Monday, August 27, 2012

Kathleen Parker: What is Wrong With the Republicans

I don't always agree with conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, especially in light of some of her apologist pieces for the GOP.  But, apparently the recent batshitery flowing from the GOP and the medieval nature of the new GOP platform, Parker could no longer swallow hard and support the GOP.  She has vented in a lengthy column in The Daily Beast where she holds little back.  In short, Parker seems to be landing where I ended up over a decade ago.  I recommend that readers read the entire piece because it is well forth it.  Here are some excerpts:

Whatever the prompt, millions of Americans simultaneously have been slapping their foreheads and exclaiming: “What the *#@% is wrong with Republicans?!”
To be fair, we can stipulate that [GOP Senate candidate Todd] Akin is sui generis, occupying a realm of nitwittery uniquely his own. Taken in isolation, his comments might have been only a blip in the news cycle. But his timing was, shall we say, immaculate, coinciding with GOP platform committee meetings and Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate. The platform includes one of Ryan’s signature issues—a human life amendment to the Constitution that could preclude abortion even for rape or incest.
In any case, a storm more perfect than Isaac (it seems impossible to discuss Republicans in non-biblical terms) has formed to the benefit of Democrats—and not just the metaphorical kind. That hallelujah chorus you hear is coming from David Axelrod’s Chicago office, where he and other campaign strategists were seen performing grand jetés in celebration of their good fortune. What more delicious manna than the opportunity to conjoin in the public’s mind the idiocy of Akin, who weirdly serves on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and Romney’s sixth son, Ryan. Such a GOP twofer can only be a gift from You Know Who.
Alas, Akin’s comments were not in isolation. They followed a year of explosive events and remarks involving Republican lawmakers and leaders—and the women they seek to “protect.” A one-man firing squad, Akin simply provided the exclamation point at the end of a Faulknerian paragraph of Republican offenses, from laws attempting to require transvaginal probes for women seeking abortion to promises to defund Planned Parenthood to Rush Limbaugh’s calling law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” when she testified about the need for insurance coverage for contraception.
The cumulative effect of these episodes, combined with Democrats’ carefully crafted GOP “war on women” narrative, have boxed Republicans into a corner of stubborn self-defeat. Hackneyed and contrived as this “war” is, there’s a reason it has gained traction. “Because it’s true,” says Margaret Hoover, a leading voice in the young conservative movement . . .

There is something wrong with the Republican Party, the survival of which demands more than a few moments of self-examination and reflection. I wouldn’t use the word “stupid,” though it is tempting. Suicidal seems more apt. The GOP, through its platform, its purity tests, pledges, and its emphasis on social issues that divide rather than unite, has shot itself in the foot, eaten said foot, and still managed to stampede to the edge of the precipice. Is extinction in its DNA?

[T]he [GOP] platform seems designed to alienate a lot of moderate women. I don’t get it.”

Instead of focusing on economic policies and pounding messages of renewal that appeal to all people, social conservatives push issues that relatively few care about at the moment. You have to have food on the table, after all, before you can start contemplating the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin.

A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that Obama still leads Romney among women by 51 percent to 41 percent. The gap is even greater among other demographics: African-Americans favor Obama 94 percent to 0; Latinos by 2 to 1; and voters under 35 by 52 percent to 41 percent. How long will the party of white males survive once the women (and gays and blacks and Hispanics) have left for more hospitable environs? Exactly who is left for the GOP?

To whom, then, are these Republicans talking? Apparently not to women, whom they treat not as equals but as totemic and unknowable. Which is to say, they don’t “get” women. As such, they risk losing not only independents and moderates, whose votes they desperately need come November. They also risk losing their own women, . . . .

Romney had better speak often and with conviction about his own disagreement with some of his party’s platform, or the anti-woman narrative will become so entrenched that the 2012 GOP may go down in history as having sacrificed the nation’s economy to protect the rights of human embryos.
Will anyone in the so-called GOP establishment, not to mention the Christofascists in the party, listen to Parker's concerns?  Not likely, and I hope the GOP pays a very high price for all of this bigotry and divisiveness.

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