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Ripples of alarm are making their way through members of the Republican base now that Gov. Mitt Romney has become the presumptive GOP nominee for president.

But I would like to encourage the base to think positive. I want to help them see it’s found the person they've been looking for all their life.

Ripples of alarm are making their way through members of the Republican base now that Gov. Mitt Romney has become the presumptive GOP nominee for president.

They are concerned about Romney’s inability to cohere to a set of principled political beliefs for longer than it takes to drive across the country with a dog strapped to the roof.

They are concerned about their own cognitive dissonance as they face the choice between the non-mainstream, perhaps even non-Christian religious views of Barack ‘Hussein’ Obama, and the non-mainstream, perhaps even non-Christian religious views of Willard ‘Mitt’ Romney.

They are concerned for the future of the GOP, as it wakes up from its Tea-Party binge sporting one helluva hangover and a tricorn hat. It scratches its head blearily at the primary results, and wonders, “How can this New England chameleon possibly be a good fit for us?

But I would like to encourage the base to think positive.  I want to help them see it’s found the person they've been looking for all their life.

After all, Romney’s gift of adopting a bedrock political principle du jour is one that the Republican Party has spent the last half of its existence perfecting. The governor is simply the low hanging fruit of decades of hard work, a squishy reward for the party of political pivot. He is an etch-a-sketch candidate worthy of an etch-a-sketch party.

Let’s review the bidding:

Perhaps the single greatest pivot is away from the party of Lincoln to the party of the Southern Strategy. This stunning reversal is one for the record books (and for the dust heap of history, but that’s a different post).

But there are other examples of the Republican Party’s inability to stick to one script.

What with the hue and cry over the questions of Obama’s eligibility to be president of the United States, one would think this issue had always been of primary importance for the GOP.

It turns out that the minutiae of long-form birth certificates, the distinctions between jus soli and jus sanguinis, and the relevance of the 14th Amendment have not always fascinated the GOP. Evidently, these requirements of citizenship were not always so closely, um, scrutinized.

Take for example, Chester Arthur (please). At the time of his presidency, the Republican Party was not so keen to shake the limbs of their candidate’s family tree. They were somehow able to accept the fact that Arthur’s father was not American (Irish, in fact). Modern Republicans were equally sanguinis about presidential candidate John McCain (Born: Panama). Oh, and wasn’t Governor Romney's father (George) born in Mexico? You can imagine the ruckus raised by the GOP over this bit of birth trivia during his presidential campaign (...crickets...).

The easy-going legal consensus accepted by the GOP when it comes to their own candidates is that if a child was born to a citizen parent, than the child was also a citizen, regardless of where it was born (this is also the legislative consensus). According to this logic, even if President Obama somehow managed to retroactively dupe the entire population of Hawaii (including the hospital, secretary of state, and the newspapers) into thinking that he was born there, it doesn’t matter, because regardless of where he was born, there is no disagreement with the fact that he was born to a citizen mother. (Note to birthers: Let it go.)

In the 60’s, the elephant circus carnival hall of mirrors revealed visionary conservative stalwart Barry Goldwater’s wife Peggy, founding member of Planned Parenthood, celebrating the FDA’s approval of an oral contraceptive, and within five years, 4 out of 5 women had used The Pill.

But it wasn’t just the Goldwaters who supported Planned Parenthood. Bush patriarch Prescott served as treasurer of the board. Richard Nixon signed the legislation funding it. The Romneys were supporters, before they were involved in politics.

Today, requiring insurance coverage of even medically needful contraceptives like the pill has become a lightning rod for who see such coverage as a state-directed elimination of religious freedom. Texas Governor and former presidential candidate Rick Perry has cut off his nose to spite his hair by refusing any aid from the federal government tied to Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that 2008, contraceptive services offered by clinics supported by Title X Funding prevented 45,900 unintended pregnancies, which would have resulted in 20,400 unwated births and 19,200 abortions, saving the state more than  $161,738,000.

