For a while now, I've thought of the GOP as the Terrorist Party, the Hostage-Taker Party, the Party That Will Destroy America If It Can't Run America, the Anthony Fremont Party. I've seen the GOP as dangerous because it still has the power to do serious harm if it doesn't get its way (and serious harm, of course, when it does get its way).
But that power really seems to have diminished. Obama won reelection in November articulating some very clear GOP-defying policy ideas, and both houses of Congress became less Republican. Now the White House has gotten a tax increase on the rich, after the failure of John Boehner's "Plan B" stunt in the House and Mitch McConnell's embarrassing auto-filibuster in the Senate. Republicans still seem to know how to do drama, but the party's terrorists seem to be leaving their targets unscathed. This afternoon, the angry zealots who were supposed to be able to punish Boehner in the vote for Speaker of the House failed, though they made a great show of being insolent:
Republican lawmakers unhappy with House Speaker John Boehner failed to oust him in Thursday's vote for the leaders of the 113th Congress, which re-elected Boehner by a current tally of 220 to 192. The anti-Boehner crowd -- which had bragged to Breitbart News that it was big enough to nominate a challenger, yet did not -- called out a handful of alternatives. Former Rep. Allen West got two votes, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor got three votes, Rep. Jim Jordan, Rep. Raul Labrador and Rep. Justin Amash each got one vote. After the vote tally looked close to the number that would require a second vote, a handful of the Republicans who had abstained then changed their vote to Boehner. Those abstainer-to-Boehner flippers were Michele Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn, and Scott Garrett.Boehner keeps his gavel after the Sarah Bernhardt of extremism, Michele Bachmann, flips her vote at the last minute. Perfect.
This isn't the Terrorist Party -- it's the Narcissist Party, the Arrested Development Party, the Spoiled Juvenile Party, the Brat Party. Acting out is becoming an end in itself for these folks; it doesn't matter that nothing comes of it.
See also this:
House Republicans Thursday are rolling partisan welcome mat for newly elected Democrats, circulating a tongue-in-cheek guide for being the perfect "lap dog" for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi....
In releases targeting all of Pelosi's new colleagues, the National Republican Congressional Committee is welcoming new members "to Washington with his very own official Nancy Pelosi Obedience School Lap Dog Kit." ...
According to a draft of the release accompanying the "kit," it comes "complete with a 'Yes, Nancy Pelosi' stamp and an official Lap Dog membership card ... [so new members] will be prepared to rubber stamp her tax and spend, big-government policies and support Democrats' failed agenda."
Can we put an entire party in the Time Out Chair? We may need to.
UPDATE: Norman Ornstein, as quoted by Greg Sargent: "What you're going to see now is a passive-aggressive majority." Yeah, "passive-agressive" is an appropriate pseudo-clinical synonym for "insolent and brattish."
UPDATE: Libby notes that Democrats have their own snarky membership card, aimed at the GOP. So I guess this doesn't go just one way.