By Joe Campbell
The Republican Party is very, very ill. It has succumbed to Republican Acquired Intellectual Dysfunction Syndrome, a retrovirus that has hijacked the intellectual genome of the Republican party.
RAIDS’s primary symptoms are the suppression of higher mental faculties such as logic, reason and the natural urge to compromise. The infection began in 2007 and quickly attacked the already weakened intellectual DNA of the Republican Party. Thereafter, the Republican Party produced fewer and few genuine Republicans and instead produced politicians who look like ordinary Republicans but who “think” like zombies of the Tea Party.
The symptoms of this affliction are best illustrated by Karl Rove’s cringe-worthy, delusional on-the-air blithering on election night when his very own Fox News called the state of Ohio for President Obama. In a matter of minutes Fox’s own election team makes it clear that Rove’s “facts” about the outstanding votes were wildly wrong.
Yet the most astonishing aspect of this spectacle was our witnessing a deeply disturbed man unable to come to terms with the profound flaws in his world view. Rove wasn’t alone — the awful Donald Trump twitted: “We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty.”
Will the staggeringly embarrassing loss in 2012 change the way Republicans think? Perhaps — if they recognize AND find a cure for RAIDS. It doesn’t look promising, though. Why?
Republicans were smugly CERTAIN they would win Tuesday’s election with 330 electoral votes. One of the persistent thorns in their sides, though, was Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight blog, which correctly predicted the outcome in 49 states in the 2008 election, and correctly predicted the outcome in all 50 states this year.
You might have noticed that the name of Silver’s blog derives from the number of electors in the Electoral College. After their shellacking last week, the GOP thinks the best way to offset the influence of the FiveThirtyEight blog is . . . wait for it . . . a constitutional amendment to change the number of electors.
“It’s simple, really,” explained Republican National Committee Communications Director Sean Spicer. “We add three Electoral College votes, which will bring the national total to 541, and that will nullify the predictive success of the FiveThirtyEight. It’s just math and logic.”
Here’s what the RAIDS-infected Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma (easily the most plagued state in the nation) had to say: “I don’t claim to understand statistics and polling because I believe it’s all a myth, just like global warming. But I think if we change the number of Electoral College votes, it will help people see the FiveThirtyEight blog for the fraud that it is.”
So, here’s my prediction: unless the Republicans can find a cure for Republican Acquired Intellectual Dysfunction Syndrome, the party will fumble and mumble into oblivion. It’s happened repeatedly in our political history.
By the way, a few years ago readers would instantly recognize the comments attributed to Mr. Spicer and Senator Inhofe as the obvious, Pythonesque satire they are. That they sound perfectly plausible today is my point.