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February 15, 2013 2:33 PM Rich, Chocolatey Goodness

By Ed Kilgore

Maybe it’s just the miasma of a Friday afternoon, but as I read Jake Sherman’s obscure piece in Politico today about the intense discussions among House Republicans concerning their agenda and message going forward, I kept getting the giggles. This line got me guffawing for real:

“I think that we need to make being fiscally conservative cool,” said Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), chairwoman of the Administration Committee and a close ally of Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Wonder what that means? Hire a rapper? Finance a “fiscally conservative” TV sit-com, maybe a Family-Sitting-Around-the-Checkbook version of Two Broke Girls?

Then when my laughter subsided, I saw this graph:

According to a source present, one meeting in Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) office featured GOP strategist Karl Rove floating a plan for every single Republican to give a floor speech on the same topic with the same message, in a bid to grab headlines.

If message discipline doesn’t work, there’s always message bondage, I guess. Now Rove has always reminded me of the geeky kid in the old Far Side cartoons who spent a lot of time frying insects with a magnifying glass. But the idea of the Boy Genius orchestrating identical speeches for House Republicans brought back a different memory: Thomas Pynchon’s novel The Crying of Lot 49, in which a character who had taken far too much LSD became obsessed with the idea of getting the whole world to simultaneously say the words: “Rich, Chocolatey Goodness,” after which God would appear or something.

I’ve never been a big fan of the idea that the basic task of political communications is to blot out all nuance and diversity and just hammer voters over the head with something so simple and artfully crafted they’d march to the polls in a state of rhetorical enchantment. But I’d far more likely vote for “rich, chocolatey goodness” than anything emanating from today’s House Republican Caucus.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • jjm on February 15, 2013 2:40 PM:

    The party of the stupid, anyone?

    If they weren't being so viciously destructive on their way down into nothingness, I'd almost feel sorry for the GOP for its sheer lack on intelligence, creativity and just plain smarts.

  • BillFromPA on February 15, 2013 2:48 PM:

    Let's remember that this is the party that believes, has declared, that they were going to 'create our own reality', as opposed to the Reality Based World we libs live in. They actually think that repeating nonsense can make nonsense real, and one has to admit that the stenographers that populate the MSM do nothing to dispel this idea. It's stupid, but too often effective.

  • Josef K on February 15, 2013 2:57 PM:

    Now Rove has always reminded me of the geeky kid in the old Far Side cartoons who spent a lot of time frying insects with a magnifying glass.

    I'm more in mind of the idiot hunter whose corpse was strapped to the hood of his vehicle, while the deer he must have been hunting was in the driver's seat.

    There's also the scene from one of "The Far Side" movies where you hear a telephone ring twice, and a slow pan over to see the phone is ringing, followed by a bird echoing the ring perfectly. What makes the scene creepy is that there's a bloody arm nearby, indicating this is a murder scene but that the police aren't aware yet.

    Appropo, no?

  • martin on February 15, 2013 3:03 PM:

    Hilarity ensuses.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on February 15, 2013 3:03 PM:

    “Rich, Chocolatey Goodness”

    After the lunch item about Mr. Cain signing on as an official Faux News bloviator, I was half-expecting this to be about "Walnut Thunder" or whatever he called himself...

    Just as nutty and departed from reality though, FWIW.

  • hells littlest angel on February 15, 2013 3:15 PM:

    Well, if all the Republicans give a speech on the same topic with the same message at the same time -- with choreographed moves, of course -- I'd watch it. It might even be cool, or at least hip.

  • Peter C on February 15, 2013 3:16 PM:

    These are the people who will start a war so they can be seen as commander and chief and who will blow up the world just to spite the click of popular kids from high school that they couldn't date. They are bad people to choose for government; they want to rule, not govern. What we want the public to think when they see them is "never again!".

  • June on February 15, 2013 3:31 PM:

    Why do I suspect someone on the GOP's branding committee will read Kilgore's post and actually come up with a Party slogan along the lines of, "If we're talking fiscal conservatism, we're talking rich, chocolatey goodness!"

  • JCtx on February 15, 2013 4:07 PM:

    I'd love to be a the person who gets to speak after all of the Republicans have given exactly the same speech and say "I'd like to thank my Republican colleagues for showing us all what original thinkers they are".

  • David Stafford on February 15, 2013 4:23 PM:

    Ed, you made me laugh out loud with your description of Rove....Thank you.....

  • martin on February 15, 2013 4:32 PM:

    This should go over about as well the gang reading of The Constitution (with the parts they didn't like skipped over).

    dingvent corps says Mr Captcha

  • Peter C on February 15, 2013 5:07 PM:

    It isn't Rove or Miller that we need to worry about; it's Frank Luntz. Rove and Miller pull ideas from any handy oriface; Luntz conducts real research and crafts (deceptive and immoral) messages with real resonance. Luntz's messages have no link to reality, but that does not disqualify them in Republican eyes.

  • Doug on February 15, 2013 6:07 PM:

    "I've never been a fan of the idea that the basic task of political communications is to blot out all nuance and just hammer voters over the head with something so simple and artfully crafted they'd march to the polls in a state of rhetorical enchantment." Ed Kilgore

    Perhaps it's only me, but that tactic sounds more like a five-year old, who's hoping the constant whining WILL get the wished-for candy. I rather look forward to administering the electoral equivalent of a swat on the behind...

  • jkl; on February 16, 2013 2:55 PM:

    Flesh Rove is a washed up allegator heading to prevail upon the stinking swampland.
    Rove's stale and bad-smellin'
    He's a covered pot of gelatinous stick.
    Now he wants to be Frank Luntz.