The GOP needs a Colin-cleansing

As Jack Nicholson's "Joker" said in the movie Batman, "This town needs an enema!" So does the Republican Party. Previous tests have proven that the GOP has some, shall we say "matter," in there that's poisoning the system. The party won't win back the White House and Congress without undergoing what could be an uncomfortable purification process.

There's a terrific temptation to become bogged down in pointing fingers at where an Obama presidency will lead this nation, and it's hard to blame people for doing so. I mean, The Messiah hasn't even taken office yet and it already feels like we've seen the makings of enough scandals and accusations ("Walk-on-Water Gate," the birth certificate thing, etc.) to get us midway through Obama's second term, but Republicans have to accept some responsibility for this. Obama didn't win-Republicans lost, and bad.

November's election was a clear indication that the Republican Party is broken. How should it be fixed? Colin Powell examined the party's problems and concluded that the party is too polarized, shouts at everybody and listens to Rush Limbaugh too much.

Powell's sentiment was of course gleefully reported by the media, but unfortunately it's also shared by other so-called "Republicans." Last month, Democrat Morton Kondracke agreed, in a column entitled "GOP: Fire Rush Limbaugh." Other Republicans have been suckered into either taking the "Fairness Doctrine" bait, or encouraged to place it.

This view should be disregarded because the accusation itself is completely baseless. If Limbaugh, Hannity and Ingraham set the GOP agenda, I assure you that John McCain would not have been the party's nominee. Conservative talk radio greeted the nomination of McCain with all the enthusiasm of Michael Moore at a salad bar. The problem with the Republican Party leadership was and is that they don't listen to the base in the first place!

The view of Powell, Kondracke or even Buckley, Jr. and many others isn't a misconception, but rather the byproduct of a deception. This is a bogus seed that the left, and willing or unwitting dupes on the right, plant among Republicans so liberals can implement a version of their coveted Fairness Doctrine without the rest of us complaining too loudly.

It's no accident that the names of Limbaugh and other talk radio biggies keep surfacing as part of "what's wrong with the Republican Party."

Here's part of the strategy: By brainwashing everybody into believing that Rush Limbaugh cost the GOP the White House and congressional control, Democrats hope to make Republicans believe that a Fairness Doctrine would actually save the Republican Party. Wow, those Democrats sure are nice!

Sure, there's nothing anybody can do about Democrats who insist on calling themselves "Republicans," but we can recognize those people and relegate their "advice" to the ash heap of useless information, which is exactly where Colin Powell's "advice" belongs.

That Republicans might implement the suggested agendas of Limbaugh, Hannity and Ingraham are exactly what Democrats fear-or else they wouldn't be so preoccupied with trying to put an iron boot over the throat of free speech. All I ask is that Powell, Kondracke and any number of other "Republicans" don't offer to tie their laces for them. I don't think that's too much to ask.

If "right wing talk radio" was increasingly responsible for devastating Republican losses, the Democrats would be trying to figure out how to get Rush more air time, not less.

The crux of Colin Powell's advice to the GOP is this: The Republican tent needs to be bigger and the party should be more inclusive. A bigger tent? Criminy - the Republican Party's tent was big enough to cover a black man who endorsed and voted for a liberal Democrat, and the tent should be bigger? Sounds to me like the GOP has been too inclusive. When your tent is so big that it shelters shills for the opposition, it needs to shrink a little.