Slow motion car crash. That, my friends, is what we are seeing. God! Would it suck to be a Republican right now?
Disaster #1: Gulf oil spill
The Obama administration had only just announced its plan to open portions of the US coastline for oil exploration and drilling when a British Petroleum oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and sank. (On Earth Day, no less.) Then, Thursday, we learned that rather than the mere 43,000 barrels of crude oil spilling into the ocean every day which were initially reported, the actual amount was more like 5 times that. News cameras are following the slick as it spreads toward the mouth of the Mississippi River like the Black Hand of Sauron.
All those Big Oil stooges chanting "Drill, baby, drill!" at the GOP national convention in 2008 look pretty damn foolish as we all await the coming ecological and economic disaster. Newt Gingrich, Michael Steele, and dizzy Sarah have most blessedly shut their mouths, however briefly. Clouds, silver lining, yadda, yadda, yadda...
As for President Obama, I resent that he was so ready and willing to open up our coastlines to rapacious resource-extraction conglomerates. I hope this spill will convince him that he needs to rethink his position.
Disaster #2: Charlie Crist goes rogue
|"I never liked those pr*cks anyway."|
Faced with defeat in the Republican primary for the US Senate seat being vacated by Mel Martinez, Governor Charlie Crist opted to leave the GOP and run as an independent. Crist, it seems, is not going to meekly accept that the GOP is being hijacked by right-wing extremists.
His Republican opponent is Marco Rubio, the Speaker of the House in the state legislature, and a fire-breathing tea-bagger. Rubio was leading Crist by some 25 points in polls of registered Republicans. But polls of the entire Florida electorate indicated that, with Governor Crist running as an independent, the race became nearly a three-way tie between Rubio, Crist, and Democrat Kendrick Meek.
This is a big disaster for Republicans. By losing Crist, they perpetuate the perception that none but the most ideologically pure are welcome in the party. That's not going to attract many converts. (Don't forget good ol' Arlen Specter, eh?)
And, then, of course, a US Senate seat that Republicans regarded as secure is quite suddenly in jeopardy. They have no one to blame but themselves.
Disaster #3: Immigration debate looms
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid displayed marvelous dexterity, delivering a shiv in the political chit'lin's of Republicans this week by announcing that the Senate will begin debate this summer on comprehensive immigration reform. The Democrats presented a proposal on Thursday.
This is not a fight that the Republicans want to have right now. They are only now in the process of surrendering on financial reform legislation which revealed cracks in their vaunted solidarity. But, beyond just exposing fissures, the immigration debate promises to crack the GOP wide open. The party is split between the xenophobic tea-baggers, and the labor-devouring corporate robber barons.
But now, thanks to the Arizona state legislature, Republicans dare not try to defer or stall the debate.
Only one day before Senator Reid made his announcement, President Obama had been downplaying the likelihood that there would be significant immigration legislation this year. But that was before Harry Reid made his pitch. The immigration debate is political gold for Democrats. They win the loyalty of the fastest-growing demographic in the country (Latinos) and they drag all the ugly skeletons in the GOP ideological closet right out into the open.
Time to kick back in the recliner with some microwave popcorn and a nice glass of lemonade. This is going to be fun.