The GOP, still waving goodbye to the American people.

Remember back when I said that the GOP as currently constituted is pulling away from the American shore?

Hereunder, this week’s exhibits pointing to same:

  1. Robert Marshall, a Republican delegate in Virginia, on why he voted against the judicial nomination of a gay prosecutor: “Sodomy is not a civil right.” Yes, he really said that. On the other hand, 50% of Americans now support marriage equality — and we learned a few months ago that among 18-34 year olds, that support stands at 70%.
  2. A study produced by a GOP SuperPAC “suggested hiring as a spokesman an ‘extremely literate conservative African-American’ who can argue that Mr. Obama misled the nation by presenting himself as what the proposal calls a ‘metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln’.” Because being Lincolnian, and knowing your way around a suit, is a bad thing. (Weird side note: The man who commissioned this report is Joe Ricketts, “the patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs“). (Also, if I may: “extremely literate”? Really? Can his name be Mr. Tibbs?)
  3. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, on the JP Morgan trading debacle: “The $2 billion JPMorgan lost someone else gained…. I would not rush to pass new legislation or new regulation.”

All of this — from the vile anti-gay biogtry, to the old-school (and equally vile) Fear of Smart Black Men, to the complete cluelessness about what losing $2 billion might mean to the American public (especially as “a larger loss could have fallen to the taxpayer because as a federally regulated bank, JPMorgan benefits from depositors insurance“) — is really pretty horrifying. I sit and listen to these things and my skin crawls, and my heart pounds, and my blood pressure rises, because it is clear to me that the people saying these things have very little understanding of the actual humanity buried by their words. The lives, the blood and bone, of actual people.

But at the same time — even as my skin crawls — I feel an odd, reverse-flip kind of hope.

Because America is changing. Because as loathsome as all of the foregoing is, it is all an indication of a party that is truly unmoored from the concerns of the society it seeks to lead.

None of which is to say that we should let down our guard — Republican delegates, wealthy Super PACs, and Presidential candidates are powerful forces and must be reckoned with.

But the more we reckon with them, the smaller their power will grow. And the more perfected our union.

Previous Post


  1. stephen matlock

     /  May 17, 2012

    OK, I get it that we live in a crazy world.

    We just don’t have to add to it by being crazy ourselves, right?

  2. socioprof

     /  May 17, 2012

    ““extremely literate”

    I figured it was a matter of time before the GOP went full on with literacy tests.

    • aaron singer

       /  May 17, 2012

      I’m surprised they didn’t say “articulate.”

      • socioprof

         /  May 17, 2012

        Likely ’cause they know finding someone extremely literate who will articulate their bullshit is a bridge too far.

  3. socioprof

     /  May 17, 2012

    Also, too: Another reason I’m a Sox fan.

  4. corkingiron

     /  May 17, 2012

    “Meterosexual Black Abe Lincoln” – that deserves its own pageant, don’t you think? Or at a minimum, a float in Gay Pride Parades…..

    • socioprof

       /  May 17, 2012

      “Meterosexual Black Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter”, coming soon to a theater near you.

  5. helensprogeny

     /  May 17, 2012

    Last night I watched a debate hosted by our local PBS station between the three candidates vying for Gabrielle Giffords’ congressional seat (the special election is June 12). The Green candidate was interesting, articulate, sensible and utterly without hope of winning. The Democrat, Ron Barber (a former Giffords’ operative and also a victim of the Jan 8 shooting) was interesting, articulate, compassionate, sensible, direct and personable. The Republican, Jesse Kelly, who (incredibly) came close to unseating Giffords in the 2010 election, was empty. He was articulate enough, I suppose. And he was smooth enough. But Every. Single. Thing. was a Republican talking point/sound bite. Everything. Empty, empty rhetoric. Taxes blahblahblah taxes blahblah small business owner blahblah Ron Barber is lying blahblahblah taxes blahblahblah.

    Which has inspired me to go tomorrow (my day off) to Ron Barber’s campaign offices and volunteer to put a Ron Barber sign up in front of (or at least alongside) every Jesse Kelly sign I come across in the district (and they are numerous). Because this empty suit of a man does not represent anything I stand for, he does not represent anything about what I aspire to as an Arizonan or an American – and I’m going to expend every effort I can to make sure he’s not elected to represent me in Congress.

    • aaron singer

       /  May 17, 2012

      Having worked on a few political campaigns, I’m always baffled by the public obsession with yard signs.

