As someone who has spent their life around electoral politics I am often amazed at what a freak show the Republican Party has turned into. Just this week we have a top tier candidate talking about Britherism, we have another releasing a campaign video with their own version of the “X-Files” Smoking Man, and we have the man pitching austerity and the end of Medicaid making a speech bemoaning the Presidents non-existent austerity plan.
It is not just the candidates or elected officials either; the Republican base has booed a gay service member, cheered the number of executions (including at least one where there was strong evidence that the man had not committed the crime) and cheered the idea of letting someone die if they did not have health insurance.
This situation has become so bad that in the last 24 hours Establishment Republicans like Pat Robertson and Jeb Bush have come out to criticize the actions of and words of those vying for their party’s nomination.
It is not like the “sane” choice is a whole lot better. After all Mitt Romney is so craven that when he goes to a phone bank making calls in support of Ohio Gov. Kasich’s union-busting bill he can’t even say out loud that he supports that effort. While he is at a phone bank for the effort!
The question that is keeping me up at night though is, can a freak show like this win?
It shouldn’t be able to. However I worry that the American voting public is so twisted around about what reality is that they very well might vote someone from this goat-rodeo into office. After all, they were willing to vote the Republicans into the majority in the House, even though there was exactly no indication that they would do the kind of things that would get the economy going.
The fact that they have introduced nearly 1,000 bills on such vital issues as abortion, tax breaks for the wealthy and repealing regulations that were put in place in response to the economic melt down yet have not proposed nor voted on a single jobs bill in the House seems to be completely missed.
Normally this kind of thing would preclude any party from having a chance in hell of winning but these are not normal times. There is a huge amount of money from folks like the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove and others that will pour like a raging river into this election cycle.
There is virtually no standard for telling the truth in the ads this money will buy. But it is not just the ads. There are also the willing minions at places like Fox “News” and on Talk Radio that have even lower standards and are well versed at just making up anything they want in order to slime their ideological opponents.
Even though this is known, it is protected by the idea that both sides do it. When we on the Left point out that insanity and freakishness of the Republicans, it is just shrugged off as tit-for-tat mud slinging.
I have gone back and forth on how to get around this problem and I think that there is nothing for it but to keep going. If we don’t challenge the insanity of their policy, if we don’t point out the very real weakness of their candidates, then we have agreed that they are viable and acceptable.
The good news, such as it is, is that the public is fed up with Congress. The thing that can save this is to make sure that we hang the problems of the nation on around the necks of the ridiculous Republicans; after all it is their fault.
So here is to the freak show, we’ll be talking about it and showing it to the world for the next 13 months.
The floor is yours.