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Spinal Jellongitis

The thing I like about being a republican is that we’re dumb. By dumb I mean being able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. In other words, dumb. If you can find a dumber animal that doesn’t lay eggs . . . Oh, wait a minute. I don’t really like that we’re dumb.

Maybe I’m being too hard on us. Maybe we’re not dumb. Maybe we’re gutless cowards. Yeah. That’s much better.

The latest example of our getting our hinies soundly thrashed was on the senate floor recently where the democrats were throwing a hissy fit. See, they used to be in control of the senate due to some back room shady dealing between Daschle and Jim Jefforts. When they were in control they got a certain amount of representation, budget, etc. in the committees. But they’re not in control anymore, see? We are. But they still want to have the same number of all day suckers they got when they ran the nursery.

Of course the way to handle this is to tell them “Tough. We are going to follow the rules” (the congressional equivalent of spanking them and sending them to their rooms). So, of course the way we handled it is to say “It’s okay, it’s okay! Oh, Dudley, stop crying, please. You can have whatever you want.” The way the headlines read is “The Republicans Blink First.” Headline writers have a macro that prints that headline in a single keystroke, they use it so often.

The great thing about being the Grumpy Conservative is there’s always something to gripe about. The drawback is that what I gripe about is only in the news for a couple of days. Next week the little diatribe that I invested so much emotional energy into makes no sense.

But this issue of republicans allowing, nay, encouraging the democrats to kick our tails will always be timely. No matter when you read this, there will always be some case in the news where the republicans were right and caved in to the democrats.

For example, we had the famous “It’s not about sex” episode. Let me refresh your memory. Bill Clinton, the President of the United Freaking States, had sex with a young girl in the oval office. Now, if you were able to read that without standing there agape in horror, you might consider backing off a little on the Prozac.

So the republicans said “Holy Toledo, Bill Clinton had sex with a young intern in the oval office.”

The democrats came back and said “Are you making this about sex?”

The republicans, true to the Coalition of Jell-O™ Spines charter said: “What? No, we didn’t mean that. Oh, heavens, no, I’m sorry, that would be silly, no. It’s not about sex.”

Bzzzzzzzt! Wrong answer. You look them in the eye and say, “Yes, That is exactly what I am saying.”

Since I’m concerned with educating you, I’m going to teach you about this technique and its counter. What you have is a 1) Position statement, 2) Challenge, and 3) Decision block. Wrong Decision: back pedal. You lose. Right Decision: Confirmation of position. You win.

You saw it in the ’92 campaign where a lady in one of the debates asked Pres. Bush (Here comes phase 1) “Do you really think you can understand the economic concerns of the common man since you’re wealthy?” (2) He said “Are you saying that I can’t understand the economic concerns of the common man since I’m wealthy?” (3) The lady pulled a republican and started to back pedal. “Oh no, that’s not what I meant . . . “

Wrong answer. Right answer: “Yes, sir, that was my question, sir.”

Okay, granted, she’s got the President of the United States barking at her on national TV. But it’s a perfect illustration of the technique.

Here’s my advice to congressional republicans (until they come up with a cure for spinal Jellongitis):

God grant me the serenity to keep quiet when I’m wrong,
the courage to kick booty when I’m right,
and the wisdom to tell the difference.

Here’s a hint. If the democrats are throwing a hissy fit about your position, you’re right.

Frank Leany

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