Politics is a messaging game. It's all about communicating your ideas to the people and then promoting your successes so they keep you in office. What to do then if you are flat out of ideas and largely out of office? You target the competition and try to make their ideas look silly while proposing utterly unworkable "solutions." We've seen it a lot lately with everyone from Bobby Jindal mocking as fantasy what is in reality high-tech mass transit (high-speed levitation trains) and the minority leadership proposing economic suicide by freezing federal funding during our deepest and soon-to-be longest recession in post-war history.
So, what's behind this weirdness? In a surprisingly candid memo Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C. lays it out:
"We will lose on legislation. But we will win the message war every day, and every week, until November 2010...Our goal is to bring down approval numbers for [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and for House Democrats. That will take repetition. This is a marathon, not a sprint."
There you have it. The GOP doesn't have any ideas so they're going to focus on derailing the Democrats and driving down their approval rating. Is that what anyone wants from an opposition party?