Game Over: The Cynical and Dangerous State of the Republican Party

If you haven’t seen Game Change yet, it’s a must see movie, and not because it’s about Sarah Palin, but because it’s about what she represents: The cynical, dangerous, and decaying state of the Republican Party. This isn’t exactly old news, in fact, it should be a cautionary tale, because while the players have changed, the Republican game has not.

The movie shows Palin’s absurd lack of preparedness in basic issues: She didn’t know what the Fed did and thought that as VP she would be arranging strategy with the Queen of England, unaware that the Prime Minister is the head of government in England.

And then there are the long stretches where Palin is in a stupor, almost catatonic. This behavior isn’t new; back in Alaska, they have the same stories to tell. A Party that cared about this country would have vetted her; they would have found out what any person using Google found out within a few hours of her announcement.

In the film, when the Couric interview goes poorly, Palin becomes paranoid that Katie Couric is out to get her and that the campaign strategists set her up to fail. She throws her phone at the wall after blaming McCain strategist Nicolle Wallace for her own failures. In a rather telling moment, Palin likens herself to Hillary and Wallace, a loyal Bush operative, says, “You are no Hillary.”

Richard Wolffe was on The Ed Show last night to discuss the HBO movie Game Change, which they joke should have called Game Over. Wolffe made a point that is vital for the American people to realize: The Republican establishment made the reckless choice to put Sarah Palin on the ticket, and did not deep six her even after they became aware that she was unstable and unprepared. But the most frightening aspect is that nothing has changed in the Republican Party since the Palin pick and yet, the same reckless behavior is still being ignored by the mainstream press.

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Transcript from MSNBC (with modifications):

ED SCHULTZ: If you had any questions about Sarah Palin’s competency they ought to be answered by now. The HBO movie “game change” showed America it dodged a political bullet. McCain strategist Steve Schmidt said the movie got it right.

STEVE SCHMIDT (McCain strategist): It was very accurate. I think for all of us who were in the campaign it really rang true, gave you PTSD at times.

ED SCHULTZ: They found themselves dealing with a vice presidential candidate unstable, lacking knowledge, and completely unprepared for the national stage.


ED SCHULTZ: Even if you didn’t catch the movie, you know how the story ends. Schmidt says the end result of the 2008 campaign was the best outcome for the country.

STEVE SCHMIDT: When a result happens that puts someone who is not prepared to be president on the ticket, that is a bad result. I think the notion of Sarah Palin being president of the United States is something that frightens me, frankly, and I played a part in that. I played a part in that because we were fueled by ambition to win.

And now we come to the analysis of this debacle:

RICHARD WOLFFE: … It was also painful and frankly disgusting to watch the people who were responsible for this, and Steve Schmidt, he was one of the defenders of the President Bush and Dick Cheney, you cannot question his Republican credentials, but he was responsible and this movie goes in this, he was responsible for the reckless decision, in part, for this reckless decision to put Sarah Palin in this position and for Sarah Palin to think she comes off worse than the McCain aides who put her in this intolerable position shows how clueless she is.

…. It was so bad that Nicolle Wallace, again, a loyal bush operative, loyal Republican, said she couldn’t vote in this election because of Sarah Palin. That is what I mean about how shocking this movie is. The book and movie is called Game Change this is politics at the highest level, responsibility for life and death of the troops, about the jobs and welfare of the American people and they clearly chose someone who wasn’t ready for the limelight, wasn’t ready for the election, never mind for the responsibility of the job. Honestly, if they realized this, along the way they had a clear responsibility to say something, that at least didn’t appear in the movie, or from what we see in the book.

…looking at the primary contests we have seen playing out on the Republican field. Do you think they have taken it more seriously than that Vice Presidential pick? Yes, this was the Republican establishment; everyone says where are the leaders? The leaders at that time took those risks…


If you think we dodged a bullet when she and McCain lost, you’re fooling yourself. The same people behind her pick were behind Bush and Cheney, and these are the same people behind Mitt Romney and the same game that allows someone like Rick Santorum to actually run for the nomination.

You might think it’s just a clown show, but I believe we’ve been watching history being made and attention is not being paid to the important aspects of the narrative.

This is a reckless, desperate party that has refused to reexamine their own policies, just as they refused to reexamine their choice of Sarah Palin even though they knew she was mentally unstable and yet a 72 year old’s heartbeat away from the Presidency. It was so bad that Nicole Wallace, campaign advisor and loyal Bush operative, could not vote in 2008. She couldn’t bring herself to vote. She supported Dick Cheney and George W Bush, but she could not vote in 2008.

The Party hasn’t reexamined itself; you are not getting the old Republican Party this election cycle. In fact, they have proven this with even Mitt Romney refusing to condemn Rush Limbaugh’s hate speech against American women. Mitt Romney is too afraid of the crazy contingency (circa Palin 2008 “pallin’ around with terrorists”) to be a real leader and tell Rush to behave like a civil person, but Mitt wants to lead this country. Romney, like all of the leaders in Game Change, which is to say, the Republican establishment, is ultimately a cynical coward who will not put country ahead of power — not even when it really, really matters.

If the Party had any chance to do some soul searching, the 2010 election killed it. When Republicans had success once again through hate and division, no matter the cost of having freshman in the House who quite literally took the country to the brink of disaster over the debt ceiling, they were sunk. The Republican Party is so hooked on its toxicity that it can’t save itself. The GOP is an addict that doesn’t even want to quit, because the high is still so sweet they can taste it.

Think about what that means, and then ask yourself if you can trust the Republican Party to run your local school board, let alone represent you in the House or Senate or God forbid, in the White House. This is no joke. The Republican Party has never taken responsibility for Bush, let alone Palin, and now they are offering us the Tea Party nuts in the House and are letting Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich actually run for the nomination of the highest office in the land.

The real question here is why isn’t the press laughing out loud at the Republican Party and where in the Hell were they in 2008? What you have been witnessing is the beginning of the demise of a Party, a Party so greedy for power and hooked on its toxic brand of getting out the vote that it cannot put country first on even the smallest detail.

The modern day Republican Party is reckless enough to have knowingly put an unstable, unprepared person one 72 year old’s heartbeat away from the highest office in the world. It wasn’t a fluke; it was part of an ongoing pattern of reckless behavior that began in earnest in 2001 when George W Bush and his administration lied to us and the press spoon fed the lies to us like the lap dogs they have become; the same lap dogs who still can’t bring themselves to call Mitt Romney a liar, even as he says the President is going to “change Medicare as we know it.”

We’re not out of the woods, yet. Not by a long shot.

26 Replies to “Game Over: The Cynical and Dangerous State of the Republican Party”

  1. This is all so very true, but also frightening. So far the polls are not very encouraging for president Obama.Rasmussen actually has Mitt and Santorum beating president Obama.

    And yes, the press has a lot to do with it. The press put Palin on a pedistal and the press is still in denial.

  2. The question is: cui bono? My guess has been that whoever decides these things knew Sarah Palin was witless and vain, and they arranged for her to have a handler when (not if) she suceeded McCain. My understanding is that George W. Bush was vetted by the CNP, and his handler was Dick Cheney; Grover Norquist, who holds the 2010 crop of Teahadis bound by oath, is a member of that organization; no Republican candidate who came to hold any position of importance since 2000, I venture, has done so without their imprimature, and they like such candidates to be crazy, stupid, fanatical and vain, for such people are perfect tools. Their nightmare is that enough Americans might actually see these candidates too clearly for what they are to vote for them, so they are likely preparing Plans B and C. And that’s *my* nightmare.

  3. Rasmussen is basicly an arm of Fox and is, I daresay, less an honest appraisal of public opinion than a tool for giving a stolen election the color of legitimacy. That’s what worries me.

