Saturday, March 3, 2012

GOP’s Culture War Soon to Claim Largest Casualty…The GOP!

Aaaaahh it’s primary season for the GOP! With spring bearing down on America, you can almost hear chirping sparrows nesting and flowers blossoming. Almost. You can’t because they are drowned out by the cacophony of the Republican Party’s culture wars.

As our economy continues to show signs of improvement (which, as a minor side note, is kind of a result of some big decisions made by the incumbent president) and Obama’s approval ratings climbing, the Republicans are doing everything they can to distract voters by going back to their ever-reliable failsafe; cultural issues that will have no discernable impact on those voters’ lives.

And as usual, their reason for engaging in said culture wars is because they have no actual ideas of their own. ‘Cut the deficit even if it stifles our fragile recovery, cut taxes for the rich and trickle down magic will manifest’, bla bla fucking bla.

So here they go again…waging war on anyone who champions the rights of gays, minorities and, lately, pro-choicers. These culture wars have been going on for decades, shape shifting and evolving as Obama entered the public arena. Misplaced Islamophobia ran rampant, soon to be followed by the birtherism movement. Birtherism. That is actually a fucking term in the American lexicon now. Staggering isn’t it?

A black president? Come on!!!
And remember GOP presidential hopeful (and hopeless) Newt’s claim that our president displayed “Kenyan anti-colonialism.” Shit man, it’s been three years and I still don’t know what that means but it sure does sound scary, un-American and really, really BLACK!

These sentiments have not vanished. They pop up intermittently as various Republican stooges make preposterous claims about Obama not being a good Christian, or not being Christian enough or not anti-Muslim enough. Such claims are nonsensical bullshit and go away quickly, rightly so. But Republicans keep firing away, trying and occasionally succeeding to rile up a base that is eternally starved for red meat that is filling though not altogether nourishing.

Let’s get back to abortion and contraception since they have been so prevalent in the news lately. These issues never fail to whip the GOP base into a frenzy, driving them further from the center and further from reason. Just look at what has been going on.

The Senate rejects a Republican effort to restrict health care that covers birth control at Catholic universities and institutions and what happens? Rush Limbaugh takes to the airwaves calling a college student a ‘slut’ and a ‘prostitute’. Come on dude. And what other highlights have this issue spurred recently? In yet another grotesque attempt to cater to the base, Rick Santorum, while campaigning in Michigan, said that JFK’s speech on the separation of church and state “makes him throw up.”

Okay. Nothing extreme or psychotic about professing that something written in the Constitution makes you want to vomit. Nothing at all.

It’s kind of remarkable that the GOP is too stupid to realize that rhetoric this extreme is crippling their chances come November. It should be common knowledge that Republicans don’t have to worry about procuring the votes of their base because those members will never cast a ballot for that Kenyan anti-colonial black guy who sings Al Green in public…even though he sings much better than Mitt Romney.

And, FYI, the Republican Party does consist of a few women. And those few sexually active Republican women that do NOT spend their summers at Jesus Camp might be a little turned off (pun intended?) by what Democrats are already hailing as ‘the Republican war on women.’

And this is where we find ourselves…in a political climate dictated by the most extreme faction of the Republican Party. Tea Partiers, take your bows. Although this has been going on for quite some time, you helped to re-imagine it for modern times. Way to go.

And the race into the gutter continues. Last week, when talking about the hybrid Chevy Volt, Newt Gingrich unleashed what I believe to be one of the worst lines ever uttered in the history of American politics. He said, and yes, this is an actual quote, “You can’t put a gun rack in a Volt.”

It is an oratorical marvel to be able to pack so much bile and ignorance into one nine-word sentence and as a writer; a small part of me is awestruck with admiration…or maybe revulsion. Let’s illuminate all the things about this statement that are so horribly wrong.

One: and I’m gonna channel Wayne Campbell here, a car should not have ‘a gun let alone many guns that would necessitate an entire rack.’

Two: the statement is inherently false. See Exhibit A:

Yes, the Chevy Volt fits a gun rack with room to spare in which you could fit a dear carcass. Or more guns.
Three: that’s not the point…you shouldn’t have guns in your fucking car. PERIOD!

Four: right before making that statement, he heralded the Volt as “an interesting experimental car” which, along with the nugget that immediately followed, further suggested that electrical cars are less manly and less American than gas-guzzling internal-combustion cars that destroy the environment while supporting the economies of nations that fund terrorists hell-bent on destroying America.

Five: this assault on electric cars reinforces the claims of the GOP that global warming is a myth perpetrated by liberal, atheistic scientists. 

Six: what this country needs after yet another senseless high school mass-homicide, is less stringent gun control laws.

Seven: In case you didn’t hear me the first time. YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE GUNS IN YOUR FUCKING CAR. PERIOD!

Karl Rove calls guns an ‘anger point’ and it is, proving time and time again that it will never fail to trigger a potent, Pavlovian response from conservatives.

So further to the right they go. Further and further; besmirching logic, alienating independents and annihilating Republican chances of re-taking the white house. Now, as a fervent Democrat, why do I oppose this?

Because I am a Darwinist god damnit. I believe in survival of the fittest as a principle, as a fundamental truth, as a moral imperative. And the Republican Party is shitting on it.

Two opposing political parties battling for supremacy should result in victory for the best party with the best ideas that result in the best policies and the best lives for all Americans. That is what should happen in any race, political or otherwise. The best athlete should win. But the republicans are running a fucking potato sack race and they are funning backwards.

It has been downright comical to watch the hopefuls, from Perry to Caine to Romney, falling over themselves in efforts to portray themselves as the most worthy conservative torch-barer. Meanwhile, the presidential candidate that consistently polled among the lowest and has long since dropped out, was also the only reasonable Republican who had any chance of winning over independents; John Huntsman.

So as the only legitimate conservative in the mix (Sorry Newt, you can’t have nine divorces on your resume and qualify as such), will Rick Santorum triumph? He just might.

And if he does, what will happen as a result of this self-destructive conservative pandering? Well, it can, probably and hopefully will culminate in the re-election of Barack Obama. And maybe this is a wake-up call the Republican Party will learn from. Because as Joe Nocera wrote in the Times on Saturday, “An alcoholic doesn’t stop drinking until he hits rock bottom. The Republican Party won’t change until it hits bottom. Only [a Santorum loss] offers that possibility.”

So maybe that’s it. Maybe an electoral ass kicking is what the GOP needs to change its ways. Lets hope so. Because these social wars are bad for Republican’ hopes for a long and healthy political life. They are bad for our two-party system. They are bad for common sense and they are bad for America.

But they sure are great for Democrats!