Saturday, December 10, 2011

Kathleen Parker: The GOP’s Death Wish

No doubt Kathleen Parker will get more hate mail from members of the Christianist/Tea Party base of the GOP for once again speaking the truth about the parade of clowns who have been the changing flavor of the month with the lunatic elements of the GOP. In her latest column in the Washington Post Parker - a rare rational conservative - sums up the apparent GOP wish to go down to defeat in 2012 rather than nominate someone who isn't borderline clinically insane like the Christianists and Tea Party followers. While party of me would like to see a revival of the GOP as a rational political party, I don't see that happening until the Christianists and Tea Party are driven back into the political wilderness and seen by all as the ignorance loving bigots that they are in fact. Rather than pandering to them, the GOP ought to be seeking to marginalize them and kill the Frankenstein monster once and for all. Here are highlights from Parker's column:

“Anybody but Mitt” has become a familiar mantra throughout the Republican primary campaign. It is also weird and self-defeating. Republicans apparently want to nominate anyone except the one person who can defeat Barack Obama. And for all the strangest reasons:

One: He’s changed his mind. True. He changed his mind, thus becoming more conservative.

Two: He’s too perfect.

Three: You can’t drink beer with him. Whatever.

The result of these petty obsessions has been a pathological flirtation with a parade of lesser candidates who could replace Romney. This parade has persisted despite polls consistently showing Romney as the most likely to defeat Obama. It continues even though it’s perfectly clear the White House worries most about Romney.

First came Rick Perry, who, now desperate for attention, has turned his sights on gays in the military and Obama’s “war on religion.” Next was Herman Cain, who, though he has suspended his campaign, seems unable to leave the stage.

Now it’s Newt Gingrich’s turn. . . . he’s the serial husband with whom anyone could feel comfortable sharing a beer. Or a keg. . . . . But no one other than Callista Gingrich thinks her husband can prevail in a general election. No. One.

Instead of rallying to support him, former colleagues are going out of their way to politely say, “He can’t lead.” Gingrich’s record of leadership is demonstrably erratic. He is, in the words of former senator Jim Talent, who served with Gingrich from 1993 to 1999, “unreliable.”

[T]oo many Americans beyond the bubble don’t want to hear what Washington has to say. They prefer to hear Gingrich say, “I’d rather be effective representing the American people than be popular inside Washington.”

This is music to the ears of those who have come to loathe and distrust all things Washington, even though Gingrich is as much a Washington insider as anyone. And there’s a reason for his unpopularity. It isn’t because of his marriages or his Tiffany’s expense account. It is because his erratic behavior and his inability to resist the sound of his own voice have caused Republicans to lose too many fights.

But when a man who intends to lead the country cannot marshal the loyalty of those he has attempted to lead before, voters might pay heed. Then again, if Republicans want to make Democrats happy, Gingrich is their man.

I won't be hlding my breath waiting for the Christianist/Tea Party base to pay heed. Each time they lose, they think the answer is to find an even more insane candidate - the exact opposite of what really needs to be done.

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