The ghost of GOP future

Late Tuesday night, I passed out after catching Obama fever and Biden foot-in-mouth disease. When I awoke, the year was 2012 and the ghost of Spiro Agnew was my guide to the future.

David Lombardo: Disgraced Republican Vice President Spiro Agnew! What happened?

Spiro Agnew: I brought you to the future so you can see what's happened to the Republican Party. Ever since Obama won and the Democrats got a stranglehold on the Congress the GOP has been in shambles.

DL: But they're always so regimented!

SA: Yeah, we didn't know how to handle defeat and spent the next two years pointing fingers at each other trying to explain what happened. There were some of us that viewed the election as a referendum on the Reagan Revolution, others who said we had turned our backs on the Gipper, and the Ron Paul fanatics just kept demanding we abolish the income tax.

DL: What happened in the aftermath?

SA: The Party emerged without a leader or a vision, and this led to Republicans running 10 different ways at once while ending up nowhere. The fiscal conservatives wanted to focus on belt-tightening, the religious right pushed for a culture war, and the Hawks demanded we invade Canada because they'd been acting uppity.

DL: Seems like the country is center-right politically and the Republicans just needed to temper their approach. They could have tried being more inclusive and less divisive.

SA: That might have made sense except there really weren't any moderates to steer the ship. In 2006 and 2008 the Democrats were able to knock off moderates, like Lincoln Chafee and Christopher Shays, leaving just the hyper-partisan politicians who wanted to run to the far right. For a while we even thought about breaking from the blue states and forming our own country filled with "real Americans."

DL: How'd that work out?

SA: Not well. The "real Americans" worried they would miss "fake American" things like the iPhone, Jay Leno, and "The L Word." So they abandoned that plan and turned to Sarah Palin for answers. Sacrificing George Bush to appease Teddy Roosevelt wasn't a great idea, but I firmly believe that if we hadn't alienated all the scientists in America her scheme to bring Reagan back to life could have worked.

DL: What ended up happening in the 2010 mid-term elections?

SA: For the most part the hemorrhaging stopped and we only dropped two House races and managed to only lose Senate seats in North Carolina, Missouri, and Kentucky. But the good news is Sen. Arlen Specter held off Chris Matthews because he tried to go hardball on his constituents and died wrestling the Philly Phanatic.

DL: What's your strategy for 2012?

SA: Well we've struggled to come together since half of the party walked out during our Convention. But like Nixon always said about tape recorders in the Oval Office, two is better than one, which is why I'm not worried that the NASCAR Dads nominated Lou Dobbs and the Soccer Moms nominated Sarah Palin.

DL: So I should go back to my time and warn the college Republicans?

SA: Nah. This soul searching is good for the GOP. They need to get kicked around for a few years like the Democrats did after 1968. I just wanted to ask that you take it easy on them in your column.

DL: Anything for you, Spiro.

Dave Lombardo is a senior political science major who tried the winds of change, but did not inhale.

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