Palooka, a definition – Prize fighter who agrees to throw fights for the short term easy payoffs, bum, loser.
I had an epiphany today, or more specifically, I’ve had a decades long epiphany brought into that most acute clarity that can only occur when an outside influence accidentally refocuses the lens through which life is viewed. When reading an article on Governor Rick Scott’s latest attempt at pandering to the non existent world of moderates, ie., capitulating on the Medicaid and Medicare expansion provision of the Obamacare monstrosity, which was actually struck down by the Supreme Court, an insightful fellow who travels the internet under the moniker, Buzzsawmonkey, wrote the following.
I’m tired of the Palooka Party always taking a dive for the guaranteed short money.
There it is, the reason why Republicans have lost the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 Presidential elections. They are the Palooka Party. Rick Scott was not the only recently elected Republican Governor to break a specific promise to his voters with this particular action. Taking the same action were Governors, Kasich of Ohio, Dalrymple of North Dakota, Martinez of New Mexico, and Sandoval of Nevada. I wish to be wrong here, but feel certain that more will follow. Bear in mind that this all plays out simultaneously as almost every Democrat Senator, Representative, and cheer leader who supported this monstrosity of a nation killing law are backing away from responsibility for its passage just as fast as their crooked little legs will carry them. So, for those of you reffing this fight at home, the people who passed this steaming pile of legislation are trapped against the ropes by its self destruction. Fear not oh fans representing the political left. Five supposedly conservative Republican Governors have agreed to take that political dive in order to receive the short end money which they believe to be reelection during their next campaign. They’ll happily take the blame for this steaming pile of legislation if it means survival past 2014.
This is not the first time we’ve faced this with our chosen candidates though, is it? The words, “gang of fourteen,” still brings a bad taste to my mouth. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe routinely voted with the Democrats in every crucial vote with clear partisan divisions throughout their entire careers. It just so happens that for all of those little meaningless votes, they went with the caucus leaders so as to boast a high percentage of voting with their party. John Boehner’s fumblings during his tenure as House Speaker are already the stuff of legend. Ours is the Palooka Party, and we’re getting tired of this universal truth. It isn’t just Obamacare’s implementation, Bush’s judicial nominees being filibustered, the constant deals that give us massive spending increases today for the always promised but never delivered future cuts ten years from now that anger us. The simple fact that we as Republican voters hold pretty simple criteria when deciding for whom we will vote. We, meaning most of us, choose to support candidates who will deliver us smaller government, reducing the regulatory environment, lower taxation rates, reduced government largess, uphold a strict interpretation of our Constitution, (Second, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments included,) and a foreign policy that promises to project American Strength and exceptionalism rather than weakness and mediocrity. When these Republican politicians courted our votes as candidates, they all promised, without fail to uphold those very principles. The anger is that as soon as the short term money becomes available, the dive is taken, without pretense and seemingly without exception.
As angering as that is, it is worse when victory is at hand. I’m not talking specifically about the Romney dive which happened shortly after the first debate during the last election. I’m not even specifically thinking of the McCain led gang of fourteen that came up with that weak compromise that saw a fight in the Senate which was clearly going to be won by Republicans negotiated into a stunning defeat over the Bush judicial nominations. It is about all of these things. These five Palooka governors have taken the certain implosion of the Obamacare law, and rejuvenated the viability of something America would be much better served in allowing to die the horrible death it deserves. The problem is, this is not an isolated incident in Republican politics, but something that we have come to expect as inevitable. We are the Palooka Party, plain and simple. No matter how many times these guys promise us that they get it, and they’re going to be different some how, the dive is what we get.
After elections recently, we’ve seen increasing amounts of hand wringing from the establishment of the GOP. Soul searching as to why voters are increasingly turning their noses at the party which professes to be advocates for smaller government. Reasons are hashed out on Sunday talk shows, fingers are pointed, and truthfully speaking, none of them has the slightest clue. The reason is really quite simple. After watching this game play out for the better part of three decades now, we people who make up the Republican base are starting to get the clue, the dive is eminent. We are tired of pulling defeat from the jaws of victory, tired of Palookas taking our money and diving, tired of voting for what is promised, and handed something else entirely.
Take a good look at the cartoon above. Realize that it may be the single most accurate piece of journalism seen this decade, and then repeat to yourself three times aloud. We lost an election to that. Wring your hands all you want Palookas, the answer is not in slick messaging, pandering to the moderates, or even outreach to specifically targeted interest groups. The answer is in your mirror. Stop being Palookas, and start sticking to the principles you’ve espoused. The only thing you’ve not tried yet, imagine that.