Following two presidential election defeats in 2008 and 2012, the Republican party is still making the same mistakes
Stupid is as stupid does and, apparently, the Republican party didn't get Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's "stupid memo" because it looks dumber by the day. After losing the 2012 presidential election the "GOP establishment" from former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour to former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich and every white man in between acknowledged that the party must make "the tent" more welcoming to minorities and women – where the votes increasingly are. So what does the GOP do? It keeps headlining white men behaving badly.
Americans were treated to a double feature of GOP stupidity this week brought to you by the senator from Arizona on 12 June. Republican Senator Jeff Flake had to apologize for his 15-year-old son's unsavory remarks on Twitter. According to Buzzfeed, Tanner Flake tweeted he would find "the faggot" who stole his bike and "beat the crap out of you." Tanner also posted screenshots of his scores from an online game "Fun Run" where he used the handle "n1ggerkiller".
If this isn't enough to make anyone's eyes roll in disgust, Buzzfeed reported that Tanner's Twitter account, which is now locked, revealed his repeated use of the racial slurs in January and February. Tanner made equally offensive comments on YouTube, including "nigger" and "faggot" along with calling Mexicans "scum of the Earth". Strong words for a 15-year-old, who also gleefully reminded everyone his father was a member of Congress, according Buzzfeed.
Issuing an apology, Senator Flake wrote:
"I'm very disappointed in my teenage son's words, and I sincerely apologize for the insensitivity. This language is unacceptable anywhere. Needless to say, I've already spoken with him about this, he has apologized, and I apologize as well."
The burning question is where did Tanner hear this kind of "unacceptable" language? Typically, children repeat things they've heard their parents say or those close to them. The fact that Tanner Flake used these words with impunity across various social media platforms for months suggests he's quite at ease with bigoted thinking. Whether the senator knew about it or not, it's just another example of why blacks and other ethnic minorities don't trust the GOP's words of inclusion.
On the heels of the son-of-Flake hate rant, the good ole boys of the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Representative Bob Goodlatte (a Virginia Republican), thought now is the time to pass an abortion ban bill and alienate more women voters. As Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank aptly noted with sarcasm, not one of the 23 Republican members on the House Judiciary Committee is a woman. They are all white males dedicated to legislating women's health issues. Do you see the irony in this?
The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks and has no exception for pregnancies resulting from rape and incest or when the mother's health is in jeopardy. In all his male wisdom, Representative Trent Franks of Arizona said there was no need to include an exception because "the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low". Interesting, particularly when studies prove otherwise.
The bill has no chance of passing, "even if it clears the House", Milbank wrote, because the Democrat majority in the Senate would almost certainly vote it down. Introducing the bill makes Republicans look stupid, and I say this as a member of the GOP and someone who's against abortion. Now is not the time to try and open up Roe v Wade.
America has a severe jobs and economic problem. Republicans in Congress should be focusing on those issues "not trying to legislate morality", as a good friend told me. I'm against abortion and the horror of how Kermit Gosnell killed live babies in Philadelphia is a tragic reminder that we as a society need to focus on the inhumanity of abortions through churches, charities and parenting that teaches morals and the value of life to young girls and boys.
After two presidential shellackings in 2008 and 2012, the Republican party seems to be stuck on stupid and doing business as usual. It's been three months since the Republican National Committee issued its 100-page autopsy report about what went wrong in 2012 and promised to reach out to more non-white voters.
The country is still waiting for the RNC to actually do something. What's evident is the GOP has the same white guys in charge doing and saying the same stupid things that lost them two presidential elections. The Republican party is rotting, but boys will be boys and that seems to be the way everyone in the establishment likes it.