I promise I won’t do this too often because you can easily obtain national news from a variety of sources. But if I happen to have an insight that everyone else has missed, then, rest assured, I’ll be more than happy to venture into that vast arena.
To wit, in Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker’s most recent syndicated effort (in today’s Trib), she tackles the whole Cliven Bundy kerfuffle, but her main point turned out to be a bit baffling. She claims the GOP’s affirmation of this rogue Nevada rancher does not make them racist, but that:
“Republicans should repent of associating with anyone espousing or endorsing such incendiary nastiness. And championing lawlessness does nothing to elevate discourse, civility or any of the other higher roads to which we might more enthusiastically aspire.”
Now, normally I’m quite fond of Ms. Parker because she’s a conservative with a conscience and I can certainly find no fault in her premise. While many conservatives may be bigots, not nearly all Republicans are racist, and it would behoove us all to remember that our associations always have a bearing on how people perceive us.
Just ask Rob Ford.
But this time Parker completely missed the mark because it isn’t the rotating conservative poster children that are the real problem – there are plenty like them to be found – it’s the zeal and yearning with which the mainstream GOP and their Fox News lackeys are willing to embrace them.
Joe the Plumber, Sarah Palin, the CBO’s two millions jobs lost to Obamacare, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, the Obamacare horror story players, Ted Cruz, the Tea Party, Ted Nugent, the Birthers, Rick Santorum, folks who think Neil deGrasse Tyson is the anti-Christ, and now, Cliven Bundy.
In fact, it’s happened so often that pundits like Sean Hannity and his ilk are actually starting to believe their own “give me liberty or give me death” narrative to the point where it’s become an addiction that’s almost impossible to feed.
Never mind that every single one of these dalliances has come around to bite the GOP in the butt, and by necessity, the next one will have to be even nuttier than the rest.
C’mon! What could possibly go wrong with championing an anti-government lunatic who compares himself to a welfare queen while threatening to use his wife as a human shield for some free grass? I don’t know…maybe he might just turn out to be a flaming racist who believes our black neighbors would be far better off picking cotton on the plantation.
This conservative capacity to, like a drowning man willing to grab anything that floats, cling to whatever bolsters their fragile and self righteous self-definition, belies a mindset that says, “it really is all about me and whatever I happen to be thinking right now!” And the truly frightening thing is, the potential to foresee the consequences of engaging in this kind of delusion seems to have completely passed them over.
It speaks to a bizarre inability to exist in anything beyond a permanent political present and I’m not sure that’s what those Zen monks had in mind. But no matter how sore their butts become, I can unequivocally guarantee they will repeat this “miscalculation” as soon as the next opportunity presents itself.
Whether they believe it or not, whenever you blindly support someone who turns out to be a raging racist, the stink might just stick to you too.
So, even though she’s right, Ms. Parker’s contention that conservatives need to avoid “espousing or endorsing such incendiary nastiness” is utterly pointless until those same conservatives somehow develop the capacity to think before they act and consider Newton’s position that, on frequent occasion, there may well be an equal and opposite reaction.
Because when someone like Rand Paul suddenly becomes the voice of Republican reason, that really says it all, doesn’t it?
Meanwhile, what’s that loud sucking sound we all just heard? Oh yeah! It’s the GOP’s midterm chances going right down the toilet.