      • helensprogeny

         /  May 17, 2012

        I think it’s just about name recognition. Low information voters who know little or nothing about the candidates or where they stand on the issues find themselves in a poll booth confronted by a list of names. I want to make damned sure that such voters have seen Ron Barber’s name at least as often as Jesse Kelly’s.

  6. dmf

     /  May 18, 2012

    for fridays and shifting tides

    People who live by the sea
    understand eternity.
    They copy the curves of the waves,
    their hearts beat with the tides,
    & the saltiness of their blood
    corresponds with the sea.

    They know that the house of flesh
    is only a sandcastle
    built on the shore,
    that skin breaks
    under the waves
    like sand under the soles
    of the first walker on the beach
    when the tide recedes.

    Each of us walks there once,
    watching the bubbles
    rise up through the sand
    like ascending souls,
    tracing the line of the foam,
    drawing our index fingers
    along the horizon
    pointing home.

    “People Who Live” by Erica Jong

  7. Want2No

     /  May 18, 2012

    Given the factors you lay out, Obama should be comfortably ahead at this point. And yet…Romney is running even with Obama and is beginning to cut, deeply, into Obama’s fundraising advantage. The GOP is also ahead in some of the congressional race polls. The GOP is favored to keep the house and has a good chance to capture the Senate or get a tie. The opposition is fierce, united and very well funded. Everything points to a potentially very close race and uncertain outcome. Tradionally, this has not been good news for an incumbent. Obama will need a MASSIVE turnout in November. For that, he is going to have to find a way to fire up his base and hope the economy stays on track. As of now, it looks like almost everything will have to break Obama’s way for him to win. As you say, America may be changing, but the GOP has decided to double down on its base of “traditional” voters who are highly motivated and overrepresented among those who actually show up to vote.. It worked, brilliantly, in 2010 and may well do so in 2012.

    • Obama will need a MASSIVE turnout in November.

      Yup. And that’s on us.

      • Want2Know

         /  May 19, 2012

        Watch the Wisconsin recall election. It will tell much about mobiization and turnout. Right now, it looks like Scott Walker and the GOP are in to win.

  8. The GOP has relied heavily on.the ignorance most Americans hold, about the structure of our legal system. For example, McMittington Romney is in a squabble with the President over an issue, “gay marriage”, over which neither has the slightest legal authority. The authority to regulate marriages originally derived from families (who approved or disapproved of suitors) and religious bodies (who recognized what they considered, or don’t consider, to be a valid marriage under their tenets. That authority was usurped by States, in the guise of preventing the spread of syphilis, and used to impose a tax on marriage.

    At no point was there a reason for a President’s personal opinion on the subject, to relate in any way, to his duties of office.

    Thus, we are witnessing a sham issue’s injection into the Presidential election. Mr Obama cannot legalize gay marriage. Mr Romney cannot prohibit it. Both willl have authority over the Federal Reserve and its too-big-to-let-fail (?) Member Banks,

    I’d like to hear the honest beliefs of both major-party candidates, on how they plan to repay the money their parties’ politicians “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Fund, thereby concealing the true size of the annual budget deficits that have been run regularly since the mid-1950’s.

    I greatly fear an attack upon the incomes of our senior citizens, in the form of a hyperinflation caused by money-printing. It will be simple for the Party in power, to pay Dad his social security benefit of $2,000 or so. If bread costs $183 a loaf and gasoline is $50 a gallon.

    It will not be simple for our seniors to survive under such conditions.

    And when neither candidate wants to share with us, his plan for repaying all those trillions of dollars of federal debt, and instead, resorts to the stirring of emotions on an issue over which he wil have no control. I become concerned that either 1) the candidate believes his own Party’s propaganda and asserts that banks are safe and Social Security is safe, because he’s ignorant of evidence to the contrary…or 2) the candidate expects a financial catastrophe and is swapping future Presidential pardons to corrupt bankers, in exchange for present-day political contributions.

    The only way out of this dilemma is a viable Third Party.

    A decade ago, Canada’s Progressive Conservative Party took the biggest electoral loss in Canada’s history, over some side effects of NAFTA. They lost virtually all their seats in Parliament, to the older Liberal Party and the upstart New Democratic Party.

    In a multiparty system, it’s extremely difficult to polarize voters on a single emotive issue, while ignoring issues of real substance. Sadly, we’ve not yet reached that level of sophistication here.