They see dead people.
The conservatives see one dead person in particular, a former New Deal Democrat known as Ronald Reagan, and another you may have heard of in the Bible.
The conservatives see salvation in a dead person because the movement barely has a pulse. Need an example? Consider the fate of poor Fred Thompson, a towering cipher who manages to be both Lincolnesque and Reaganesque in his lazy candidacy for the Republican nomination: Lincolnesque because he’s on the homely side; Reaganesque because he’s a actor. Grant him this: the last role I saw Fred Thompson play was Ulysses S. Grant.
Fred Thompson plays dead people. For a living.
It gets worse for Fred Thompson when it comes to playing dead. His law firm represented a pro-choice group in a choice he completely disavows. (Pro-choice groups don’t see dead people.) And this week he told the world–cut to the chase–that good ole Fred don’t get himself to church all that much. Just when he’s visiting his mother in Tennessee.
Of course, if you’re a Republican who bows to the Christian Right you see dead people all the time: chances are you have seen Jesus in the flesh at least once if you have accepted Him as your personal (or political) savior. Jesus, after all, is also a dead person, a man who presumably walked the earth precisely because he was God…and/or the Son thereof.
Ronald Reagan and Jesus have this in common: they are both saviors and they are both dead.
Conservatives see dead people because the life has gone right out of them. Look at the Presidential candidates. Mitt Romney is a Massachusetts liberal trying to make Republicans see him as a can-do conservative who doesn’t exactly believe Jesus once walked across these United States. Rudy Guiliani is a serial horndogger who doesn’t want people to know he married a cousin first and then publicly humiliated his second wife. John McCain is an independent thinker who doesn’t know what he thinks any more.
And did I mention that Ronald Reagan is dead.
Even the way the Great Communicator died caused the Grand Old Party a world of embarassment, given that Nancy Reagan was left to beg for stem cell research that could help those in the same quandry as her late husband, who suffered from Alzheimer’s. As he lay dying, Ronald Reagan could have hoped for a New Deal from Republicans, or at least a better one. But now that he’s dead, things are better than ever for the conservatives.
They see dead people. Maybe they might see a party dead on arrival if they just looked in the mirror.