Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Rubio Suspends Campaign; GOP Doubles Down on Extremism

In the wake of Mitt Romney's 2012 loss to Barack Obama, conservative and Republican think tanks stressed the need for the GOP to remake itself and welcome a more diverse party base.  One of those tagged to represent the new face of the GOP was Marco Rubio.  That was then.  Now, the GOP base has become more racist and extreme and seemingly is headed in the opposite direction from what the 2012 post mortems said was need for the party's survival.  After losing badly to Donald Trump in Florida, Marco Rubio - once heralded as the GOP's savior - suspended his presidential campaign.  At the same time, GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz is "thrilled" to be endorsed by Christofascist lunatics and hate group leader (and KKK affiliated) Tony Perkins has been yet again elected to the 2016 GOP platform committee.  Moderation and tolerance are dead in the GOP base.  First, these highlights from a piece in the Washington Post:
WEST MIANI - Years of carefully laid plans to repackage the Republican Party’s traditional ideas for a fast-changing country came crashing down here on Tuesday when Sen. Marco Rubio suspended his campaign for the presidency after a crippling defeat in his home-state primary.
Since Mitt Romney’s devastating loss in the 2012 presidential election, the Republican National Committee and leading voices at think tanks, editorial boards and Capitol Hill symposiums have charted a path back to the White House based on inclusive rhetoric and a focus on middle-class issues.
Nobody embodied that vision better than Rubio, a charismatic standard-bearer for conservative orthodoxy who readily embraced the proposals of the right’s elite thinkers. The Florida senator spoke urgently and eloquently about raising stagnant wages and eradicating poverty. He had an immigrant’s tale to match the rhetoric. And on foreign affairs, he was a passionate defender of the GOP’s hawkish tilt.
But Rubio’s once-promising candidacy, as well as the conservative reform movement’s playbook, was spectacularly undone by Donald Trump and his defiant politics of economic and ethnic grievance. The drift toward visceral populism became an all-consuming rush, leaving Rubio and others unable to adjust.
“The party finds itself catching up to its base. Those very elegant papers it published and conferences it held may have been good and smart, but they didn’t really matter,” said William J. Bennett, a conservative talk-show host and former education secretary in Ronald Reagan’s administration. “Instead, everyone who’s been prominent for the last 15 to 20 years finds themselves getting pushed out.”
Rubio’s fall comes weeks after others who advocated for conservative reforms, such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, have dropped out of the race, and as the donors and institutions who have long supported hawkish policies on fiscal and foreign policies find themselves scrambling to hold onto the consensus that has shaped the GOP for decades.
For many of them, Trump represents a threat to the traditional order of the party and its platform. He does not support overhauling Social Security — a key plank for Romney and GOP congressional leaders — and he was a vocal critic of the 2003 invasion of Iraq in its aftermath, setting him apart from much of the party’s high command.
Whit Ayres, Rubio’s pollster, spent the last several years compiling data and published a book showing that Republicans could not afford to alienate minority voters, especially Hispanics, if they ever hope to retake the White House. Watching Rubio’s concession speech, Ayres was despondent. “After 2012, you thought we’d learned our lesson,” he said.
 While Trump is riding rough shod over supposed GOP reformers, the party and other candidates such as Ted Cruz are cozying up with some of the ugliest elements of the GOP's Christofascist base - the very element that has been the driving force in the party's succumbing to a swamp fever like insanity. A case in point: Tony Perkins - president of the hate group Family Research Council with KKK ties - has been elected to the GOP platform committee.  Here are highlights of Perkins' gloating via Joe My God:
We may not know who will be representing the GOP at the Republican National Convention, but I know one person who will be representing Louisiana — me! For the second time, I’ll be serving as a delegate for my home state when the Cleveland event gets underway July 18. Just as importantly, I’ve been elected by the delegation to serve on the Republican Platform Committee, which is where some of the most significant debates over the party’s core values occur.
In 2012, my role as a delegate gave me the opportunity to play a key role in amending the marriage plank, which led to the committee approving a much stronger version than 2008’s. We also tightened language on obscenity and pornography, protected conscience rights, explained how abortion hurts women, and supported the Second Amendment in D.C. And while the platform work is usually overshadowed by the pageantry of the broader convention, make no mistake: What happens over those two days could dramatically impact the direction of — not just the presidential campaign — but the entire Republican Party and the country.
Very scary stuff given Perkins' anti-gay, anti-woman, and anti-modernity agenda.  Just as scary as Perkins' election to the platform committee is Ted Cruz's embrace of Linda Harvey's endorsement.  For those unfamiliar with Harvey, the woman, in  my opinion, belongs in a mental institution.  Only among the Christofascists could someone with no credentials and it would seem a significant degree of mental imbalance become a successful social parasite.  Right Wing Watch looks at Cruz's self-prostitution to Linda Harvey.  Here are highlights:
Earlier this year, we reported that a handful of right-wing activists in Ohio, including anti-gay activist Linda Harvey of Mission America, had issued a press release announcing their support for Ted Cruz but that these endorsements had not been officially promoted or announced by the Cruz campaign.
That changed yesterday when the Cruz campaign "announced the endorsements of more than 30 key Ohio leaders, including clergy, elected officials, and activists," including three of the activists we highlighted in our original post: Harvey, Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values Action and Molly Smith of Cleveland Right to Life.   
In honor of the Cruz campaign's announcement, we decided to republish our earlier post in order to remind everyone just whom Cruz is embracing:  
Perhaps Harvey thinks that Cruz will be the president she has longed for who will issue “an Emancipation Proclamation … to free America from the tyranny of sodomy.”
Harvey, who is boycotting so many pro-LGBT businesses that she complains she is running out of places to shop, has just this year:
·        Claimed that efforts to combat bullying of LGBT young people amount to “sexual abuse.”
·        Said that gays “were not born this way, but created through sexual indoctrination” and now want to recruit kids in turn.
·        Worried that LGBT youth are possessed by “demonic spirits.”
·        Said that gay pride parades are signs of God’s impending judgment on America and “ought to be banned.”
·        Backed Jamaica’s law criminalizing homosexuality.
·     Said she actually loves gay people, but supporting gay rights is “the least compassionate, the meanest and most hateful thing you can do” because that will “accelerate and confirm this behavior in more and more people in our country.”’
Harvey has also advised parents not to let gay doctors or nurses treat their children, even when they’re hospitalized, and has insisted that “there is no proof that there’s ever anything like a gay, lesbian or bisexual or transgendered child, or teen or human.”
Anti-gay zealot and nutcase, Linda Harvey

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