« »

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Whackjob extremists dominate Republican National Convention

The Observer:

Some of them believe Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Others want to force raped women who become pregnant to have their child. There are those who vilify Obama as a socialist and want to do away with most of the federal government. A fair few doubt the theory of evolution or hold that gays can be “cured”.

As Mitt Romney arrives at the Republican national convention in Tampa, Florida, where he will be nominated to run for president, he faces the difficult task of dealing with a party base that has become one of the most radical in recent American history.


The week leading up to the convention was supposed to see a media rollout of Romney as a president-in-waiting. Instead it was dominated by an ugly row centred on a Republican Missouri Senate candidate, congressman Todd Akin, who used the phrase “legitimate rape” while talking about denying abortions to pregnant rape victims.

Romney called on him to leave the race and the Republican national committee chairman, Reince Priebus, asked him not to come to Tampa. But in a sign of how little control the party’s elite has over its base, Akin refused to step down and last week was spotted in Tampa meeting social conservative groups. At the same time it was revealed that Akin supporters had coughed up $100,000 for his campaign funds in two days.

Already, this sort of lunacy is driving away moderate Republicans more aligned with the mainstream. In an op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist jumps ship and endorses Barack Obama. He explains why:

As Republicans gather in Tampa to nominate Mitt Romney, Americans can expect to hear tales of how President Obama has failed to work with their party or turn the economy around.

But an element of their party has pitched so far to the extreme right on issues important to women, immigrants, seniors and students that they’ve proven incapable of governing for the people. Look no further than the inclusion of the Akin amendment in the Republican Party platform, which bans abortion, even for rape victims.

The truth is that the party has failed to demonstrate the kind of leadership or seriousness voters deserve.

This is what happens in a two party system. Both parties are, by necessity, coalition parties. When a party starts moving to the extreme, it begins to eject coalition members, who then find common cause with the other party. Think about how often you’ve heard a pundit say, “Latinos are actually pretty conservative and would normally be a natural fit for the GOP, however…”

As the Republican Party begins to shrink down to its white hot lunatic core, it’s ejecting coalition partners. Soon, it may be a handful of totally insane purists, unable to muster enough votes to win elections or pass legislation. A small club of righteous insanity made impotent by their own certainty that only their way is the right way.

Search Archive:

Custom Search