May 26, 2011

GOP Pres Candidates Breaking Bad

Pols for GOP nomination are lame, or not sufficiently crazy

Update: See also Sarah Posner's Christian Zionists, Bibi, Obama, and Armageddon at Religious Dispatches.

The weakness of the field at this point is comparable to December 2007 when many on the right were trashing Mike Huckabee in the twisted objections then twirling in leading Republican minds.

Sarah Palin is the recipient of similar derision today, though from different players.

As Chris Cillizza wrote then of the GOP field: "Someone Has to Win the GOP Nomination."

McCain won and lost, the target of McCaincon—a plot by authortarian (ostensibly religious) Movement officers to sabotage the GOP nominee for not being sufficientally crazy, though McCain tried mightily and got a bum rap by the right in this respect.

The parallels between the '08 and '12 nomination race are striking.

The most striking analogue is Mitt Romney.

The Ken Silverstein cover story of the November 2007 issue of Harper's seems like it could be rerun today without anyone noticing.

November 2007
Writes Silverstein: “(Romney) says all the right things, his speeches run through the litmus test on conservative issues, but there’s no conviction behind it. …,” said Cyndi Mosteller, a social rightwinger and GOP politico in South Carolina.

Add to this lack of conviction a dose of Christian religious bigotry against Mormons and you have a political Loser, now leading the current pack of crazies. [Palin, Paul, Gingrich, Cain, Pawlenty, and Bachmann]

Let's say Romney wins the nomination. Will he then pull a McCain and court the endorsement of John Hagee, another whack who says the Holocaust was part of God's plan, among other charming nonsense?

ADL in 1994 Hits Crazies
Being Christain Zionist and anti-Tolerance, anti-Pluralistic and just plain nuts, as Hagee is, sits fine with elements of the Lobby now-a-days—now making noise to align with the GOP nominee [certain to be anti-pluralistic] as long as the Christian right-endorsed candidate advocates war against Islam or at least employs the term "Islamofascism" with some frequency.

The ideologues—who may fall together into a motley coalition looking for an endless war against terror, Satan, Muslims, [maybe even South America]—look to conjure some GOP chimera.

But they may find that the vast majority of Americans are not apocalyptic, war-mongering nuts who, as Noam Chomsky wrote in 2002, do not accept the "increasingly desperate claim that everyone is following them in their depraved subordination to power" and more war.

One aspect of the American political culture persisting is the hope that people can compete with power; that the remnants of our democracy are sufficient to knock down a religious zealot like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Medicare-destroying ideologue like Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), rightwing billionares like the Koch brothers, and the eventual Republican nominee for president.

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