It's now been 17 days since the 2012 US presidential election took place...and the Republican Party has spent all of this time wondering just what happened (and why it happened).
Party officials (along with their cheerleaders on the nation's AM so-called news and information radio stations) have spent this time not only licking party wounds...but also trying to nail down the reason(s) why Willard M. Romney couldn't put it in his hip pocket despite an early lead on Election Night.
Some in the GOP think the party couldn't end Barack Obama's presidency because Romney didn't choose US Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) to run alongside the former Massachusetts governor. Others feel the loss was due to the "emasculation" of Romney's campaign.
The man the son of a former Michigan governor did select as a running mate, US Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), racked it up to "urban" voters...while WMR himself, in that now-infamous (or famous, depending on your point of view) conference call to his campaign team, chalked the 2012 results to Obama supposedly giving "gifts" to Hispanic Americans, African Americans, young voters of all ethnicities, and women of all ethnic backgrounds.
Regardless of your socioeconomic background, what would YOU do if someone offered you an actual, honest-to-goodness freebie?
Next door in Iowa, you've got Matt Schultz, its secretary of state, who's trying to get its lawmakers to join all those other states in getting voter suppression (oops...I mean voter ID) laws put into place. ("You know...if All Those Other People hadn't turned out for this year's election...")
Only a few brave Republicans have had the guts to blame the party's overall message for why we'll have to wait until 1-20-2017 for the country's 45th commander in chief to give the inaugural address.
Yes...I could really dig all of this GOP self-evaluation and all this soul searching among the current trustees of the party of Abraham Lincoln and of Teddy Roosevelt and of Dwight Eisenhower if it were heartfelt and not mere lip service.
I keep turning on my TV set and finding US Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) trying to prevent UN Ambassador Susan Rice from accepting the State Department's top gig because they don't like how Rice has handled the Benghazi affair of 9-11-2012.
McCain thinks Rice isn't qualified to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton at State. (And that's hilarious of McCain...especially when you consider his 2008 decision to have Sarah Palin run alongside him in the former Navy pilot's effort to prevent the creation of an Obama administration to begin with!)
It all smacks of Business As Usual as far as I'm concerned. You see, if McCain and Graham can get Obama to change his mind and ask US Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) to take over from Rodham Clinton on 1-21-2013...well, Scott Brown can keep his own seat in the US Senate (this time as Kerry's replacement).
So much for the Republicans' loudly-proclaimed slogan of 2008: "Country First."
Democrats, independents, and other non-Republicans have shown themselves more likely to put America first.
With Republicans, it's- with very few exceptions- party first. (One of those exceptions has been New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's work alongside BHO in the Garden State's handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.)
Another major component of the GOP message, besides "Party First," is: "It's every man for himself. It's every woman for herself. I've got mine. You go get yours.
"In fact...I want yours, and I'm going to keep you from getting yours!"
To top it all off, Republican lawmakers and aides go to great lengths to make anybody who isn't a Caucasian-American man feel unwelcome. (Todd Akin's and Richard Mourdock's sexist remarks come to mind...as do racist jibes from Newton Gingrich, John Sununu, Donald Trump, Ryan, Romney, Brown, Palin, etc., etc., etc.)
And these same Republicans have the audacity- the unmitigated nerve- to wonder why they can't get votes from people who aren't Caucasian-American men!
I remember when the Democrats ended up having to retool their party after Richard Nixon crushed George McGovern to keep the job he'd always wanted. That year, 1972, the Donkeys held a telethon.
And on that telecast, one of the speakers (I think it was Phil Donahue) said that, instead of the Democrats holding this telethon to pump money into the party, "John Wayne ought to have a telethon for war!"
It took a lot of years...but the Democratic Party remade itself into a party that not only cares about civil rights, but also cares more about America's middle-and-low-income citizens than the Republicans do.
Let's face it: The Elephants MUST retool if they're going to remain a viable major US political party (let alone win presidential elections again).
The Republicans can crow all they want to about having won seven of the last twelve US presidential elections.
Fact remains that this party has now LOST four of the last six US presidential elections.
If the Romneys and Ryans and Boehners and McConnells ever learn that, as Mom used to say, "You draw more flies with honey than vinegar," their party will have a chance to get back to winning the most talked-about political job there is.
But only as long as the Republicans REALLY mean what they say and say what they mean.