Joe Lapointe has worked as a sports reporter with the New York Times and a segment producer for "Countdown With Keith Olbermann'' on Current TV
Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, famously bloviated two years ago “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
Senator, now that you have failed miserably, what is your main goal for Mr. Obama’s second term? Could it switch to continued economic revival, cooperation with Democrats and a push for efficient government?
Or will your rhetoric remain the “Greed, God and Guns” kind that has turned your GOP into a shrinking cult of spiteful and backward reactionaries who live in a parallel universe from most American citizens?
You might get a clue from how Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey spoke a week after Superstorm Sandy devastated his state.
When someone asked Christie about the right-wing backlash to his praise of the President’s rescue efforts, Christie said he was sick and tired of a poisonous political climate that makes it impossible to salute someone when they are actually doing a good job.
As Christie spoke, a wave of applause grew from citizens in his audience like a roar on the Jersey Shore. In his first term, Jumbo Christie has, at times, presented himself as a large, loud bully who disrespects his critics.
But Christie just might be the right Republican to take on what some pundits now call the “Conservative Entertainment Complex” which dominates the Republican narrative.
That cabal is led by Fox News on television and Rush Limbaugh on radio. Limbaugh, in particular, frightens sensible Republican politicians because he can gin up the radical right wing to defeat them in primaries.
But while wing nuts make up a formidable and profitable media audience, they don’t make a voting majority and they drive away potential allies with anti-science fantasy, race-baiting and a gospel of economic selfishness.
Unlike Limbaugh, Christie needs votes to stay in business. Until he praised Obama, Republicans fantasized that Christie might be a presidential contender in 2016.
He might still be. In the meantime, who better than a large, mean, bully like Jumbo Christie to take on a large, mean bully like Boss Limbaugh?
Even Sean Hannity, a spiteful sucker-puncher from right-wing media, has changed his bigoted tune on immigration. Hannity probably won’t discard his Negrophobia. It’s too important a part of the Fox News DNA.
But change is in the wind. It’s not a hurricane yet, but it sure is a big breeze. People like McConnell, Limbaugh, Hannity and other blowhards should take note.
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