Saturday, January 28, 2012

January Insanity

So, Obama gave the State of the Union speech. And South Carolina favored the most unsupportable candidacy of Newt. Romney released his tax return (singular), and no one was surprised that he is among the 1%ers. Perhaps we were a little surprised at how much glee he found in telling us how wealthy he is, and how unrepentent he is about milking the tax code for his benefit, but honestly, not that surprised. I mean, this is a man who says "Let the foreclosure process run its course" while holding stock in a great many companies that are foreclosing on folks right and left.  Who can toss off a "I'll bet you $10,000" challenge to Perry. Who calls his speaking income, some $374,000 "not very much" money.  Heh. It's disheartening that the American public isn't more surprised, isn't even outraged at this. And they're probably going to put Romney forth as the candidate to beat Obama.

And then there's Newt. If he has his way, Romney will be retired as the front runner, and Newt will begin his ascent to Glory as the Saviour of the Western World. This is the man who divorced his first wife while she was seriously ill in order to marry his mistress, then divorced the second wife, who wouldn't accept an "open marriage", also while she was ill, to marry his next mistress. Who tried to remove Clinton from office because of the tacky Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, while carrying on his own tawdry affair. And he claims he was unfaithful because he was consumed by patriotism. Dear lord.

Newt uses vanishingly thin veiled racism to appeal to the extremes of the already extreme Republican party. He uses mock outrage when questioned about his past affairs, his past lobbying-in-all-but-name tenure at Fannie and Freddie, and then has the audacity to say that the crash was caused by them. (It wasn't) He offers to teach the NAACP how to help poor black people. He suggests that kids from projects (black kids) should be given janitorial jobs at their schools, to teach them the "work ethic".

Newt calls himself an historian, which makes real historians shudder. He isn't an historian. He's a megalomaniac twister of history. He was fined and castigated during his vicious term in Congress, forced to step down, but to hear him tell it, he was solely responsible for all the economic sucess in Clinton's presidency. He distilled and promulagated the vicious, take-no-prisoners, lie often and well approach to campaigning, which is just what we're seeing now in the Republican primaries, and he's the most vociferious voice calling for an end to all this invective. Heh. John King asking him about the news that his second wife was admitting that Newt asked her for an "open marriage" was, according to Newt, close to the most disgusting thing he'd ever heard. As Jon Stewart so aptly remarked, Newt "must have quite an imagination".

And then there's his over the top suggestion, in Florida of course, that we establish a colony on the moon, and confirm the process for that colony to become a state as soon as they have 13,000 people. Puerto Rico has been waiting a long time for statehood, but of course, Puerto Ricans aren't white.

And then there's Obama. His first term hasn't been the spectacular success we all believed it would be. He hasn't been the president we all believed he would be. Admittedly, he took office saddled with the monstrosity that Bush left behind, but he also was saddled with a Republican party whose most important goal was to make sure Obama was a one-term president. If it came from the president, a bill couldn't pass. If Obama nominated anyone, he or she couldn't be approved. If Obama said it, it must be a lie. Hell, he wasn't even really an American! What, fix the economy? Nope, it might improve Obama's chances for re-election. The source and causes of the Great Recession should be firmly laid at the door of Bush? Nope, it's all Obama's fault.

The Republican Party has become an embarrasment and a danger to our society. It has lost all sense of decency, and abdicated any responsibility for anything (except of course anything it did that was viewed favorably by themselves, although not by the American people).It's become even more  tilted toward exhalting white rich people, and more adamantly determined to squash anybody else. (And America is more diversified in terms of color than most any other country in the world.) I think, or maybe I hope, this is the death knell for the GOP. I think that party will find itself splintering, like a Balkan nation, into exclusionary, angry factions with no tolerance for any one else. I devoutly hope so.

Given the disease that the Republican party has become, even if I hated Obama (which I don't), I would be compelled to vote for him simply for the preservation of the American union.