There is an old Russian proverb about a dirt-poor peasant, pulling his cart along a muddy road, who comes upon a shiny urn. Upon opening the urn, a genie appears and grants the peasant a wish. The peasant, a rather dim bulb, thinks for a long time and finally says: ” My neighbor, Ivan, has ten goats, and I have none. I wish for the death of my neighbor’s goats”. This pithy tale perfectly encapsulates the current state of the GOP: having nothing to offer to voters, conservatives can only wish/strive/hope for the death of Obama’s – and America’s – goats.
In truth the GOP has become the “Party of Afraid”: afraid to acknowledge the desperate need to solve the healthcare crisis in this country, afraid to acknowledge the reality of global warming and commit to a forward-looking, “Manhattan Project”- like initiative to take the global lead in alternative energy, afraid to stand up to the screeching (and diminishing) “base” that will never again be able to send a “traditional” Republican candidate to the White House, afraid to confront entrenched corporate interests that have the GOP in their collective back pockets, afraid to repudiate willfully ignorant demagogues in the party (Sarah Palin top of the list, many more below her) and craft a platform that has broad appeal to the citizens of this country, etc., etc. ad nauseum.
This country was not built by people who were afraid, but by people who had the courage and foresight to cast off old, discredited ideas and focus on new directions, new ways of doing things in a changing environment. The GOP of today is embedded in concrete, unable to offer any compelling vision to the public. It is the party of afraid, and nobody, but nobody follows leaders who are afraid.