Republicans Want Some Change They Can Believe In, Too

The Republicans are starting to tweet about change, Obama's got free pens and something he'd like you to ignore and Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" has officially taken over the world.

While some members of the GOP are running around spreading good cheer to other Republicans through the dissemination of that seminal musical work "Barack the Magic Negro" — Saltsman's dropped out of the race to helm the GOP, by the way — or voting against everything Barack Obama wants passed because Nancy Pelosi isn't nice enough to them, others are actually trying to figure out ways to help the party stop hemorrhaging voters and power. What's surprising is that one of those people in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, not exactly the brightest bulb on the GE sign (Schenectady, represent!), who noticed that maybe being the party of white people who like guns, hate immigrants and are all Up With Jesus isn't the best strategy for wielding power in the future.

"We’re all concerned about the fact that the very wealthy and the very poor, the most and least educated, and a majority of minority voters, seem to have more or less stopped paying attention to us,” McConnell said in a speech at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting. “And we should be concerned that, as a result of all this, the Republican Party seems to be slipping into a position of being more of a regional party than a national one.” In stark terms, the Kentucky Republican added: “In politics, there’s a name for a regional party: It’s called a minority party. ... As Republicans, we know that common-sense conservative principles aren’t regional. But I think we have to admit that our sales job has been. And in my view, that needs to change” .

See, they aren't all stupid, which I think pretty much means that McConnell might not be the biggest fan of incumbent Republican National Committee chair Mike Duncan, who is running for reelection but denies that the GOP has had a problem harnessing technology to make its point.

"I do not Twitter," replied Mr. Duncan, who explained that he doesn't like to be distracted by Twitter while talking to people. Many like to use the tool during conferences or other events. "But we have the capability here in the building — a lot of the guys here do it." He added that he does carry two BlackBerrys and enjoys using a Kindle, the handheld device for downloading digital books.

So you heard it here first. The Kindle will save the GOP.

Things that probably aren't helping the GOP right now, though, include the news of how much the financial services industry paid out in bonuses last year once they got their mitts on your bailout money ($18 billion, since you asked) or the fact that they're all bitchy about the passage of the children's health insurance bill because it doesn't make the children of PERFECTLY LEGAL IMMIGRANTS wait 5 years for health coverage. You know, because people immigrate to the U.S. for our stellar health care system. But, shh, don't worry too much about that, the Blago show continued apace with his impeachment yesterday and Caroline Kennedy might appear on Saturday Night Live and the GOP would far rather you pay attention to that.

Obama, on the other hand, might rather you pay attention to those two things while he works out some kinks in the relationship between Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Joe Biden, who've had kind of a disagreement about Chinese currency manipulation and little Timmy found out that the whole rumor that this VP won't have that much power is kind of completely untrue. China's probably manipulating their currency, though, but I think the plan is for Hillary Clinton to have just a tetch more control over China policy, being as she's the Secretary of State, than Condi did when the Chinese people's BFF Hank Paulson was over at Treasury. Just a guess.

Oh, and the woman who called Hillary Clinton "a monster" won't be headed to the State Department (big surprise) but she will be headed to the White House, as Samantha Power will be taking a job with the National Security Council. He'd probably prefer a few people not notice that, too.

Elsewhere in China policy, House Adminstration Committee Chair Bob Brady has told the Capitol Visitor's Center to stop selling Capitol tchotchkes made in China and start sourcing from American tchotchke manufacturers, what with the recession here and the loss of manufacturing jobs and the fact that demand for tchotchkes is probably inelastic so visitors probably will pay $1 more for their paperweight and like it just as much.

Anyway, for all the Change that is supposedly coming, one thing that has not and apparently will never change is the fact that "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" has become the song that will be inextricably linked with (one hopes only) the first 100 days of the Obama Administration. I cannot escape it and, thus, you will not either. Don't resist, it'll hurt less if you don't.