“Sixteen months before the election, some candidates are becoming too unhinged to be plausible as conservative presidents.” — George Will
by Tom Maertens
Special to the Mankato Free Press
Posted: Tuesday, September 1, 2015 6:00 am
The Republican National Committee’s post mortem on the 2012 election concluded that Republicans needed to be more moderate if they wanted to retake the White House, including more inclusive of women, more tolerant on gay rights and more supportive of immigration reform.
Easier said than done. The 1960s civil rights legislation and Nixon’s racist “southern strategy” chased most of the yahoos and rednecks from the Democratic party into the GOP, where they formed its Tea Party base. GOP politicians constantly pander to them with inflammatory stories about that black Kenyan Muslim socialist dictator in the White House and reflexively oppose his policies.
Just how deranged is today’s Republican Party? Ben Carson labeled Obamacare “the worst thing since slavery,” and called America “very much like Nazi Germany.”
Iowa Rep. Steve King has repeatedly stated that the U.S. Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling now means "you can marry my lawnmower."
More ominously, Scott Walker announced that he might bomb Iran on his first day in the Oval Office. His foreign policy advisor, Kevin Hermening, previously advocated nuclear strikes against five Muslim-majority countries, according to various media reports including those in The Intercept and The Weekly Standard.
Ted Cruz has called the Obama administration “the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism.” Cruz supports a constitutional amendment that bans contraception and has asserted that “There is no place for gays or atheists in my America. None. Our Constitution makes that clear.” He obviously hasn’t read the Constitution; ditto Rick Santorum, who contends that separation of church and state is a communist idea, not an American one.
Bobby Jindal has proposed disbanding the Supreme Court because of its gay marriage ruling. He also threatened that, if elected, he would sic the IRS — a symbol of government oppression to Republicans — on Planned Parenthood.
Rand Paul claims to be a libertarian, but libertarianism apparently doesn’t apply to women’s freedom to choose: he has joined the right-wing jihad against Planned Parenthood based on deceptively edited videos.
Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee and Scott Walker all think rape and incest victims who become pregnant should be forced to give birth. (Polls show that 83 percent of Americans believe otherwise.)
Mike Huckabee has asserted that the Supreme Court can't overrule God, and since Huckabee hears voices, he thinks God is telling him U.S. troops can be used to prevent women from getting abortions, even though the procedure is legal in the U.S.
Ben Carson is another vocal anti-abortionist, except that he participated in a research project using aborted fetuses in 1992, according to CNN and the Washington Post.
Rick Perry thinks the solution to recent theater shootings is to arm everyone, raising the prospect of vigilantes and cowboy wannabes blazing away in dark crowded movie theaters.
The schizophrenic states’ rights advocate and small government proponent Chris Christie has declared in town hall meetings and on Fox News that he would overturn state marijuana legalization laws in Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska and use the federal government to deal with “diseased” marijuana users.
Carly Fiorina asserted that "liberal environmentalists” caused California’s drought, reflecting the usual Republican hostility toward clean air and water regulations.
Jeb Bush has blamed Hillary Clinton for the Middle East mess while simultaneously declaring that his disaster-prone brother, George, is his principal advisor on Middle East issues. And Jeb is the smart one? He also wants to “phase out” Medicare.
Donald Trump, the one with the narcissistic personality disorder, has characterized his critics and competitors as “losers,” “total losers,” “haters,” “dumb,” “idiots,” “morons,” “stupid,” “dummy” and “disgusting,” striking a chord, the Washington Post suggested, with voters’ contempt for the Republican establishment, a group that Matt Taibbi characterized in Rolling Stone as “filterless half-wits, scam artists and asylum Napoleons.”
Former Bush Treasury official Bruce Bartlett characterized that establishment as “filled with people who are crazy, and stupid, and have absolutely no idea of what they are taking about.”
Thomas Friedman, writing in The New York Times, agreed: “the base of the [Republican] party and so many of its billionaire donors reflect the angry anti-science, anti-tax, anti-government, anti-minorities, anti-gay rights and anti-immigration views of the Tea Party and its media enforcer, Fox News."
Even conservative columnist George Will agreed: “Sixteen months before the election, some candidates are becoming too unhinged to be plausible as conservative presidents.”