Saturday, September 17, 2011

Don’t Send Them In!

Seeing the stage filled with the coven of declared candidates for the Republican nomination for U.S. President brought many disturbing questions to mind, as well as, “Hey, where’s the tiny car all of these clowns climbed out of?”

At about the same time, I read the obit of former Senator Mark Hatfield, described as a “liberal Republican.” It was refreshing to go down memory lane to recall a more civil and civilized time when both major parties had self-proclaimed conservatives, moderates, and liberals. And none was ashamed to be known as such.

Jacob Javits. Edward Brooke. Nelson Rockefeller. Hatfield. Just a tiny sampling of liberal Republicans who were U.S. Senators (and, in Rockefeller’s case, of course, Vice President, as well). Decent, bright Republican politicians and elected officials who were believers in a country with equal justice for all, who knew their American (and world) history and geography, who could work with others in their own party and across the aisle with those of the same or different viewpoints. They sometimes voted for a bill that became a law that advanced the cause of civil rights, individual and group freedoms, racial integration, education and health care for poor children, and other topics that most of today’s line-up of  candidates would , if asked, quickly denounce as “Socialistic.” (Ask them to define the word. Hell, ask them to spell it.)

Some of these people – Michele Bachmann (or, “O’Bachmann,” as David Letterman likes to call her – I don’t know why, but I laugh every time, and so does David), Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum -- would have, only a few elections ago, not have made the “news” at all. Stuff them all in the little car and push it down the hill, far, far away. They should not be taken seriously today by all of the media and too many of the voters. We could be spared the bat-shit crazy whack-jobs that are, sadly, serious contenders for U.S. President.  President. And Republicans could get their party back!  I know so many of them want to do so, but it seems an insurmountable task, having to do battle with the millions of people who actually vote for Sarah Palin or cheer on Newt Gingrich.

Others – like Ron Paul or Jon Huntsman or Mitt Romney – seem a teeny bit saner, but, by comparison, who wouldn’t? And I don’t want any of them, either. Being smarter than Palin or more of a decent human being than Gingrich doesn’t take much, since the bar is so low, it’s resting on the floor.

The party began its decline with Barry Goldwater, took a huge dive with Ronald Reagan, and has been spiraling out of control, condemning liberalism and even moderation, as Republican candidates (and Presidents) over the past several decades have pandered to the far-right Evangelicals, “Christians” who should be the first to be dropped, wearing celestial cement shoes, into the Sea of Galilee. Rapturously.

Then, their strings were jerked by many super-wealthy contributors who duped the definitely-not-rich voters into thinking there really was a trickle-down theory of economics (they felt something wet hit their foreheads and misunderstood). Give the rich obscene tax breaks and deregulate critically important controls on environmental and other issues and you won’t create jobs. You’ll create more bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. It don’t trickle. Then, on top of the Evangelicals and the even-fatter cats, the Tea Party illiterates yank the Republican politicians in other directions.

As a result, we have not only these circus wannabes, we have other elected officials like John “Agent Orange” Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mike Pence, and Mitch McConnell refusing to help Americans desperately in need, talking about privatizing Social Security, slashing Medicare, cutting off aid to needy children, stomping on the poor and kicking the middle class into poverty – all in a cold, calculating drive to retake the White House (operative word: white). 

It is worrisome. With Obama’s inept performance, overall (including his puzzling choice not to fight for what we elected him to fight for, betraying his base;  his continually offering the Republicans more than they asked for, only to have them demand even more), these graduates of the Republican Clown College are a concern, when his re-election should be a shoo-in. He remains the best choice. And, having to say that, makes me sad. And mad.

Who knows what will happen? Who would have thought, in the summer of 2008, that whiny, mean-spirited, two-faced John McCain would have received the nomination and immediately choose a dangerously goofy running mate that, fortunately, brought down his ticket to defeat, but, thanks to the mainstream media (she doesn’t even need Fox), her every tweet is reported as news. News.

Not a single Republican candidate mentioned should have climbed out of that car. Go away. Bring us a Republican contender who knows history, decency, good governance, who doesn’t live by sound bytes and snide remarks. Who loves this country as much as the average Republican does and who wants to build it up, not tear it down. Someone who is a challenge for the writers of talk show monologues instead of the shooting-fish-in-a-barrel butts of jokes.

We don’t want jokes. We want a bright, sane person to be President. We want our Presidents to be rare, not half-baked.