BY WILLIAM C. HENRY Last week, Paul Ryan (you remember him, he’s the guy whose selection was sure to put Mitt over the top) proclaimed the following: “Mitt Romney and I lost not because of ideas, but due to ineffective communication. President Obama and Vice President Biden also prevailed because they did a better job with ‘technology and (voter) turnout.’” Hey, Paul, do me a grand favor. Savor those words, cherish them, embrace them, nurture them, memorize them! Above all, promise me you’ll take every opportunity possible to repeat them especially whenever there’s even the slightest chance they’ll be heard or read by anyone: 1) under the age of 40, 2) of color, 3) of Latin American extraction, 4) who’s a member of the LGBT community, 5) of the opposite sex, 6) who has at least half a brain in working order. I implore you to keep reminding them of your exceptional knowledge of demographics and the profound effects such actualities are going to have on America’s political future. I plead with you to continue to enlighten them as to your undeniable grasp of, and inherent sensitivity to, these political realities. And, oh yes, please don’t forget to let them know that you speak for the Republican party (and maybe the NRA, too!).
Jesus, Paul, you folks really don’t get it, do you? It isn’t just that the Right needs to acquaint itself with the 21st century. That too. What it desperately needs immediately, though, is to rid itself of blame gamers like you. You may indeed possess a passing knowledge of plutocratic economics,but I can assure you you’re at least a mathematical-sign-or-two-short-of-an-equation when it comes to assessing the causes of political defeat. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I actually love you for it. Heck, as you can plainly tell from the preceding, I’ve become one of your biggest boosters. I happen to believe that you have it within yourself to single-handedly hasten the course of the Republican party’s demise. As a matter of fact, I think even you would have to agree that careful analysis of the reasoning associated with your statements only serves to illustrate my point:
“Romney and I lost not because of ideas, but due to ineffective communication.” Well, of course you did (or did not as the case may be?). Let me see if I’ve got this straight. You feel that you can’t be held responsible for not owning up to the implications of notions you may or may not have expressed, or for the inability to clearly and effectively communicate said contradictions to a skeptical American electorate. Well, it certainly makes sense to me. On second thought, I may need a little more time to be absolutely certain.
“President Obama and Vice President Biden also prevailed because they did a better job with ‘technology and (voter) turnout.’” Yep, there’s definitely a shred of truth hiding somewhere amidst the mea sorta culpa there. Number one, the Democrats definitely demonstrated a firmer grasp of modern technology than did a couple of Stone Age spear throwers who can probably be forgiven for not yet having assimilated Electronic Age political skills; and there’s certainly no arguing with the fact that a preponderance of eligible voters — despite your best disenfranchisement efforts to the contrary — “turned out” against you. Ties in well with the “ideas” thing, doncha think?
The real problem with this hoped-for absolution of yours can be summed up in a single word: “chandlery.” Its meaning isn’t important. Its placement is. It’s the word that comes before “change” in most dictionaries, and it represents what you and the rest of your ilk haven’t been able to get beyond for the past 60 years. Wake up and smell the mold, Mr. Ryan! Your fetid Republican ideas are precisely what cost you the election! Ideas such as how to assist the 1% at the expense of the 99, militaristic ideas, racist ideas, ideas about women’s reproductive rights, ethnocentric ideas, obstructionist ideas, hypocritical ideas … . I could go on and on but what’s the use. Hopefully forty years from now you and the rest of your brand of two-faced, ill-intentioned, selfish, intolerants will be whooping it up at a roaring tea leaves bonfire down below, and my great-grandchildren will be singeing marshmallows with some multi-ethnic friends over the family Chimenea in the backyard.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fed up early stage septuagenarian who has actually been most of there and done most of that. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Quite well educated. Very lucky to have been born into a well-schooled and somewhat prosperous family. Long divorced. One beautiful, brilliant daughter. Two far above average grandsons. Semi-retired (how does anyone manage to do it completely these days?) and fully-tired of bullshit. Uncle of the Editor-In-Chief.