Saturday, June 18, 2011

The GOP Has Lost Its Way ... and Its Soul.

The Republicans are in the midst of what they’re calling a Leadership Conference in New Orleans and a number of candidates for that party’s presidential nomination have made appearances there.

Predictably, speaker after speaker has attacked Barack Obama. But what I don’t understand is how members of the audience, no matter how partisan their views, can applaud – let alone swallow – statements made about the president of this country that are outrageous, inflammatory and demonstrably false.

For example, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich charged that Obama is a “national secular European socialist”. Huh?? I know what each of those words means individually, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out what they describe when presented as a package. My best guess is that Newt, the serial philanderer, is just slapping buzzwords on Obama hoping the faithful will start foaming at the mouth.

Then there’s Michele Bachmann, who accused the president of plotting to bankrupt Medicare so seniors will be forced to join his national health care program. Yes … seriously! (For heaven’s sake, Medicare is the national health care program for seniors!) If this woman seriously believes that statement, she is delusional. If she doesn’t, then she’s is the worst kind of liar and is pandering to the wilfully ignorant folks who apparently make up most of her constituency.

And, in the worst possible taste, the evening featured a black "comedian" who did a largely tasteless impersonation of President Obama. (Sample: he said Michelle Obama celebrates Black History Month for a full 30 days, but the president only observes it for two weeks ... a reference to the fact that Obama is half white and half black.) It should be noted that the mostly white audience whooped and laughed at this sad character until someone on the committe with more than an IQ of 40 hustled him off stage.

Somehow, the non-thinkers and the fanatic ideologues and the racists and the just-plain-crazies have bubbled to the top of the Once-Grand Old Party. Thoughtful, rational debate around honest differences of opinion no longer seems possible. In fact, it’s no longer tolerated.

The party of Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower and, yes, even of Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush has disgraced itself.

No comments: