Republicans Seek Bailout

A rescue plan for the GOP

WASHINGTON—In the wake of their party's devastating losses in the last election, a delegation of Republican leaders has come to Capitol Hill requesting a rescue package of $25 billion. "We're seeing a potential meltdown in the conservative movement," party chair Mike Duncan told lawmakers Thursday morning, "with consequences that could impact directly upon millions of middle-class Americans and cause further devastation to our economy. I support the free market, but the Republican Party is too big to fail."

"There's tons of jobs that depend on the Grand Old Party," agrees Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). "I don't just mean the employees of the GOP itself. I mean all our partners and suppliers, everyone from Bechtel to the Connecticut for Lieberman Party. There's the field tech at Fox News, the secretary at the Heritage Foundation, the guy who keeps the shredding machine humming at Halliburton. Yes, Sean Hannity can always go back to pitching steakhouses. But not everyone has a valuable skill to fall back on. What about Frank Luntz? What do you say to him?"

Critics argue that Republicans need to feel the pinch of failure if the party is ever to reconstitute itself. "If you reward their losses, they'll just keep losing," says AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. "They won't learn any discipline, and they'll keep making the same mistakes." Even some supporters of the rescue package were disturbed when an internal memo surfaced containing the party's plans for the bailout money. Approximately 15 percent was to be spent running ads about Bill Ayers in central Ohio, 25 percent was earmarked for "the Chalabi account," and 45 percent was to be used building infrastructure near Nome, Alaska.

Within the GOP itself, a few figures worry a bailout might come with too many strings attached. "I'd love to get some money from the government, but not if it means those liberals in Congress will be writing our next platform for us," says party strategist Karl Rove. "Who knows what concessions they'll demand? Give them a say in what we do, and you might suddenly see Republicans proposing an enormous new entitlement, or imposing federal mandates on local schools, or even nationalizing banks. The party of Goldwater would be dead."

With Democrats controlling both Congress and the White House, few expect the bailout to be at the top of the Washington agenda. Nonetheless, sources close to the president-elect say that even if the rescue proposal fails, Barack Obama might find another way to help the institution that did more than anything else to fuel his rapid rise from the Illinois State Senate to the Oval Office. "Obama owes his career to the Republican Party, and he's not about to forget that," says one insider. "Mark my words. By the time we're two years into his administration, the GOP will be reinvigorated like never before."

Managing Editor Jesse Walker is the author of Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America.

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  • Joel||

    I...guess that was supposed to be funny...

  • ||

    Jesse, take a couple of days off, get out of town, take a walk, entertain or be entertained by a few of the fair sex, drink this half gallon of Jack and we'll see you back here on Monday ;)

  • ||

    I liked it.
    ;-P

  • ||

    I think Epi and Sugarfree are occasionally funny as well, so that likely weighs against my recommendation.

  • ||

    I thought it was excellent. Apparently, my endorsement might not be a positive thing.

    "But not everyone has a valuable skill to fall back on. What about Frank Luntz? What do you say to him?"

    LULZ

  • ||

    "Sure, Sean Hannity can always go back to pitching steak houses..."

    Heh.

  • SIV||

    Hope? Change?
    Obama to pick Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary. I guess Henry Paulson didn't want to stay on.

  • ||

    I give it an "A". Extra credit for the illustration.

  • ||

    I think Epi and Sugarfree are occasionally funny as well, so that likely weighs against my recommendation.

    You just too big for your britches, mister.

  • ||

    What about Frank Luntz? What do you say to him?

    The glory hole industry swore to him they'd keep his old job open for him. Shoulda joined the union.

  • ||

    Sugar Free

    It is customary to add [emphasis added] when adding emphasis that wasn't in the original. Get with the program, dude.

  • ||

    Why do that when people can read the original for themselves slightly upthread? Stop trying to censor me! Fascist! STOP TRYING TO PROGRAM ME!

  • ||

    The GOP hacks are making Bill Ayers into a weird hero - albeit one like Guy Fawkes.

    The more the Hannity asshole types spew their froth the more real Americans suspect he was onto something.

  • ||

    Sugar Free,

    If you wish to call attention to a particular comment, it is common internet courtesy to provide a link.

  • ||

    YOU'RE TEARING ME APART!

    ATTICA! ATTICA!

  • Gene Berkman||

    If the social conservatives continue to dominate the GOP, it won't be "too big to fail" for long.

    Good piece, Jesse!

  • DannyK||

    Good one, Jesse.

    Another option for the GOP would be to arrange to be acquired by a consortium of petroleum companies. Some say this has already happened.

  • ||

    Where's Paul Krugman when you need him?

  • Less Antman||

    2 Thumbs Up. Extra credit for touches that can only be fully appreciated by real news junkies who have seen the exact quotes being parodied.

  • ||

    "potential meltdown"

    Your satire is very good, but lacks the *punch* that is required of every demand for a government bailout:

    "If the GOP can't get this temporary, tiny bit of assistance, the party will collapse into a heap of sobbing transendentalists, destroying the entire foundation of western democracy, and the only remaining bulwark against world-wide communism and international terrorism."

    Or, to appeal to the next Democratic Congress:
    "You need us. How can you justify the failures of your programs if you can't blame us - your favorite bogeyman - for obstruction and watering down your favorite programs? You'll need to assume responsibility for everything if we're gone. You can't afford that."

  • ||

    Gene writes, "If the social conservatives continue to dominate the GOP, it won't be 'too big to fail' for long."

    While I don't hold truck for the "social conservatives," it was the "economic conservatives" that drilled the holes into the GOP boat. They were more responsible for sinking the ship than the didactic right wing mystics. The economic conservatives had a grand old party, all right. And the drunken sailors spent up a spree. Just as they always did. Yeah, the Republicans. Spending. As always.

    But now that they got their asses kicked, they found Jesus again. Their humble epiphany is laden with the calls, ".....the principles we left behind! We need to find our roots again! The party of Ronald Reagan!"
    Oh, right. I forgot. The 80s --- when we were all fat, dumb and happy. Back then we had all become Jeffersonians. What rubbish.

    Reagan came in because Carter was running a campaign during the recession. Sure, after he was in, Ronnie said all the right things. And he made his little joke at one of his last State of the Union speeches, by lifting, then dropping, the gazillion-page OMB document. Hardy-har, good one, Ron. But, wait a sec, come to think of it, you signed the damn thing, didn't ya. Hypocrite. (And spare me the same kind of drivel that Bush said during the "no new taxes" era -- the devil made me do it; it was all the Congress' fault. Sorry, George, but looks like your signature on there.)

    Reagan's budget was more government spending then any other previous budget in history. Not to worry, Bush's was even bigger than Reagan's; Clinton's bigger than Bush's. And Bush II wasn't going to be out done.....no sir-ee.

    Pols' get re-elected because they raid the Treasury, steal money from some other locale, and bring it home to spend in the community.
    They don't get re-elected by saying, "I spent no money. I did nothing; I left you alone! Because I believe you can all manage your life on your own!"

    You win an election not because voters want less taxes, not because they want less war, not because they want less government.
    You win because the other party is in power when the economy falls into the toilet.

    And when you get in, you do what every Congress and Executive has done for the past 200+ years: Spend more taxpayer money than the last guy.

    Spending equals government intrusion. And the Republicans are just as eager to intrude as the Democrats. And they always will. Always.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I give this article my stamp of approval.

  • ||

    The last paragraph was the best, in a really funny column.

    I guess Henry Paulson didn't want to stay on.

    Hey: Take the money and run.

  • Dan Clore||

    I found this a fine piece of subtle satire.

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