I have spent a number of years complaining about the interactions between Democrats and Republicans, but after the recent events involving the Keystone XL and civil liberties cave-ins, I've decided it's time to stop complaining and embrace the madness.
I also feel like there's an ugly edge to all this that hasn't really been fully exploited.
I mean, Republicans have tried to force through a lot of disgusting ideas this Congress as they've held various bills hostage, but it seems like if they really tried, they could do so much more.
But I'm not here to complain, I'm here to help; that's why today we'll be trotting out a few ideas of our own that Republicans can attach to bills throughout 2012, with the assistance of certain errant Democrats.
It'll be fun, it'll be festive, but most of all, it'll be an exercise in civic responsibility, and in these difficult times, that's some thing we could sorely use.
1) Above all, the needs of the army need to be taken into consideration. For instance, it will scarcely be possible to avoid, here and there, leaving behind some trade Jews who are absolutely essential for the provisioning of the troops, for lack of other possibilities. But in each case the proper Aryanization of these enterprises is to be planned and the move of the Jews to be completed in due course, in cooperation with the competent local German administrative authorities.
--From a planning document written in 1939 by Reinhard Heydrich, as reported in the book "Documents of the Holocaust", edited by Yitzhak Arad, Israel Gutman, and Abraham Margaliot
So let's start with the economy: the Census Bureau tells us that nearly half the population is now poor or near-poor, and something needs to be done. With that in mind, I'd propose the "Economic Freedom and Upward Mobility Act" (HR 4377), which would establish a series of military catapult sites along the US border where carefully selected poor folks would be given, literally, economic freedom and upward mobility, even as we instantly reduce the number of impoverished persons in the United States.
Civil rights are important, but not at any cost; that's why the "Election Cost Control Act" (HR OU812) would allow states to empower local officials to preselect winners in various elections, saving the taxpayer the time and expense of having to count the votes for all those losing candidates.
Messaging matters, and there's no reason Republicans have to be the bearers of all the bad news: Mississippi Congressman Hatesem Lotsabunch confirmed to me in a phone call yesterday that he will take my suggestion and introduce the "Voter Education Act", which would require President Obama to wear a giant red, white, and blue dog whistle on a thick silver chain every time he appears in public between the date of passage and November of 2012. (For the record, I actually suggested a gold chain; he thought that was a bit "uppity".)
We have a serious immigration problem, but I think we can take a page from the Newt Gingrich playbook and introduce the "Guest Worker Protection and Identification Act" (GWIPA).
Here's the idea: Gingrich has proposed creating a class of persons ("worker residents"?) who are allowed to live and work in the USA, but are never going to be allowed to have US citizenship. The problem is that it will be impossible to quickly tell who is a legal worker resident and who isn't. Under GWIPA, government-issued armbands would be provided for all legal worker residents to hold their photo ID; as long as they always wear the armband, they'll be protected from having to show papers to law enforcement officials as they go about their daily business.
Governors as diverse as Rick Perry, Jan Brewer, and Robert Bentley have demanded that the federal government finally get serious about "securing the border"; the "Nuclear Assault Mine/Border Legislation Act" (NAM/BLA) is my "if you're crazy enough to support Rick Santorum, why not this?" proposal to make that happen. The new law would order the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense to work together to develop, manufacture, and deploy small "assault-sized" nuclear land mines along the Mexican border as a way to deter illegal immigration.
"Well you look perfectly idiotic in those clothes!"
"These aren't my clothes!"
"Well, where are your clothes?"
"I've lost my clothes!"
"Well, why are you wearing these clothes?"
"Because I just went gay all of a sudden!"
--Cary Grant, as David Huxley, from the 1938 movie "Bringing Up Baby"
Finally, let's take a moment and consider one of the vital social issues of the day.
It is apparently still possible to lock down some GOP votes by going "hard negative" on the LBGT community, if what I'm hearing from the candidates is to be believed (I was particularly struck by Mitt Romney's ability to twist on this issue: in the last GOP debate, in one single sentence, Romney said he felt there should be no discrimination against the LBGT community, but that there should be no same-sex marriages.), and I have a proposal that allows the GOP to appear to be moving to a better place while ensuring that nothing ever changes at all.
The "Mitt Romney Legal Access Beyond Intimidation Act" (MRLABIA) would do two things: it would repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act - and, in the Mitt Romney tradition, it would also add a new provision into law that prevents same-sex couples from entering into contracts for the purposes of marriage, thus ensuring "a perfect flip-flop, every time", as they might say on an infomercial somewhere.
So there you go: instead of relying on the usual "poison pills", I'm challenging the GOP to try out a few of these ideas - and I'm also challenging much of the American media to try and tell the difference between some of these ideas and the present reality; just at the moment that won't be easy, and, all humor aside, I think that might actually be the saddest part of this whole exercise.