During a recent visit to Summit Mall, the sprawling retail center in Fairlawn, I heard a small boy shriek as he looked up in awe to a store window featuring several headless manikins:
“They don’t got no heads!!!”
No heads, indeed.
You could only wonder how he might have reacted during a visit to the Republican-controlled Ohio legislature where a lot of denizens (hardly fashion humanikins) strut around ceremoniously every day with nothing attached to their necks. Reinforcing their party’s bizarre higher echelon on Capitol Hill, the Buckeye version of rusticated politics is seriously dedicated to subverting the GOP’s stage persona of trying to win new friends with ideas that only have the opposite effect.
President Calvin Coolidge, in a snarky mood, once huffed about Sen. William Borah , a maverick Republican from Idaho and a daily horseback rider: “It’s hard to imagine Borah going in the same direction as his horse.”
Today, much of what I’ve seen of the Republican lawmakers in Columbus and Washington is that whatever the consequence they’re all in fact riding in the same direction despite their uncooperative horses – heedless of public opinion that has sent Congress to its scandalously low public approval rating.
Whether it be Medicaid, background gun checks, Planned Parenthood, labor unions, minorities or a host of other issues, they have revived the scary headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow, hanging on for dear life to sustain a spooky ideology that has cost them two presidential elections.
(My favorite quote from the last election was uttered by the Republican whiner-in chief, John Boehner, who lamented to a luncheon group in Tampa that he didn’t think his party could win Latinos and blacks, so he hoped that they would apathetically stay home and not vote at all. I’m not sure you can call that a valid political strategy. And, by the way, they didn’t stay home.)
Guys like Boehner and Sen. Rob Portman ought to be from Utah or Idaho, where they would be a perfect fit for the Red State political landscape. Unfortunately, Ohio must bear the national image of not only being the home of presidents but also the home of GOP naifs who have turned the legislature into their very own assembly of headless manikins.