  4. Yesterday Sarahpac sent a email out asking for money.
    Sarahpac also paid for the “Showbills” that were used at the Premier also.
    Since when does a Pac pay for things such as this?
    The fact that this idiot is still “around” and begging for money shows the sorry state of democracy here.
    People who won’t back the President b/c he’s the wrong color?
    WTF? We’ve got snipes running around like Palin & Boner and basically the republican house.
    Vote, Vote, Vote their asses out!
    Oh and bring back public schools. Outlaw homeschooling. Mississippi believes the President is a Muslim? And that is bad.
    Inbred Homeschooled idiots. Thank GWB for that.

  5. Rasmussen actually calls people “at home” on landline phones. Who answers “unknown callers” on landline phones? Grandma and grandpa… thus their “numbers”

  6. Home schooling used to have to be done under special permission upon a showing that (for example) parents or guardians were going to be out of contact with civilization due to a scientific or diplomatic posting where accredited schooling wouldn’t be available, and it required that the child either complete a state-issued course or one of several private courses 2.g., Calvert School-at-Home) that met academic standards. Kids not out of jurisdiction who couldn’t go to school received visits from a home-bound teacher from the public school system. Now, any adult, however illiterate, superstitious, or nuts, can home-school their own children, and when there are test requirements at all, no one verifies that it is the child taking the tests. I know such a child who is now, at twenty-one, a functional illiterate with an out-of-wedlock son whose birth almost killed her, and she is by no means the worst case. Home schooling has been used to conceal egregious, even lethal, abuse. As a society, we owe our youngsters better than that, and as a nation, we may perish if we don’t give it to them.

  7. you are right in that they are still doing the same thing. They have not netted Rick Santorum and the skeletons in his closet. They know what the skeletons are but they refuse to bring him out on the mainstream media. There is money in them there candidates. I personally don’t think that the GOP cares about this election at all except for the house and senate races. And of course the local races

    This is what we have to expect from the GOP who is went from being an American party to something much more horrendous. Something that is not American in any way shape or form

  8. Don’t go knocking homeschooling. It, like anything else, is neutral and can go either way. I homeschooled all of my kids from time to time during their school years, depending on their needs and the availability of decent schools. Homeschooling has produced many well educated and creative people, who’ve gone on to greater things.

    I do think homeschooling needs more oversight from the counties, however, to make sure that the curriculums meet the parameters of the state’s educational requirements.

  9. What the movie didn’t get right was that Sarah Palin was putting her name out there 6 months before they tapped her. Bill Kristol was one of the people that brought her name to the attention of the establishment party. He met her on a cruise that was going to AK and of course she made herself known. She was the one who wanted the job as VP. Kristol and his buddies just couldn’t see through her short skirts and pointie high heels. They weren’t in love with her. They were in lust with her. Go figure the men voted in droves for her. Women were alot smarter. Women think with the brains on their heads and the men think with the little brain below the belt.

  10. All one need do is read Joe McGinnis’ book THE ROGUE

    One will find that the symbol of rural American fecundity is a lackadaisical, lackluster tyrant who happened to have a bit of charisma, charm, and appeal, just enough to get elected governor of Alaska.

    The truth is she neglected Todd and her children while running for political office. The children actually took care of each other. When Todd returned from his monthly stint at the North Slope Oil Fields the first thing he had to do was clean the bathroom and kitchen which were filthy because Sarah wouldn’t lift a finger to care for her children. But yet she would parade around with her children in tow at political functions as if somehow that made up for her failings as a mother.

  11. My son spent that summer working in Alaska.
    I had never been there and was curious about the state.
    It took me less then an hour to find a lot of information that made me question sarah palin and her ability to be Gov.
    It wasn’t the leftist agenda of mainstream media, it was her own press in Alaska that was seriously questioning her ability.
    I often wonder about why there is such a disconnect between republicans and Democrats. Watching Game Change really demonstrates how easily it is for republicans to disassemble and lie to themselves.
    And Sarah Palin’s latest face book screed is a perfect example of this. She cannot even be honest about her own words, what she said about POTUS Obama.

  12. I think Cali is the only or one of the states that requires the parents to have a degree to teach their kids.
    You can see how homeschooling is ruining this country and as you say hiding abused kids.

