Incredible Article by Kurt Eichenwald (Vanity Fair Writer)
In private, with trusted friends, I have been saying for several years now that the Republican Party is not the same party I remember from Reagan, or even from George Bush Sr. The new Republican Party are bat-shit crazy…there, I said it! They are fucking crazy!
This particular meme that I espouse (no longer in private) has apparently been obvious to others as well. Kurt Eichenwald has, in this article, expanded upon the crazy idea to call them downright Dangerous! I agree with his sentiment, they ARE very dangerous.
In the article posted below I will post snippets from each of his Five Reasons why Romney/Ryan CANNOT win. But, I seriously encourage anyone even half-interested in politics to go and read the entire thing!
The GOP must be stopped in 2012. The future of America’s ideals of democracy – and of the Republican Party itself – could well be at stake.
Contrary to how it might seem, I am not a partisan bomb thrower. Throughout most of my adulthood, I have been just as likely to vote for a Republican as for a Democrat – in local, state and national contests. I have cast my ballot in presidential races for both Republicans and Democrats. But in the last four years, the GOP has transmogrified into something ugly and vicious and, more important, something wedded to the politics of fantasy and ignorance. It has rushed so far from its moorings that I cannot conceive of voting for members of this party until, hopefully, they pull themselves back from the precipice of self-destruction, paranoia and delusion.
Today, for Republicans, up is down and front is back. Lying has become so ingrained into the conservatives’ national dialogue that they are now dangerously demagogic or, worse, severely unhinged. Blind rage at the election of Barack Obama has wrecked a once great political party. Its leaders have made so many deals with the devil in their almost pathological obsession with unseating Obama that they have pushed the GOP into its own version of political hell – unable to speak truths to their now-rabid and conspiracy-addled base and unable to right the party back onto a path of responsibility.
Only through the disinfectant of defeat can the Republicans, and the two party system, be preserved. And so, the campaign of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan must be consigned to the ash heap of history. Defeat must not only be decisive, it must be crippling. Here are five reasons why:
I. They are liars. Most of the major newspapers and networks have adopted Marquess of Queensbury rules when addressing the utterance of utter falsehoods by Romney, Ryan and their surrogates. A velvet glove doesn’t deter deliberate deceit, and it certainly hasn’t here. Calling the words of Romney and Ryan “at odds with the truth” and “not factually accurate” is the coward’s way of communicating that the entire GOP campaign is based on lies, innuendo and more lies. There is a dramatic difference between the usual nip-and-tucking of the presidential campaign season and the flood of prevarication pouring out of the mouths of Romney and Ryan. To name just a few:
II. They are demagogues. What is it about the state of Wisconsin? First it brought us Joe McCarthy, now it brings us Paul Ryan – two men willing to say anything, tell any lie, appeal to any fear, if it means advancing their political careers. The willingness to lie is bad enough, but when it is used to play on people’s ignorance and passions, a politician has crossed the line from dishonest to dangerous. The distant drums of demagoguery are growing ever closer. They began with Sarah Palin’s mantra about “real Americans.” They started their inexorable approach when GOPers bowed down to the conspiracy theorists in their own party – the same people who considered fluoridation of water to be a communist plot – with winks and nods that maybe Obama wasn’t an American citizen. Forget the fact that, as the son of a parent who is a citizen, he is a citizen. They allowed this fear to spread without ever calling bullshit. “I accept the President at his word” was considered a strong response, instead of “Don’t be ridiculous.” (Imagine how outraged – rightfully – the GOP would have been if the Dems had reacted to the loons in their midst who said Bush orchestrated 9/11 by saying that they took the president at his word that he didn’t arrange the attack.) We have had the birth certificate since 2008, the Hawaiian State Health Department says its real, and no one has ever come up with a reason why this question is even being asked in the first place.” But the rabid mobs liked the idea of the black man as foreigner, and so it continues. Add in the other mantras – Obama hates America, Obama wants to give your money to minorities, Obama wants to let gays destroy the sanctity of marriage – and the GOP has successfully created the “other,” the internal enemy that threatens to undermine the country. First it was the communists, then the fundamentalists, and now Obama. (In fact, since I started with McCarthy, look at history: Truman, large swaths of the GOP intoned, was a Communist, deemed the central enemy of America. Now that conservatives see the new enemy as Islam, Obama, large swaths of the GOP intones, is a Muslim.) The modern GOP has used lies to appeal to irrationality and a lack of knowledge – I have had Republicans tell me that they are scared for their parents because Obama is going to euthanize them, that Obama is planning to plant tracking chips in all Americans after the election, that a civil war is coming, that Obama had advanced warning of 9/11, and on and on. This is a form of mass delusion that can only end badly, if allowed to fester or be validated in any way. GOP leaders have stoked this furnace of hate, and in the process have both trapped themselves with a new base of voters divorced from reality and allowed for the empowerment of the reckless and dangerous people who used to be at the fringes of the Republican party. Demagogues depend on hate and fear; once they are unleashed, though, those emotional forces are hard to put back in the bottle.
