Bob Franken

Onward and Downward

I don’t know why the Republicans are engaged in such political soul-searching as they look for ways to rally against the Democrats.

First of all “political soul searching” is a bodacious oxymoron. But setting that aside, why would the GOP worry about strategies to knock off the Democrats.

They don’t really need to do anything when they have such powerful allies.

I am talking of course about the Democrats themselves. They make up a party historically devoted to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Therapists could have a field day. If there is such a thing as group success neurosis, that would be the Dem diagnosis. This is an organization where “Team of Rivals” is the worst sort redundancy.

This is nothing new, of course. It was Will Rogers who said “I don’t belong to an organized political party, I’m a Democrat. ”

That has become such a cliche because it has been so true for so long. Since forever, Democrats have been easy pickings for the other side as well as each other.

Witness the newest actions of the Congressional Greek chorus. Democratic leaders are still flattened after President Bush rolled over their majority for the last couple of years. Now, in their zeal to fritter away their substantial numerical advantages, they’re letting a member of their own party roll them.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich did everything but raise his finger in the air at them when he named Roland Burris to be his Senate appointment.

It was a regular old food fight, where everyone ended up with egg on his face…except the GOP, which temporarily stopped the internal introspection, to gloat as the Democrats floundered about.

About all they might have done to make their face saving photo op even more embarrassing last week was to wear flip flops for the cameras. The leaders didn’t exactly display fancy footwork with the way they handled that one.

In one day, they went from the rejecting a “tainted” Blagojevich appointee, Burris, to almost anointed him sainted . Even President-elect Obama got suckered on this one, giving an early hint that he may not be that smoothly invincible after all.

It’s amazing how power not only corrupts but freezes the mind. Remember how little time ago it was when Karl Rove was rubbing the Democrats’ nose in it and gloating, every chance he got, by speculating about a “permanent Republican majority”?

Rove has gone the way of all those who got everything wrong. He has become a pundit. Now he can get paid big bucks as he watches the other side implode. It’s a sure thing they will. They’ve already gotten started.

It is an immutable part of nature The Law of Gravity: What goes up must come down. But in politics that’s only part the story.

Republicans can take heart in the other half: What goes down will come up again. Those on top will make sure they tumble into free fall.

As for all the problems in this country, we can only hope that our leaders find time after their vain, inept stumbling, to focus on them.

Come to think of it, maybe it’s better if they don’t.

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