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 November, 2006


 A group of Republicans attacks their fellow Republicans in ads

Will the Republicans Please Stand Up?

By Al Owens
I’m just about ready to join the Republican Party. I’ve seen those brand new television commercials that group The Real Republican Majority for Choice is running across the State of Pennsylvania, and I’m just about ready to join the good ole G.O.P. In case you’re wondering, “What’s gotten into him”? - read me out.

The commercial’s announcer asks, “If the Republican Party is the party Abe Lincoln, Ronald Reagan and Teddy Roosevelt, or a party of a vocal minority of extremists”? I raised my hand as if to answer my third grade history teacher when I heard that part, but I didn’t get called on.

But I listened on with rapt attention, as that announcer talked about how the “real Republicans promote tolerance, not bigotry.” For that part they showed pictures of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Rick Santorum. I guess they’re trying to tell us would-be Republicans that the real Republicans think those people are intolerant and bigoted.

It’s refreshing when I hear a group of Republicans beat up their own. I was ready to take a run for the County Board of Elections, until I found the Real Republican Majority for Choice web site. (http://realRepublicanMajority.org ) I searched for the online version of that spot and took a closer look at it, and now I’m a little conflicted about my new political party of choice. (I love that pun)

First, they’re talking about Abe Lincoln being an example of somebody who wasn’t extreme. I’d say Lincoln may have been among the most extreme politicians of his day. And thank goodness he was. Then they talk about Teddy Roosevelt not being extreme or a bigot. Hum?

I would have thought the Real Republicans would have caught that one before they put those commercials on the air. Wasn’t Teddy Roosevelt the guy who once told an audience back in 1986 that, “The most vicious cowboy has more principal than the average Indian”? He did tell some folks back then that he didn’t believe that the only good Indian was a dead Indian. Just nine out of every ten of them! Oh these Real Republicans sure can pick their role models, can’t they?

Teddy Roosevelt, by the way, wasn’t exactly liberal with his stand on immigration either. The Real Republicans should have taken a peek at his July 4th (of all days), 1917 speech before slapping his picture on one of their commercials that supposedly extol their open-mindedness. "We must have in this country but one flag, and for the speech of the people but one language, the English language.” What a guy. And did I mention he wasn’t even talking about illegal immigration? He was protecting America against the evils of LEGAL immigrants of the time. I’m guessing Teddy wouldn’t rush to become a member of the Real Republican Majority of Choice these days then.

I’m wondering why they didn’t proclaim Gandhi had been a Republican and included him in that ad.

Although I think it has even more problems. When that spot was first completed, it featured Pennsylvanians Arlen Spector and Tom Ridge. They both requested their likenesses not be used in the commercial. Understandable, because neither wanted to have anything to do with a commercial that took verbal shots at their fellow Republicans. In fact, I’m willing to bet that if Ronald Reagan were alive today – even he would asked that his image be removed from it. Especially since he once called his 11th Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican." Ironically, I’d forgotten he’d said that, until I found that quote on the web site of The Real Republican Majority of Choice. Ouch!

The organization says it’s going to run those commercials in Pennsylvania first, then in the Presidential Primary states, of Iowa and New Hampshire. I may be wrong, but it seems The Real Republican Majority for Choice has some major editing to do on those commercials before they hit a wider audience. How ‘bout they remove all of those flimsy examples of tolerance and non-extremism, and just go with Bambi. I’m sure he’ll become a Republican before I will!