Since the election, I have been wondering what would be happening if the Republican Party were a public company. To be sure, I have deluded myself into imagining an idealistic public company with a real live board of directors as opposed to a group of lap dogs standing on their hind legs begging for Milk Bones.
The first problem such a board would face is that there is no such thing as the Republican Party — at least as an entity. The Republican National Committee can’t even decide what it stands for. That is up to the presidential candidate or, in his absence, as now, to the most senior elected officials — in this case, Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell and House Speaker, John Boehner.
Identifying the two officials by title within their respective bodies illustrates a potential challenge to any course corrections. McConnell and Boehner are chosen for their positions by their peers, no matter how few there might be. Is that where you would expect to find a desire for change? After all, these are the guys who won despite an overall shellacking.
Surely the best strategy, if you like being Senate Minority Leader or House Speaker, is to pander to your voters, and these are people who have their seats at least in part because of rigged election districts or because they were fortunate enough not to have run in this cycle. Don’t go looking for excess backbone in that group. Loyalties run to self, donors, party, nagging constituents and country in pretty much that order. Actually there are probably some other groups between nagging constituents and country but you get the point.
There are also campaign committees, one for the Senate and another for the House, but they exist to raise money and recruit candidates for empty seats. Is there any record of a party or campaign committee firing a sitting Senator or Congressman when his term expires? Does it really appear that none of them need firing?
The governors offer some hope both because there are 30 of them out of 50 and because they actually have states to run. Governors have harder jobs than minority party Senators, who have only to filibuster, or majority party Congressmen who have only to follow instructions from Grover Norquist or the latest nut job misogynist.
Then there are the people who benefit most from the alleged existence of the party – the consultants, strategists, pollsters, talking point writers, direct mailers, robo-callers, lawyers, fund-raisers and other inhabitants of the underside of damp stones. They are hard at it lining up the next group of candidates because thy know how to win. Great track record there.
So far all we have seen is a collective call to change everything that does not impact me personally. Hi there Mr. Rove.
If there were a board of directors, it might begin by saying, “we suck” then hiring McKinsey to fix the mess.
It would be nice to have at least one party that cared about the economy to choose from. It would also be nice if that party were even modestly competent.