The Arizona legislature, not be outdone, has brought to the floor bills that would allow employers to check their employees’ medical records to ensure that birth control pills were not being used inappropriately. These bills haven’t been passed. Yet.

In the 70’s, the republicans left the nation in shambles, a crumbling, disgraced presidency, a corrupt, out-of control vice president, record deficits, rampant unemployment and inflation, our international reputation in tatters over our unprovoked war in a small nation a long ways away. But then, from 2000-2008, the GOP did...exactly the same thing. I guess I was wrong about them. They can be constant about some things.

In the 80’s, known Marxist puppet Ronald Reagan suggested that CEO Pay be taxed at a higher rate than a secretary’s. Evidently, when Reagan sings this tune, it’s the Prosperity Gospel, but when Obama sings it, it’s Die Internationale.

In the 90’s, fifth column socialists, under the name of The Heritage Foundation, first suggested the idea of a national health care mandate  -- and then in 00’s, Mitt Romney implemented it in Massachusetts.

But now it’s the most socialist/fascist (note to republicans: these are competing ideologies) piece of legislation ever Shoved Down Our ThroatsTM.

Is it me, or does it seem like the Republican Party is just making it up as they go along? Etch-a-sketch as a metaphor doesn’t quite do the party’s remarkable flexibility justice.

I’m thinking something more along the lines of silly-putty.

Originally posted to PanhandlePastor on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Mitt is perfect to follow the plan of RW sainted (14+ / 0-)

    philosopher Leo Strauss.  Link to article

    Strauss’s teaching incorporated much of Machiavelli’s. Significantly, his philosophy is unfriendly to democracy—even antagonistic. At the same time Strauss upheld the necessity for a national religion not because he favored religious practices, but because religion in his view is necessary in order to control the population. Since neo-conservatives influenced by Strauss are in control of the Bush administration, I have prepared a brief list that shows the radical unchristian basis of neo-conservatism. I am indebted to Shadia Drury’s book (Leo Strauss and the American Right) and published interviews for the following:

    First: Strauss believed that a leader had to perpetually deceive the citizens he ruled.

    Secondly: Those who lead must understand there is no morality, there is only the right of the superior to rule the inferior.

    Thirdly: According to Drury, Religion “is the glue that holds society together.” It is a handle by which the ruler can manipulate the masses. Any religion will do. Strauss is indifferent to them all.

    Fourthly: “Secular society…is the worst possible thing,” because it leads to individualism, liberalism, and relativism, all of which encourage dissent and rebellion. As Drury sums it up: “You want a crowd that you can manipulate like putty.'

    Fifthly: “Strauss thinks that a political order can be stable only if it is united by an external threat; and following Machiavelli, he maintains that if no external threat exists, then one has to be manufactured.”

    Sixthly: “In Strauss’s view, the trouble with liberal society is that it dispenses with noble lies and pious frauds. It tries to found society on secular rational foundations.”

    Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

    by J Edward on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:54:47 PM PDT

    •  Religion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Wasn't it Stalin (he of the Communist bent) who said "Religion is the opiate of the masses."

      I guess that saying is true: he who ignores history is condemned to repeat it.

      Since the Repubs don't believe in history or science or anything else that education might enlighten us about, religion seems to be the only cudgel they have against the rest of us.

      I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

      by woolibaar on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:02:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um, no (0+ / 0-)

        It was Marx, IIRC in the Communist Manifesto, and the meaning is not that the upper classes drugged the people but that the people were so miserable that they themselves contrived drugs to dull the pain. He called religion "the heart of a heartless world."

