Did you ever have a crazy relative - an Aunt Mabel from Tupelo or an Uncle Archie from Queens - who made you cringe whenever he or she would open their mouth? When they came to visit you would live in fear that a friend or classmate would drop in and overhear some racist or inappropriate comment your relative would make, and then everyone would know the secret that your family is really crazy. That's how I feel about the Republican Party.
The GOP debates make me cringe. I fully expect that Mitt Romney will make some stupid remark about "American Exceptionalism", that Rick Perry or Michelle Bachman will espouse their Christo-Fascist worldview, that Herman Cain will display his total ignorance about everything, and that Newt will make a total ass of himself with his bombast. I just wish the rest of the world wasn't watching as well, for the GOP performance this election cycle diminishes our nation in the eyes of the world.
My worst fears have been realized bythis latest piece in the German weekly Der Spiegel.
The article is titled appropriately "A Club of Liars, Demagogues and Ignoramuses".
Africa is a country. In Libya, the Taliban reigns. Muslims are terrorists; most immigrants are criminal; all Occupy protesters are dirty. And women who feel sexually harassed -- well, they shouldn't make such a big deal about it.It's bad enough that they are an embarrassment to any thinking Republican - if there are any left in the party. But these individuals are competing for the most powerful job on the planet. What does it say about America?
Welcome to the wonderful world of the US Republicans. Or rather, to the twisted world of what they call their presidential campaigns. For months now, they've been traipsing around the country with their traveling circus, from one debate to the next, one scandal to another, putting themselves forward for what's still the most powerful job in the world.
It's true that on the road to the White House all sorts of things can happen, and usually do. No campaign can avoid its share of slip-ups, blunders and embarrassments. Yet this time around, it's just not that funny anymore. In fact, it's utterly horrifying.Der Spiegel is especially harsh in its critique of Newt - and of the US media's disgraceful failure in covering the former Speaker:
It's horrifying because these eight so-called, would-be candidates are eagerly ruining not only their own reputations and that of their party, the party of Lincoln lore. Worse: They're ruining the reputation of the United States.
Then there's Newt Gingrich, the current favorite. He's a political dinosaur, dishonored and discredited. Or so we thought. Yet just because he studied history and speaks in more complex sentences than his rivals, the US media now reflexively hails him as a "Man of Ideas" (The Washington Post) -- even though most of these ideas are lousy if not downright offensive, such as firing unionized school janitors, so poor children could do their jobs.The world is shaking its head in amazement. What happened to a once great nation that a charlatan like Newt would be taken seriously as a "Leader of the Free World"?
Pompous and blustering, Gingrich gets away with this humdinger as well as with selling himself as a Washington outsider -- despite having made millions of dollars as a lobbyist in Washington. At least the man's got chutzpah. [,,,]
Yet the US media rewards him with a daily kowtow. And the Republicans reward him too, by having put him on top in the latest polls. Mr. Hypocrisy, the bearer of his party's hope.