Jon Huntsman and the Grand Old Communist Party


Puts the party in Grand Old Party. (David Goldman/AP)

“This is what they do in China on party matters if you talk off script,” said Huntsman, according to Buzzfeed.

Yup. This is exactly what happens in China. Since Mao first came to power, millions of people have been disinvited from fundraisers. Sometimes with tanks.

Maybe Allen West was right after all. The Congressional Progressive Caucus is just a red herring. Maybe there are 78 to 81 card-carrying communists in Congress — on his side of the aisle.

There’s a shared fondness for the color red. An enjoyment of parades. Fond memories of Nixon. Now, they are trying to paint the country red so that we can ready ourselves for the Great Leap Forward. I’m not sure what it will entail, but I bet Romney will be there, and his hair will look fantastic.

Beneath the GOP’s avowed aversion to breadlines and desire to denounce China as a currency manipulator, lies a fundamental kinship. Once you feel compelled to march around blasting patriotic songs and dress heavily in red, something has to give.

Or perhaps not.

Maybe this just tells you that Huntsman has always been imagining bizarre things about the Republican Party — for instance, that he might be a viable candidate. The only person who thought his campaign was a good idea was John Weaver, who made bucketloads from it, most of them above the table. Sure, Huntsman made sense in theory. Great hair, a cheeky Twitter presence, photogenic daughters. He was exactly the sort of Republican candidate that Hollywood might make up. But you know how actual Republican voters feel about those Hollywood types.

Looks like he might be on his way to leaving this party. It’s no fun, he seems to say. He and his hip offspring could get invited to any party they darn well please. Why are they still hanging around here? The dip is gone. Or maybe there are too many dips. Whatever the reason, best to get out while you still can.

I tried to reach Huntsman for comment, but he appeared to be unexpectedly farming somewhere, and several of the party members I spoke with claimed he had never existed in the first place. And maybe he didn’t.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".

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