        "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

        by sagesource on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 11:10:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You really need to read more of Machiavelli.... (0+ / 0-)

      ....than just The Prince, or pop versions of The Prince. The Discourses on Titus Livy represent his thought far better, and show him, for instance, affirming that civil disorder, even rioting, could play a positive role in securing stability and progress for the state. Machiavelli as a fan of the Occupy movement may be hard for you to accept, but one can make a case for it.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 11:08:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mine Ferer I con WOK (9+ / 0-)

    Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

    by JML9999 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 07:58:05 PM PDT

  •  They should jump aboard (3+ / 0-)

    and ride him all the way down .
    YeeHaw its gunna be hot hot hot !

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 09:00:24 PM PDT

  •  The Republican party has become the (11+ / 0-)

    home turf of instinct-driven people.  The instinct-driven are groupists, avid members of fan clubs, even as they are isolates who can't really connect with anyone else. Perhaps we could compare their attractions and attachments to filings around a magnate.

    Apparently, Willard does not have sufficient drawing power.  Insufficient magnetism could account for fan fickleness.  That's concerning to the handlers.

    Chameleon is a good word because Willard does change in response to his environmental "background."  However, Willard's not nearly as organic and his awareness of people is considerably less.

    Instinct-driven people are self-centered but unaware or clueless.  Their self-interest seems to be restricted to rather mechanical behaviors such as accumulating and destroying whatever strikes their fancy -- like children building sand castles or knocking down the other guy's. Willard's accumulated a mountain of moola whose dimensions are, obviously, unknown to him. (It's not showing his tax returns that's the problem; it's answering questions about them that would reveal his ignorance of facts and figures. Facts and figures are as inconvenient as those aliens in his yard and having a dog in the car. Can't have that!)

    Instinct-driven people rely on repetition, imitation and mimicry to guide their daily interactions. Instant playback.  Since most people like to be agreed with and doing unto others as they do to them, interactions with the instinct-driven go smoothly, unless there's disagreement.  Then the instinct-driven are likely to let their hair-trigger responses carry them away -- like poor George Zimmerman, who's sure sorry he shot that kid, but "he asked for it." The instinct-driven are "responsible" in the sense that they are able to respond, and to respond quickly, to prompts.  Indeed, that's their modus operandi.
    They don't initiate action; they respond.  That's why it's an accurate characterization to call them "reactionary," but not in the sense that they want to go backwards.  The instinct-driven are creatures of habit.  So, their behavior is a replay, in the present, of what they did before, in the past. Repetition is both static and predictable.  That's convenient, if people are paying attention.  History doesn't repeat itself, but instinct-driven people do.  They're habitual offenders -- offensive because, if not directly responsive, the behavior tends to be inappropriate, like putting the kennel on top of the car, whether the dog was in it or not.
    They can't help it. It's like Dubya seeing Angela's back and giving it a rub.  Having little or no sense of self, the instinct-driven have little or no respect for the privacy of others. This, no doubt, accounts for their willingness to inspect other people's privates.
    (I keep being reminded of little boys at a summer camp who stuck wheat checks in a little girl's vagina. 'Twas always a puzzlement, but now I think they just wanted to see if there was really a hole into which something would fit.  Primates sticking a straw in a hole and pulling out a termite is seen as evidence of learning. Putting things in holes and pulling them out is very primitive behavior. Solitary bees drill holes in the eaves and fill them with eggs and wax and the woodpeckers come along, open the holes and eat the eggs.)

