Dig Baton Rouge

Statesmen & Snollygosters

By Nick BeJeaux

There’s nothing that drives the GOP crazy quite like the state of Iowa – the land of enormous strawberries, John Wayne and Winnebagos – and our beloved governor is no exception.

Gov. Bobby Jindal is set to attend numerous political events in Iowa until his return to Louisiana on Sunday. Not to say Iowa isn’t important, but it shouldn’t be as important to Jindal – if not, more so – as his home state, of which he is still responsible for “leading.” Granted, he’s making a bid for the oval office in 2016, and Iowa has become a litmus test for viable GOP presidential candidates. Still, it isn’t prudent, wise or even decent to make a run for the White House when your old neighborhood is crumbling to the ground. It’s selfish and shady.

Truth be told, Iowa’s Caucus elections do not really have the power politicians think they do. Yeah, they are the first state to vote on nominees for the Presidential race, but they represent less than half one percent of the United States’ population. Still, that didn’t stop Jindal from taking the stage at the Iowa Family Leadership Summit and accusing President Obama of dividing Americans based on race, class sex, and other factors. Obama, how dare you – that’s the GOP’s job!

Now before you start jumping up and down and screaming “Lies! Slander! Bias!” you cannot deny that Republicans have an image problem. Democrats do work so very hard to make conservatives look like a bunch of extremist, crazy, old, rich, prejudiced white dudes; but to be fair, conservatives do a lot of that work themselves. Case and point: During her time in the spotlight, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), the exception to the “dude” rule in the GOP, has described LGBT activists as advocates of child rape, Planned Parenthood as the “LensCrafters” of mass abortion and a slew of other unbalanced and ignorant statements that tend to scare rational people away from her.

At first, the insanity exhibited by Bachmann and other Tea Party wackos was intriguing – like watching screaming chimps at the zoo throwing…stuff…at each other. But now the chimpanzees are out of the cage and throwing poop at everyone. They want to blame the liberal agenda for dismantling the conservative movement and stalling progress, but really they have no one to blame but themselves. For example, the Louisiana Senate election happening this November illustrates how disorganized Republicans have become.

The Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu, who has 18 years as a Senator and the support of her party behind her, is facing off against three, possibly four, candidates that some Republicans support and others do not. It would not be surprising if Landrieu won reelection due to her opponents’ campaigns falling to peices, but regardless how you feel about that it indicates a very big problem in American politics.

Extremist dogma and cliquism have flourished in our poisoned system, and the infighting they cause has dampened progress and our ability to cordially discuss policy like adult human beings. We, as a country and a culture, have to re-learn how to compromise. Lately that has become a dirty word, but it’s a concept that our system was founded upon. If you really want to live in an America envisioned by the Founding Fathers and get our system back on track, pull your head out of your butt and act like an adult.

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