Posted by: mutantpoodle | February 10, 2009

Lost in Space

It has been nagging me for days – the sense that there is a pop culture reference that perfectly encapsulates today’s Republican party (at least the party members who aren’t Governor of Florida). And then it hit me – the TV show Lost in Space.

After all, congressional Republicans are, in fact, lost in an ideological vacuum where reducing tax rates will be stimulative even if there’s no income against which to apply those reductions; where a job isn’t a job if, somehow, the money originated from the government in the first place (take that, you non-working soldiers, sailors, and pilots!); and where your opponents aren’t being bipartisan if they don’t acquiesce to your most deranged economic theories.Beyond that, the Republicans have their very own role model from that series.Dr. Zachary Smith.

Smith, for those of you not aficionados of the old CBS series, is directly responsible for the Jupiter II being lost: he programs the Robot to destroy the ship 8 hours after launch (see about 4 1/2 minutes in to the pilot above). Unfortunately for him, he, too, becomes trapped on the ship he has set adrift, and notwithstanding his role in their predicament, Smith continues to provide bad advice and ignore sound warnings, continually endangering his shipmates and unintentionally sabotaging each hope they have of returning to Earth.

Oh, and despite his obnoxious bluster and dismissive attitude towards nearly everyone around him, he is,at his core, a desperate coward.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Furthermore, the rest of the cast has come forward with us, as well. Major Don West, who would leave Smith behind at the first opportunity, is today’s progressive blogosphere; Will Robinson, the youngest son and Smith’s only friend (and constant apologist), is Joe Lieberman, and Maureen Robinson, who repeatedly convinces her husband to forgive Dr. Smith and keep him around, is today’s Democratic Party.

My sense is that Barack Obama has found a workable middle ground in his dealings with Republicans. Last night, he was theoretically conciliatory towards them while being devastatingly harsh about some of their economic track record. He hasn’t forgotten, in other words, that we are where we are, in large part, due to their actions, and is treating their suggestions accordingly.

Because here’s the thing: the Robinsons tolerated Smith’s craziness, and never made it back to Earth.

[Lost in Space pilot here.]


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