    Question is, are the instinct-driven somehow deficient or is it just a matter of the cognitive add-on not being connected to the brain stem? Although they show up in all families, I doubt it's genetic.  Repetition, imitation and mimicry seem to be intimately related to verbal facility in the sense that the instinct-driven have to be talking all the time. I remember the first time I noticed it was in an Iraqi documentary, "Blood of my Brother," about a family whose eldest son had been killed "protecting" a Mosque from being attacked by the Americans. The consensus of the family seemed to be that the son deserved to die because he had disobeyed the family's injunction to stay home. But, what really struck me as the film-makers followed them around and recorded their reactions to various events, including incoming bombs, was the constant stream of verbal directions emanating from the males telling everyone what to do, even when they were already doing it. It was as if the stream of words were needed as a goad to keep everyone on track and letting each other know their whereabouts.  In other words, their speaking was a way of keeping in touch/contact and the content was, as was the Latin Catholics used to intone, irrelevant.  It was the act of speaking together that forged cohesion, as does the human mic employed by OWS.
    Freedom of speech is important for social cohesion, especially among the instinct-driven.  Which, of course, is why the impulse to silence speech on the part of people who want to divide and subjugate is great. The content is irrelevant; it's the speaking that counts. Speaking promotes consensus, but I suspect it doesn't create it.  The consensus comes from experience that's remembered and it is here that the instinct-driven falter.  Either their perception of events or their memories are wrong. So, they don't learn from experience.  Or, perhaps habits that are formed early are too strong. Good and bad habits are equally hard to break. Imagine forgetting how to tie a bow.  It happens to Alzheimer's victims.  That's how we can tell they're diseased -- their habits start to fall away.

    Sorry for the ramble.  The brain does that in the early morning.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Sun Apr 22, 2012 at 11:58:31 PM PDT

  •  It's "du jour" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Nulwee

    How can you be a Great Orange Soshalist Satan, if you can't even spell French right??? ;-)

  •  A feller can have a pretty good weekend in Vegas (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, LordMike

    with all THIS stuff.

  •  Romney is actually Hispanic?!?!?!?! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Nulwee, alizard

    Great article, and lots of fun.

    I guess I had heard somwhere that Romney's family had fled to Mexico to find religious freedom, but I hadn't quite put it all together in light of the Birther controversy.

    So now it turns out Romney's father was born in Mexico, and later emigrated to America to find jobs and opportunity.  What an inspiring story!!  Leaving it all behind to live your dreams and find prosperity in the land of opportunity.  

    How ironic!!  Here at last is the piece of the puzzle displaying Romney's roots as a man of the people.  Imagine how this story will help Romney with the Hispanic vote.  But he dare not tell this story out loud because of the way it will sound to the racist conservative base.  

    BTW, has anyone checked Romney's birth certificate?  Does he have to worry about being deported when campaigning in Arizona?

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:49:44 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for the kind words (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Nulwee, TexasTwister

      Regarding the paradox between Romney and his political party, it's the cognitive dissonance thing again.

    •  Fun to imagine (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, alizard
      Romney's father was born in Mexico, and later emigrated to America to find jobs and opportunity.
        But not how it actually went down. The family returned to the US to escape the Mexican Revolution, and George was about five years old at the time.

      from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

      by Catte Nappe on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:36:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right, what I said (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee, LordMike

        So a revolution helped in the Romney family decision to emigrate to the US.  Just like political violence all over the central Americas spurs millions of hispanics to come to the US.  The exact same people Romney and his supporters want to ostrasize and kick out of the country today.

        How ironic: the Romney of today wants to prevent the Romneys of yesteryear from coming to America to seek peace and prosperity.  The Romney of today owes his great wealth to the fact that his hispanic forefathers are Mexican transplants.

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:35:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Grandpa fled due to polygamy issues (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Mitt doesn't like to talk about it.   BTW best joke out of one of the GOP debates was.  Can you believe, the Mormon was the only one with one wife.

      Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

      by J Edward on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 12:54:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  overripe? (5+ / 0-)
    The governor is simply the low hanging fruit of decades of hard work, a squishy reward for the party of political pivot.
  •  Preach on, pastor, preach on! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wasatch, doingbusinessas, Nulwee, LordMike

    All of this stuff that is clearly obvious to us isn't to everyone. They don't call 'em low information voters for the fun of it.

    Here's a test, since you brought him up but not by name in this diary. Go to a local Republican party meeting and ask everyone there who Spiro Agnew was, then ask the people who know what he did wrong that forced his resignation. One person will know. Out of about two hundred.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat

    by commonmass on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:16:43 AM PDT

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