Thursday, April 19, 2007

One More Time, With Feeling

Disappointed with its one-note President and his darkside understudy, the Republican Party appears to be inching closer towards all-out clamoring for a presidential run by former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson. It seems that since W. and his star-spangled backdrops have failed to get the job done, this time around the conservatives want a professional actor to soothe their aesthetic aches. But perhaps the title of a 1990 film Thompson starred in could provide the GOP with a subtle warning even the Bush Twins could read into--"Die Hard 2: Die Harder."

Oh, yes, my GOP friends, the state of your party could get much worse. With your trail of 2008 candidates reading like a reality show cast list for "The Bad Girl's Club," risking it all on an untested and uninspiring short-term Senator simply because he makes you feel good seems so...well...Democrat-like. You probably believe that there's no where to go but up, right? With John McCain fading into a chaotic soft focus twilight, Mitt Romney proving his Massachusetts mettle with flip-flops and missteps, and Rudy Giuliani hanging around like eccentric Auntie Mame, it's hard out there for a conservative. George W. Bush has weaved the politics of 9-11 into a suffocating Afghan that has squeezed old-time Republican principle of any fresh oxygen and left the Party in a bind where the puffed-up Daddy rhetoric leads to kiddie results.

Is Fred Thompson the answer? Yesterday after a visit to Capitol Hill, several Republican lawmakers hinted at Fred's ability to bring the nation together, citing no evidence of his past leadership skills, but only the funny feeling they had inside. It is as if Bush's persistent ripping at our national seams for 7 years had nothing to do with their Party. The new GOP mantra seems to be, "We made you awfully sick, but now we'll make you feel much better."

We have all read the various "Where's the Beef?" articles about Barack Obama, articles that dismiss Obama's genuine attempt to create a unifying movement of Americans in the last few months and complain at his lack of policy papers. That's fine and good, but be on the lookout for the same articles about Fred Thompson, should he run, because in Fred's instance they are well-deserved. Spinning one's wheels on a soundstage is not remotely comparable to the collective grassroots efforts each Democratic candidate have made on the national stage as of late. And while it doesn't seem likely that any Republicans are asking this Beef question of Thompson right now, before their proverbial chickens hatch, this is to be expected. When the false hope of a Hollywood storyline is all you've got, you have to make it work.

It will be more than interesting to see the Republicans rally out of an emotion other than fear, after they have cynically used their past three presidencies to teach Americans that a common enemy is the only way we'll get along. Just be warned, GOP, that without a true prescription (beyond image) for any of our country's ills-- your Party may die harder than before.

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