The Republican Party and its apologists — such as Jennifer Rubin, the right-wing hack blogger employed for whatever reason (eyeballs, presumably) by warmonger/neocon Fred Hiatt over at the Washington Post – truly never cease to amaze. In this case, Jennifer “Right Turn” Rubin expresses dismay that the Republican Party is teeming with “far too many crackpots.” And while I agree with her that the GOP most certainly IS filled with a bunch of crackpots (Rubin specifically calls out Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul), I disagree that these folks are in any way an aberration, or that it should be a surprise in any way. The top-rated comments on this blog post sum up my feelings perfectly.
*”‘lest the GOP be seen as a haven for the unhinged.’ Sorry Jen, that ship sailed…Years ago…Then sunk.”
*”The crackpots on the Republican lunatic fringe are really NOT the issue. The real issue is that so much of the Republican electorate is on that lunatic fringe…the GOP indeed has a very big tent that encompasses almost the entire spectrum of lunacy.”
*”The GOP has cynically courted the crazies for the last forty years; they’re all yours.”
*”‘The GOP should not give refuge to conspiracy-mongers’ Then who would be left?”
*”It’s a little late to be noticing the crackpots — what about former Rep. Michele Bachmann? former Gov. Sarah Palin? Current Rep. Louis Gohmert? Even Gov. Perry weighed in on Jade Helm 15 by saying one could question ‘civilian leaders’ but not the military. The fact is that the GOP actively enabled all the crackpots in exchange for votes. Now if you feel the GOP is strong enough without those voters, please do cast them aside so that they become their own political party.”
*”Yet another article where Rubin pretends she’s not one of ‘those people’.”
*”You know you are out there when a fringe columnist calls you a crackpot.”
I’d simply add that there’s no appreciable difference between the 2016 presidential candidate crackpots Jennifer Rubin calls out – Paul, Carson, Huckabee, Cruz – and those she doesn’t – Rubio, Walker, Trump, Fiorina, Jindal, Santorum, etc. Also, how about the rest of the party that isn’t running for president in 2016, people like Louie Gohmert, Steve King, Joni Ernst, Tom Cotton, Virginia Foxx, Paul LePage, Sam Brownback, etc, etc. I could go on all day with lists of climate science deniers (should be an automatic disqualifer for public office, in and of itself), conspiracy theorists of all stripes, gun nuts, raging homophobes, raging Islamophobes, theocratic extremists, you name it.
And no, these people are NOT an aberration in today’s Republican Party; they are a major chunk of today’s Republican Party, the same types of people who nominated extremist Ken Cuccinelli for Virginia governor in 2013, along with bat****-crazy E.W. Jackson for LG and Mark “Criminalize Miscarriages” Obenshain for AG. These are also the same types of people who tossed out super-conservative Eric Cantor for Ayn Rand-worshipping nut Dave Brat. Then there are other-people’s-sex-lives-obsessed crazies like Del. “Sideshow Bob” Marshall, Sen. Dick Black, and a gazillion others right here in Virginia.
Again, I could go on all day, as there are a gazillion examples, but instead I’ll just make one more point and call it quits: the corporate media is largely to blame for this, as they have completely failed to call these people out for what they are, and even worse have continued to draw false equivalencies between the John Birch Society-style far right wing and the Democratic Party, a “business-friendly” bunch which has nobody of any significance even remotely “extreme.” Heck, most Republicans of the 1960s, 1970s, even 1980s or 1990s wouldn’t have a chance in today’s off-the-deep-end, Tea Partie’d version of the GOP.
Perhaps the media might want to talk a bit about how this once-great party has gone off the far-right, John-Birch-Society deep end, after diligently courting those people for decades? Oh right, that would require a tiny bit of courage and integrity, so forget it.