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Flight of the Squidpickles

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by Larry Schweikart

For as long a I can remember, the Democrats were referred to as the “evil” party and the Republicans as the “stupid” party, the implication being that Democrats knew what they were doing, and Republicans didn’t. I think we need to revise our thinking on the latter. Mitt Romney (Minion) and Mitch McConnell (Yertle) didn’t get where they are by being stupid. Indeed, Romney was quite devious, picking a state that was not only overwhelmingly conservative but one that was uniquely Mormon. (It’s hard to imagine Romney getting elected in, say, Florida.)

No, I think we need a new way of looking at the “stupid” party, and it’s the Vain Party. For the most part, today’s GOP thinks of themselves as the Guardians of the Galaxy of Etiquette and Manners. They perceive themselves as so “moral” and “principled” and “ethical” that not only would they not cheat, but they won’t call out Democrat cheaters because, well, that “wouldn’t be nice.” And we have to play nice.

It’s important to see the vanity at work in D.C., and certainly not just with Republicans. But the difference is that the Democrats’ vanity is in their perception of themselves as the only ones moral enough in terms of current political correctness and social justice to hold power. They see themselves as uniquely “holy” when it comes to positions and policies. To them, personal behavior is utterly irrelevant, so long as one holds the right policies. This was perhaps best demonstrated in the Clinton years when a female reporter publicly stated she would perform a Lewinsky on Bill Clinton because of his position on abortion. So, both the Republicans (in terms of seeing themselves as the lord-protectors of ethics and polite behavior) and the Democrats (in terms of policies and issues) are drenched in vanity.

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