The top 10 ways the House GOP are like my two-year-old daughter
The idea for this Father’s Day post came when I was putting my daughter to bed a few weeks ago, and she started to repeat, “Want tiny dog” – one of her favorite stuffed animals. The room was dark, and so I asked, “Is tiny dog in the crib?” to which she replied, “Not yet” or, rather, you have to imagine a certain sly lilt, “Not ye-et,” which might be translated as, “You have to find him if you expect me to go to sleep.”
As I’m crawling around the room looking to see if she’s tossed him on the floor or if he somehow got under the furniture, she said, “Must be frustrating.” And so a post was born.
Since the floor debate on the Waxman-Markey climate and clean energy legislation is coming up (though probably not this week), let me, without further ado, offer
The Top 10 Ways the House GOP are like my Two-Year-Old daughter
10. Core messaging is often infantile. It was, after all, on September 3, 2008 at 10:14 pm EST at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, that the entire GOP decided to make their central message a plea to the very youngest Americans – see “Drill baby, drill”: The moment the Republic died.
9. Similar messaging tactics. GOP messaging guru Frank Luntz once said, “There’s a simple rule: You say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and then again and again and again and again, and about the time that you’re absolutely sick of saying it, is about the time that your target audience has heard it for the first time.” In my daughter’s case, the target audience is very small, and, her message, some variant “Today is Carousel day,” gets heard the first time and the tenth. For the GOP, the target audience is bigger, but the polling suggests that most people long ago understood they like drilling to the exclusion of pretty much everything else.
8. Very ego-centric. My daughter has become fond of saying of various things around the house, “Mine! Mine! It’s mine!” In the same vein, former House leader Gingrich is fond of saying, “I am not a citizen of the world!“
7. Love nonsense phrases that amuse them, if no one else. See House GOP leader Boehner on ABC: “The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical.”
6. Unable to accurately restate things they have just heard – and once they get it wrong, they just keep repeating the mistake. My daughter keeps calling the plastic Tyrannosaurus Rex figure “Steggy.” Similarly, the GOP keeps claiming there is an MIT analysis of Waxman-Markey that says the cost per household would be $3100 (see “MIT Professor tells GOP to stop ‘misrepresenting’ his work and inflating the cost to families of cap-and-trade by a factor of 10” and then again three weeks later, MIT Professor says GOP, Weekly Standard “misrepresentation” of his April 2007 study to project costs for Waxman-Markey is “inappropriate,” “silly” and “just wrong”).
5. Love to hear and/or sing the same song over and over again. In my daughter’s case, that would be “Waltzing Matilda” (see “I just learned two shocking things“). In the GOP case, it is the “Cheney energy plan.”
4. Unable to understand or acknowledge the consequences of their actions. See House GOP pledge to fight all action on climate. “Why do conservatives hate your children?”
3. Masters of delaying tactics (though, admittedly, not as successfully as their Senate colleagues). See “House GOP puts forward 450 amendments to Waxman-Markey” and “Waxman’s speed-reading clerk – hired to thwart GOP stalling tactics – gets 2 minutes of fame“).
2. Hate to change; can’t do it by themselves. ‘Nuff said.
1. Favorite word is “no.” For a while, my daughter went through a phase where her favorite word was “never” – pronounced, “Neveh!” Then she went through the standard “no” phase. Now her favorite word is “stop.” Same for House (and Senate) GOP, it would seem.
Of course, unlike the GOP, my daughter is adorable, eager to learn new things, and will grow out of her infantile messaging and worldview.
Happy Father’s day to all the Dad’s out there.