase your spending. As a little kid, I admit I didn’t always understand that, so when I’d ask my mother for something expensive and she would say “we can’t afford that, it’s not in our budget,” I would get upset. Now that I am a grown-up, I understand better, you just can’t spend money you don’t have and expect it to work.

The government’s budget is the same way. Turns out a budget is a budget is a budget.

Thankfully, the Romper Room Era has ended and the adults are back in power.

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7 Responses to Am I missing the joke?

  1. I hate to make the correction since Steele is a bit of a loser (see Salon’s great piece about him “failing upward”) but your main criticism doesn’t make any sense. asking how winning RNC chair could possibly be “the business of winning elections?” is like asking how becoming manager of a Burger King could possibly be “the business of selling fast food”. Dude: that’s what the job IS. even if Burker King returns shitty sales for 2 quarters in a row as the Repubs have (sales being elections in the analogy, obviously), that is still the goal and the job of the position.

    Bush was a huge spender and congress allowed it all through his term, so you’re correct on that and some other points, but the core thesis is much ill-advised.

  2. I think it is true that Steele could not have asserted that he is in the business of losing elections, except for when he did, which is kind of funny. He has, however, taken charge of an operation that has been doing a brisk business of losing elections.

    It seems more like a Burger King manager claiming to be in the “the business of selling healthy food.” We might laugh and point out that isn’t their track record, and wishing doesn’t make it so. The Republican Party can’t run candidates like John McCain and Sarah Palin and then expect to be taken seriously when it claims to be in “the business of winning elections.”

    Add in the shameless attempt to frame the Republican Party as willing or capable of balancing a budget, and it makes Steele look as ridiculous as Sarah Palin. Saying it doesn’t make it so. Expecting the American people to fall for cheap rhetoric that doesn’t match the actions by the party – that’s the kind of insult to Americans that loses elections.

    Steele is not in the business of winning elections if he is going to start off his tenure as RNC chair by following the same script that helped drive the Republicans out of office. I don’t know how the Republicans expect to be taken seriously, or win elections, if they continue to insult the intelligence of the American people like Steele has.

  3. The healthy food analogy doesn’t hold because its NEVER been Burger Kings record. The Republicans record of winning 3 out of the last 5 elections is hardly similar.

    Republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility and nominated someone who has a record of always championing that value last time around, but 8 years ago they didn’t and they supported his re-election in 04. Bush never claimed to be a low spender or one who would keep government small, but he won and the party decided not to tear itself apart by opposing their most powerful member. Now that he’s gone, they are reclaiming that value. nothing ridiculous about it at all. Democrats did the same with Clinton on other issues.

    Steele was elected precisely under the platform of NOT continuing the failed policies that have slaughtered the GOP in the north east and entire west. Personally, I think he’s a nice guy that will fail and Obama will sail to a second term no problemo, but thats all besides the point of 1) of course its his job to attempt to win elections just like the coach of a failing sports team is charged with the business of winning games and 2) its only natural that the repubs would scurry back to championing a principal their previous leader didnt share with them.

  4. I don’t think that the Republicans get to claim to be the party of ‘fiscal responsibility,’ because real responsibility comes in the form of regulations to prevent fiscal meltdowns on Wall Street and the housing industry. Real responsibility does not involve ineffectively cutting taxes while this country conducts two major wars. Real responsibility is not the wreckage of the Reagan era.

    The Republicans have won elections with the ‘starve the beast’ mentality, but it ultimately is the business of losing elections. What they won elections with has become a disaster for this country. We can see it doesn’t work, and we’re experiencing the damage from those policies.

    I agree that it is Steele’s job to say he is going to try to win elections. Although the LA Times seems to think that Steele doesn’t represent a change from the business of losing elections:

    Steele also won’t do anything to end the Republican identity crisis. His selection was disappointing to moderates who had hoped the party would respond to the November election by moving toward the center, just as many conservatives hoped the defeat of “maverick” John McCain would force a retrenchment toward historic Republican principles.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-steele3-2009feb03,0,4353113.story

  5. Its a little odd to blame the Repubs for a crisis and meltdown that took place over two years where they weren’t in power to do anything about it. Blame them for being visionless douchebags who were inept at pushing something through or at least being vocal about it if anything.

    What policies have been such failures that you allude to? Not tax cuts. not trying to save social security (and being blocked by the same Dems who want to do exactly that now). The Repubs biggest failures have been in selling their message and killing their brand. This is further evidenced by Obama continuing their most unpopular policies and people not really caring anymore (wiretapping, “closing” Gitmo in a year or two or never, non-immediate withdrawl from iraq, hawishness on terror, strategy in iraq formed by Gates, a few others i wont bother listing).

    As usual, the LaTimes is wrong.
    Steele is already cleaning house:
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0209/Resignations_at_the_RNC.html

  6. The buildup to the economic crisis and meltdown is a consequence of Republican economic policies, in my opinion. It didn’t appear out of thin air once the Dems got control of Congress. It is the Republican vision that I am critical of, the one that offers worse than nothing to the middle class and people living in poverty, while in the meantime, the rich get richer.

    Show me some evidence that tax cuts have helped our economy. Show me evidence that tax cuts are appropriate for a country fighting two wars overseas. We’ve had a major city flood due to a failed infrastructure and an uncoordinated government response, and we’ve had a major bridge collapse, so from my perspective, tax cuts were wildly inappropriate when this country’s infrastructure is suffering from neglect.

    I also thought it was extremely fortunate that Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security failed, given what happened to the stock market. We think we’re in an economic crisis now, but we avoided catastrophe because Bush’s plan got blocked.

    I’ve tended to think that the true Republicans, the real fiscal conservatives, destroyed their brand by following Rove and playing to neverending wedge issues, culminating in political figures like Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber. I thought the Dems were unforgivably ridiculous with Al Gore and John Kerry, but the Republicans have pulled ahead in the race to find ludicrous figureheads for the party.

    I thought the book “What’s The Matter With Kansas” by Thomas Frank was an interesting read on what has been happening to the Republican party:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=AJKrMcOyQ3wC&dq=what%27s+the+matter+with+kansas&printsec=frontcover&source=bn&hl=en&ei=otyLSZLCFZKasAOqyPCOCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result

    Steele may be cleaning house in the RNC, but I don’t see how he can stop the damage being done to the party by politicians like Sarah Palin and “pundits” like Joe the Plumber. Which I think is a shame, because this country needs real political dialogue.

    I do think we are saying some similar things – the Republican Party is having an identity crisis, and there are thoughtful, intelligent Republicans who are trying to rebuild from the wreckage left from Rove’s game plan.

    The problem, as I see it, is that the party has created various monstrosities, like George W. Bush and Sarah Palin, who threaten the Republican Party’s ability to be taken seriously. That’s a lot to rally back from.

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