Pretty much everyone agrees that the Republican Party is in pitiful shape. The “autopsy” of the 2012 election released by RNC Chair Reince Priebus spelled out the awful truth that his party is perceived as a “narrow minded,” “out of touch” party of “stuffy old (white) men.” Unfortunately, nothing in the report recommends any practical solutions other than adjusting their messaging. In other words, shout louder but don’t revisit any of the policies that have earned you the disdain of the American voters.
Which brings us to one of the premiere Republican shouters, Ann Coulter. In a column on her blog (republished on Fox Nation), Coulter makes some pretty cogent points with regard to the Republican Party being the source of its own woes. She notes that the GOP has embraced some questionable figures who had little chance of success and, as a result, gave up winnable seats to Democrats. She cites Todd Akin, Linda McMahon, and perennial candidate John Raese. And now the GOP is about to add Mark Sanford to the list. The picture she paints of the party is one that repeatedly shoots itself in the foot. So she is now suggesting that they aim significantly higher.
For those who don’t remember, Luca Brasi is a character in The Godfather. He is Don Corleone’s principle “enforcer,” meaning he is a brutal and merciless killer. And that is the sort of person that Coulter thinks the party is missing. In a thinly disguised way she is advocating a Mafia-style hit on Sanford and any other wayward Republican whose candidacy is deemed too risky by Coulter and company.
Sure, she probably doesn’t really want to rub out Sanford, but the symbolism is representative of a repulsive streak of violence that permeates today’s GOP. Just yesterday a Massachusetts sheriff joked about assassinating President Obama, and the senate candidate he endorsed refused to disassociate himself from the sheriff.
This is the rhetoric of the NRA, right-wing militias, secessionists, and Second Amendment cultists who misread the Constitution. It is the rhetoric of Ted Nugent and Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. It is an attitude that reeks of bloodlust and final solutions, and is held by sore losers who despise democracy.
Coulter is actually right about the folly of South Carolinians choosing Mark Sanford as their candidate for congress (he still needs to win a run-off in May), but her advice is tainted by the gruesome notion that he be dealt with by a mob hit man. Ironically, the savior for whom Coulter pines was himself offed in a bloody ordeal and the news of his passing was delivered in a memorable way. The killers wrapped a fish in his vest and sent it to the Don.
The message was clear, and it is one that the GOP should heed: Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes, and so will the Republican Party if it continues to revere people like Ann Coulter. And the party is not helped by Fox News either when they endorse this sort of treasonous garbage by rewarding it with a featured spot on their web site.