III. They are economic arsonists. As someone who has spent much of my career reporting on business, finance and other money matters, I have had a lot of trouble in recent years figuring out if the GOP really is as ignorant of basic economics as their words make them out to be, or if they are intentionally willing to upend the American economy for their own interests. I’ve come to believe that it is a little bit of both – that they are so blinded by philosophical fidelity that facts and knowledge are just pushed aside. It is either intentional, or willful blindness. The evidence is overwhelming:
IV. They are threatening American democracy. In 2008, when Norm Coleman was said to have won the Senate election by 215 votes, Sean Hannity of Fox News slammed the Democratic nominee, Al Franken, for pursuing a recount. Never mind that the recount was required by law; Coleman, Hannity intoned, had won fair and square. That set in motion the conservative meme – Coleman won, and Franken was trying to steal the election. Franken was slammed as a crybaby who should now to the wishes of the electorate, concede and stop wasting the state’s money. Then, whoops – the recount showed that Franken had won by 312 votes and the conservative storyline changed dramatically. Fraud! The Wall Street Journal said it, Hannity said it, Rush Limbaugh and even Coleman. It was, one Republican commentator (I think it was David Frum) said a symptom of the party: When they won it was the choice of the people, when they lost, it was fraud. Put simply, the GOP had trouble accepting when it loses.
That arrogance underscores the vast willingness of the modern GOP to cripple American democracy. The crusade against “voting fraud” has its base in the utter disbelief on the part of the Republicans that they can lose any elections. Never mind that there is no evidence that any fraud of any importance takes place in elections. This, they intoned, required emergency actions to insure that elections were protected.
V. They are threatening America. What if they won? What if Romney, Ryan and the other amoral executioners of this strategy of deceit succeeded in slithering their way into the White House through a pack of lies and demonization? The United States is more important than what person is in office at any particular moment; what matters is not the victor, but the process. And the GOP has taken to doing everything it can to undermine the process. They are exhibiting their utter contempt for American citizens by piling lie upon lie, hoping to deceive people into believing in a fictitious country that allows for the GOP to retain control. They are utilizing the obscene Citizens United case to undermine the very nature of democracy by allowing anonymous millionaires to broadcast as many lies as they can in order to fool the electorate for whom they have so much disdain. Lying, impeding voting, buying elections – all of this is un-American and reflects a party that no longer has anything to offer other than fear. If it works, god help us…our country will become a nation of liars whose only concern will be how much air time they could purchase to insure the lies penetrate the American consciousness.
Now, as I said, I have been just as likely to vote for Republicans in the past as I have been for Democrats, and just because I am focusing on the GOP doesn’t mean I couldn’t write a piece criticizing some of Obama’s policies. But that is the difference – my critique of Obama would be based on policy. I would be starting with an understanding that we begin with the same fact base, and that facts would be what drove the discussion. I would not be compelled to address fictions, lies and delusions before addressing policy differences. That is the sign of a party that wants to govern, even if I don’t always agree with the ways they want to exercise their governing authority.