by Robert S. Becker
Working as both mirror and impetus to our deranged discourse, the right wing primary continues to bless us with stunning revelations worth every single cringe-worthy moment. And this eye-popping field sets the record, establishing unbeatable redneck standards. Why, I can’t recall so many obvious freaks in one party since, knee-high to a grasshopper, I wandered through my first, weird-smelling Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus.
Who of us will ever forget this French guillotine of a primary, as inept jesters instantly rise up only to get beheaded, like sacrificial winners of those prehistoric ball games? And it’s ongoing, though I soulfully regret Michele Bachmann “stepping aside” and Rick Perry’s looming departure. Perry’s never-say-die doggedness harkens to his brave Alamo forebears – except they were skilled warriors who could shoot straight. Okay, buffoons are exiting faster than falling bricks, but there are still loony Texans at large plus nasty goons (Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum) on the prowl.
Let’s tabulate the dividends paid so far, though readers will add more before Mitt Romney wins a reluctant coronation (and if not, all hell will break lose – yum, yum).
1: The Vast Rightwing Pandering Machine (VRPM) appears bottomless, brazenly throwing mud in every direction. The more outrageous the lies, the more hayseeds swallow it. Ah, dreams of the Wall Street-loving Obama (cast as “socialist destroyer of America”) vs. the Wall Street-loving Romney (cast as the evil “vulture capitalist”)? Be still, my beating heart.
2: The Tea Party base, a study in perpetual bewilderment, portrays perplexity compounded by multiple personality disorders. What else explains its desperate lurch from one shiny surface to the next, darting like hysterical fish in too small a bowl?
3: Remember Ratatouille’s motto, “anyone can cook”? This band of boobs proves “anyone can run” – dump enough cash, ego, celebrity or gall, and the media hobnobs.
4: Former suckers to Palin, Trump, Bachmann Cain, and Perry, the base now cheers on Santorum AND Gingrich AND Ron Paul – all joining the “government stinks” Bush-lite crowd headlined by the infinitely adjustable mortgage named Romney.
5: Paul proves, especially for naïve youngsters, that half-a-candidate sounds better than none, or doubled-downed pettifoggers. How nice to learn the Moralistic Majority still favors bombing Iran to peace and Social Security/Medicare to libertarian dreams of “free-market freedoms.”
6: Rethug bigwigs still rule, letting has-beens and losers incite drama (and the illusion of public choice) while safely going with Romney. Who says the fringe isn’t tolerant and open-minded? Why, judging by Newt’s status, they disqualify entrants only with jail time, felonies or non-Biblical sexual encounters.
7: Perry died on the vine because even dimwits understand “dumber than W” just won’t wash. Hear, hear for high standards.
8: That Trump and Cain – truly fraudulent political non-entities – lasted more than 15 minutes evinces not just stunning stupidity about what presidents do, but how much damage a compromised scam artist can do.
9: If your frontrunner is a plastic, inauthentic automaton, make him look heroic by contrast with much worst varmints. Spice up the melodrama, even comic relief, when your lead character is devoid of personality, charisma, or solutions.
10: Right wing candidates are incorrigible deceivers if they believe their own cartoon logic that rich people a) create good jobs with spare change; b) alone earned all their millions; and c) daringly overcame untold obstacles that liberals forced in their way.
Throw in your two cents. I take solace when a free TV series fully dramatizes the capricious obtuseness of a major party. What reality show, not heavy with satire, would dare offer up the whack-a-mole plot from Trump through Santorum? We snarling satirists now have to modify our bias about a rigid GOP base stuck in its ways. What, that clueless, spinning mass desperate for the perfect messiah is flexible enough to accept Romney the Mediocre Mormon. Let’s not rule out rumors of late entries, like that dubious buzz Sarah Palin could throw in (or up) her hairball into the ring. Right, more tall tales told by an idiot, full of sound of fury, signifying nothing.
Surprised by “Raptor Capitalism”
Okay, I admit being surprised, even feeling ambushed, apparently like Romney. How many sharpies figured Rethugs would turn suicide bombers by putting predatory capitalism itself on trial? Oh, my. Who guessed Santorum (an orthodox Catholic of late anointed by evangelicals!) would be the last purist standing, with Gingrich the Catholic convert in the wings? Or that no Democrat, but two wingnuts, would gang up – and disown – Bain Capital as “vulture capitalism”? How unkind, least of all to vultures. Bain hired killer hawks who feasted only on live companies, leaving the picked-clean corpses for riff raff. “Raptor capitalism,” I say.
Overall, in these grim times, does not civilization advance by watching a defective party’s multiple tectonic splits play out? Observe this marvel – a major party, facing an incumbent on the ropes during hard times – without the whiff of an actual jobs program, other than firing that socialist Muslim. Can GOP hot shots truly believe this nonsense will work in the general election – MORE tax breaks for the rich, fewer regulations, new wars, and cuts to Social Security/Medicare? Maybe a Reagan pushed by a Rove could pull off miracles, but dull Romney only has tired Bush hacks on call.
Lucky for Obama the imploding GOP encourages us to adapt a Newtonian law – a mediocre body in power tends to stay in power unless acted up on by an equal or greater force. Imagine the robotic, job-killing, flip-flopping Romney, bleeding from a hundred primary cuts, against a relatively popular “war president” without major scandals and an expanding economy. And then reboot with Santorum the Obsessed vs. Obama. I’d pay to see that show.
Do we have a meritocracy – or what – electing the best hustler to the highest post, the prize for fooling more of the people more of the time?
Editor’s Note: Thanks for our friend Robert for turning us onto Keith Tucker’s cartoons. The one above is a little too accurate for comfort, though. See more of Keith’s work here.