Elephantine (or it ain't easy being Republican)

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Roses are red, the sky is blue… what time is it? It’s elephant time. We need to talk about the elephants in the room. So many mistakes, so little time. I’ll call this op-ed piece “Elephantine.” 
 
The word elephantine is an adjective – and is defined as “of, resembling, or characteristic of an elephant or elephants, especially in being large, clumsy, or awkward.” Words synonymous with elephantine include: gigantic, immense, tremendous, and monumental. Let’s proceed, shall we?
 
On Friday, former US Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton began releasing the first batch of emails from her tenure as Madame Secretary. The Republicans have been demanding that for months, so one would assume that they’re pleased at this development. When Clinton refused to turn over those emails, members of the GOP were angry. Now that she’s in the process of turning them over, they’re still angry. Also on Friday, President Obama signed into effect legislation which will allow Congress to both review and approve any deal his administration makes to prevent the Iranian government from building nuclear/acquiring weapons. Republican members have wanted that from the very beginning of those negotiations, so it would be logical for a person to think that this would come as welcomed news to them. That assumption would be false. Before the president agreed to treat them as peers in pursuit of a peaceful solution in Iran, Congress was hostile towards him and the entire process. Even after his good faith gesture, Congress remains hostile towards him and the entire process. Welcome to the Republican echo chamber – where highly intelligent, politically savvy, and very articulate people conduct themselves as pointedly unintelligent, politically incorrect, and very inarticulate people if/when the occasion calls for it. They dance, they act, and they sing while appealing to the lowest common denominator of the American people. This is Kabuki theatre at its worse – movers and shakers within a major American political party who use hatred, racial animus, and inaccuracies to excite the conservative base. 
 
Exhibit A: Jeb Bush. The former Governor of the great state of Florida called climate change “convoluted” and “intellectual arrogancy” on the part of liberal activists a few days ago. The last time I checked, Florida was surrounded by water on three sides. If climate change is real – and it is – cities like Miami and Jacksonville could be lost under rising ocean levels. Of course, we’re talking about Jeb Bush – the man who was devoured last week by the question of whether the United States should ever have invaded Iraq in 2003. Bush’s answer changed four times in four days: yes, then maybe, then no answer (hypothetically), then no. Jeb’s brother authorized that war, so how is it possible that Jeb was totally unprepared for a question he had to know was coming? And blaming Barack Obama for the creation of ISIS when the whole world knows that George W. Bush’s removal of Saddam Hussein directly led to that very thing is an elephantine failure.
 
Exhibit B: Marco Rubio. Rubio was clobbered by the “in-retrospect-should-we-have-invaded-Iraq” question by Forrest Sawyer. On Fox News Sunday. It was painful to watch Rubio twisted like a pretzel while trying to defend the indefensible. Elephantine blunder.
 
Exhibit C: Dr. Ben Carson. Carson is a glowing example of the American dream – a once troubled Detroit teen who went on to become a world-famous neurosurgeon. His medical brilliance cannot be denied. Spoiler alert: Carson doesn’t hate President Obama. He says all sorts of venomous things about POTUS because he’s playing the GOP’s game. Carson knows he won’t win in 2016. I’m not sure he even wants to be president. Carson’s current campaign, however, will ensure his relevance in conservative world for the rest of his life. And that’s how a gifted neurosurgeon stoops to the level of repeatedly citing Nazi Germany and slavery in his criticisms of an American President. Elephantine cynicism.
 
Exhibit D: Ted Cruz. Apparently, his 2016 presidential campaign manager is one of the imaginary friends from his childhood. Making the self-deportation of 11,000,000 undocumented immigrants in America a foundation of his run for president is like running full speed through someone else’s fully-furnished house in the dark. You’re going to hit something – hard. Cruz’s calculation is massively counter-intuitive. 
 
Exhibit E: Chris Christie. The governor says foreign policy can be learned on the fly. Says the guy with no foreign policy experience.
 
Exhibit F: Scott Walker. Governor Walker wanted a clear path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in 2013. In 2015, he doesn’t. Behold: the Walker waffle.
 
Elephants are known for their memory. Conservatives? Not so much.
 
When will the Republican Party stop taking the extreme right stance on every major issue in America? GOP candidates statewide and nationally may win primary debates, but they won’t win the White House. Being large, clumsy, or awkward isn’t a winning strategy. Being elephantine is not so fine.

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