The past few days have seen the Republican Party, at least through the fishbowl lens of the mainstream media, begin to show signs that their balls have not been completely cut off. Quick to reverse this politically unviable image, GOP leaders resumed their fawning over Obama as he visited them to discuss the Generational Theft Act of 2009 (credit to Malkin.)
In an "engaging" and "respectful" manner, Obama raised the tone of the stimulus debate by shooting down any additional and previously promised tax cuts. His appeasement of the Girls Only Party was further illustrated by his removal of the softball contraceptive issue lobbed up by Nancy Pelosi just two days prior.
However not all Republican officials are Democrats-in-Disguise as some opposition, to both Cabinet nominations and the stimulus, has been voiced by the likes of Susan Collins, Jim DeMint, and even John McCain.
DeMint spoke strongly yesterday at the Heritage Foundation, warning that Democrats will prolong, take advantage of, and misrepresent the current economic crisis in order to pass useless legislation that has long been on their agenda. Other than Pelosi's condom initiative, the stimulus outlines such ridiculous expenditures as $245 million in tax breaks for Hollywood film studios to $75 million for "smoking cessation activities" (idiotic on its own due to Democrats' cigarette tax to fund S-CHIP universal health care.) Apparently, what the Obama campaign meant by "transparency" in government was not accountability, but a blanket executive order that no policy detail, regardless of how conspicuous and egregious a fabrication, be scrutinized or even noticed.
DeMint goes on to articulate what I believe the majority of us feel; "It's like they're in a different reality." The stimulus package is so ripe for parody that Saturday Night Live could read it verbatim and get more laughs than their original material (also true for all standard media publications.) DeMint even mentions Rush Limbaugh as one of the only existing alternatives to provoke discourse about the stimulus and its actual intentions.
While minorities are manipulated and discarded depending on the current power of the Democratic party, the Republican minority has a chance to make some serious headway in what is considered a time to rebuild the party. With no expectations of success and only the altruistic goals of saving their constituents' money and preserving the basic principles of our government, Republican officials have the opportunity to bring Conservative ideas back to Washington debates, and in doing so create much-needed leadership that will appeal to their marginalized, and ever-present conservative base.
While the junior Senator from South Carolina proves that all hope is not lost, history shows us that Republican forces must assemble to engage in tactics of strength and conviction, not diplomacy and appeasement.