Since I tend to sympathize with the platforms of the Democratic Party most of the time, I should be delighted that the Republicans have been shooting themselves in the foot every day since their primary season began. The malapropisms and factual faux pas of Michele Bachmann, the memory lapses and extraterrestrial pronouncements of Rick Perry, the polished shucking and jiving of Herman Cain and the painful-to-watch valiant but fruitless efforts of Jon Huntsman ought to have made me joyous since every misstep by the GOP field made an Obama victory more inevitable.
But I don’t feel elated: the GOP implosion seems terrifying.
With Mitt Romney barely hanging on to his “frontrunner” status, Santorum poised to take the next several primaries across the extremist South while Newt Gingrich nods off on TV between pedantic quips, I am both afraid and disgusted. (Ron Paul stands for some policies liberals can easily embrace, but-- let’s face it-- he’s not going to be the nominee or the next president.)
What is the nation to think of a multi-millionaire with no clue and no chance of being embraced sincerely by his party? Why is a formerly pro-choice senator now trying to roll back birth control laws to pre-1960’s obsolescence? Who made the former philandering and profiteering Speaker and his third wife poster children for Catholicism?
This week CNN reported that, “Samuel Wurzelbacher, the Ohio Congressional candidate best known as "Joe the Plumber," said Thursday his status as an American citizen was qualification enough to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.” That and having a pulse, I guess, make plunging toilets training enough for interpreting the constitution while passing laws.
Mitt Romney has about 4 “home states,” strapped his dog to the top of his car for a ride to Canada and is incapable of small talk with the average voter. Rick Santorum has the chilling effect of a fascist echo with his determination to return women to total male subservience and to punish and isolate all Americans who do not share his extreme fundamental Catholic views. Newt Gingrich may have converted to the Catholic Church after years of political shell games and marital infidelity but apparently he can’t spell “humility” or “contrition.”
Republicans may end up brokering their convention and Chris Christie’s name is mentioned daily. This raises the other terrifying possibility that the charismatic, conservative New Jersey governor could try to run—all 5 feet 11 inches tall and at least 300 pounds of him (Christie’s actual weight is apparently classified info.) Picking a running mate in this case would be a really crucial matter.
Why do Americans reject candidates with histories of mental health treatment-- like Democrat George McGovern’s 1972 VP choice, Sen. Thomas Eagleton-- yet embrace candidates who are clearly narcissistic, hysterical, neurotic, unqualified or just plain dumb? Voters deserve better choices—and America ought to have spawned them-- but this is, apparently, the best American Republicans can do. And that, in itself, is terrifying!
(This originally appeared last week as my column in the Keene Sentinel)
graphics credit: wikicommons public domain- by Donkey Hotey ShareAlike