Food for Thought

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If you’ve ever watched Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, you know the inevitable lead-in to every show: a harried restaurant owner bemoans the fact that he’s losing customers by the dozens, but is always quick to point out that his food (invariably self-described as nothing less than fabulous!) could not possibly be the cause of the decline in business.   They will blame their wait staff’s laziness, the chef’s inattentiveness to detail, even a poor choice of china, flatware, and decor.  But the food, they will insist, can’t possibly be the problem.

And so it now goes with the GOP, who – after what passes for thoughtful introspection and intelligent discussion among its PTB (cue laugh track here) – have determined that the fare they are selling to the voting public is as tasty and nutritious as ever, and the lack of loyal customers is simply a matter of failing to promote the same old/same old menu items they’ve offered up for decades.

“It’s not the platform of the party that’s the issue,” stated Reince Priebus, the recently thawed-and-reheated RNC chairman.  “In many cases, it’s how we communicate about it.  It is a couple dumb things that people have said.”

No offense to Mr. Priebus – who is probably no better at math than he is winning elections – but by my count, the dumb things said by Republicans during last year’s presidential campaign alone numbers in the hundreds.  And “dumb” hardly describes some of the statements made, which were more in the category of baseless, fact-free, easily debunked lies, with a side order of bullshit.  But to be fair, the bullshit is always served on an all-you-can-eat basis, offered up on pristine white china that may be old and cracked, but deemed still serviceable by management.

“We don’t need a new pair of shoes; we just need to shine our shoes,” opined West Virginia national committeewoman Melody Potter, the idea being that if you serve shit sandwiches on carefully polished plates, the world will beat a path to your deli counter.

Of course, the Republican party’s strict rule has always been no shoes, no shirt = no service, and the shoeless and shirtless (i.e. women, minorities, welfare and food-stamp recipients, veterans, the disabled, the homeless, the sick, etc.) have traditionally been turned away due to a lack of available seating, while “Reserved for Old White Men” placards grace every table.

“The principles are sound,” said former RNC chairman, Mike Duncan. “Enlarging the map means reaching out to a lot more people and having a consistent dialogue with those people… It’s inviting them in. It’s communicating with them in the proper forums: it’s not just language but where they’re reading. It’s explaining the values to them.”

Yeah, that’s the ticket, Mike.  It’s time to start inviting in the very people the GOP has dismissed as takers-not-makers, parasites whose only sustenance comes from suckling at the government teat, the minorities who have been told their place is in the kitchen scrubbing pots, and the women who have been permitted to dine alongside their male counterparts so long as they STFU and allow the men to not only dominate the dinner conversation, but choose which menu items the ladies will be allowed to eat.

“We can stand by our timeless principles and articulate them in ways that are modern, relevant to our time and relatable to the majority of voters,” said Priebus.  “That, I believe, is how we’ll achieve a Republican renewal.”

Despite the GOP’s claims that they only need some new signage out front and a more pleasing font on the menus, the fact remains that the “principles” they believe they should be explaining to the citizenry are not principles at all.  They are the same long-held policies – on everything from immigration to healthcare, from education to a woman’s right-to-choose – that are so far past their expiry date, they are not only unpalatable; they are likely to cause ptomaine poisoning.

“When it comes to young people, when it comes to new African-American leaders, Hispanic leaders, we really have done an incredible job over the last few years,” Preibus continued.  “We’ve just done a lousy job bragging about it.” Continue reading Food for Thought

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