  13. TY, Sarah Jones.

    Republicans: “This is a reckless, desperate party”

    “Cynical and Dangerous”

    “also painful and frankly disgusting to watch”

    “a Party so greedy for power and hooked on its toxic brand of getting out the vote that it cannot put country first on even the smallest detail.”

    “deep six” Republicans Nov. 6, 2012 – all of ’em!

  14. Rick Santorum could save the GOP, the country, and maybe the world!

    First, consider that Mitt Romney becomes the Republican presidential nominee. He can win the general election only with enthusiastic support from the extreme right wing of his Party. That support will come with a price.

    The price will include a campaign platform that excites religious fundamentalists who oppose abortion and tend toward some degree of racism, misogyny, homophobia, and a fear of minorities who, by virtue of higher birth rates, may soon out-vote them. More than a nod toward such sentiments will be required of the candidate.

    Assuming that Romney can win on such a platform and with such expectations, the base will claim as reward for its support a greater voice and presence in Party leadership.

    Ironically, the base will be even more stridently insistent on more Party power if Romney loses. Why? Because they will claim that a “real conservative”, embracing “real conservative principles”, would have won.

    That would bode ill for the little still left of the traditional Republican Party, which once had wings not only moderate but liberal.

    Now consider that Rick Santorum wins the nomination.

    Santorum is not just comfortable with base points of view, but openly and vigorously embraces them as his own. Not always so conservative, his currently espoused positions place him far to the right of Barry Goldwater, the most conservative candidate previously to be the GOP nominee. Though he could moderate the Party platform if he chose, conservative pressure — and his own ideological inclination — might induce him to embrace extreme positions. And run hard on them.

    In 1964, Lyndon Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater, 61.05 percent to 38.47 percent in the popular vote, and 90.3 percent to 9.7 percent in the Electoral College. Goldwater carried only his home state of Arizona and five Deep South states.

    The tenor of the times is different now. Rick Santorum’s loss might not match the landslide that Goldwater faced. But it is unlikely that he would win.

    What is likely is that a loss would still, if not silence, extremists enough, and discredit the extremist agenda enough, for moderate Republicans to begin the reconstruction of their Party.

    For many, and not just Republicans, that victory would be worth more than a presidency.

  15. Why haven’t Alaskans exposed this dunce, at the local level. They’re quick to take to the national airwaves, but to do so locally, crickets.

  16. What I also want to know is where the press has been since 1980? Why aren’t more of our voters aware of the dangers of the “7 Mountains of Dominionism” and how the evangelicals and Reconstructionists have been allowed to take over the national discourse? What is the “modus operandi” of these groups and why have they taken over our country? Who are the main financiers? All this should be on the air waves over and over and over until enough of our citizens wake up and put a stop to it.

  17. “Game Change” is HBO’s most watched movie (over 2 million viewers). Let’s hope the DVDs come out soon so that Democrats can give them out as presents during this election year.

  18. I’m fairly convinced now that they don’t really care who runs, who wins, who gets vetted, etc. Like Grover said, they just need someone to “sign the papers” and they’ll tell him what to do and what to sign and what to say. They’re seeking a puppet; no need to vet for that.

    I think their only angst right now is that Santorum and, to some extent, Gingrich, won’t cooperate like they would like them to. Romney is the puppet in waiting, no doubt. They just never expected Santorum or Gingrich to get this far.

  19. Finally. I am not alone in thinking about the nations (biggest, most alluring,sex pot,In her mind)
    First saw this when she was giving a speech with
    all the good Christian Republican’s standing behind her, all with their tounges hanging out, and drool almost running down their faces. If the cameras had panned down to the lower part of any of those men’s body,everyone could have seen the result.
    Women always think with the brain, Men are handicapped, they seem to think,at times, with the lower portion of the body alone.

  20. Shiva:
    Please, please tell us what skeletons Santorum has that have not been revealed. The Nation wants to know.
    The Nation deserves to know.

  21. Am dying to see the movie, Game Change. Seeing I do not subscribe to HBO is there any other way to view it? Perhaps on the Internet?

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