Steve Benen at Maddow Blow noted a really telling anecdote over at the New York Times about Obama’s GOP outreach. Four months ago, the president invited five GOP congressional leaders to a secret screening of Lincoln with some of the stars of the film. All five people declined.
As Benen notes, “Are we to believe that all five—invited in secret so they wouldn’t have to take heat from Fox or the GOP base—were all washing their hair that night?” He thinks the GOP is just being unreasonable, but I think there is something more profound going on here. The modern Republican Party (as I’ve said again and again) is a revolutionary party. They are not the loyal opposition. They are the disloyal opposition. They do not think that the Democratic Party is legitimate.
So these Republicans refusing to go to the White House is all about snubbing him. The fact that the president is offering fine food, entertainment, and Tommy Lee Jones makes the event all the more repellent. It highlights the fact that Barack Obama really is the President of the United States. He really does have the power to screen films with movie stars. And most of all: it highlights the fact that the Republican Party in its current form is going through its death throes. Think: the Federalist Party in 1805. And that is the point: the Republicans do not want to think of the Federalist Party in 1805, even though the party staggered along until 1829.
I can’t exactly say, “It’s been good to know ya.” But I am eager to say, “So long!”
I have no idea if Tommy Lee Jones was there or not.