Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Deserting A Sinking Ship

John Cole, author of the blog Balloon Juice, has an excellent piece up on why the Republican party is imploding in on itself (which is, imho, a good thing), and on why he personally has decided to remove himself from it after years of being a card-carrying, GOP-supporting conservative. He begins with a quote from a recent essay by David Brooks, wondering why the Repubs are in such disarray, and then makes these observations:

Hogwash. If you want to know why the Republican party is in shambles, read this:

Yesterday, in response to a question from a reporter suspicious of why he wasn’t wearing an American flag pin on his lapel, Barack Obama explained his belief that for some, the pins became a substitute for “true patriotism.” The senator said he would instead “try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism.”

I didn’t expect leading conservative voices to understand, but I was a little surprised at the ferocity of the response. Jonah Goldberg described Obama’s perspective as “staggeringly stupid,” and “the single dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of him doing.” Another prominent far-right blogger responded this way:

Seriously, you want this for President of these great United States.This is how he catches the attention of a media aligned with the terror force? This useful tool won’t wear an American flag pin? Talk about pandering to the radical base, he ought to run against Ahmadinejad. He is scoring points with Georgie Soros, won’t be waiting long for his on his Soros stipend, I’m sure. What’s Obama Hussein’s new campaign slogan, “America Sucks!” ?

For starters, people got tired of being associated with these drooling retards. Then, when they realized that these drooling retards had ideological allies running the show in the Bush administration and then began to experience their idiotic policies, they moved from disgusted to outright hostile.

Like me. It had nothing to do with Burke, and everything to do with what the party had become. A bunch of bedwetting, loudmouth, corrupt, hypocritical, and incompetent boobs with a mean streak a mile long and no sense of fair play or proportion.

Seriously- what does the current Republican party stand for? Permanent war, fear, the nanny state, big spending, torture, execution on demand, complete paranoia regarding the media, control over your body, denial of evolution and outright rejection of science, AND ZOMG THEY ARE GONNA MAKE US WEAR BURKHAS, all the while demanding that in order to be a good American I have to spend most of every damned day condemning half my fellow Americans as terrorist appeasers.

Hell of an indictment of his own fellow conservatives, isn't it? It seems much in the same vein as when Michael Lind realized back in the '90s just how evil and corrupt were the vast right wing conspirators he had been carrying water for (he was involved, for instance, in the media trashing of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas nomination hearings) for so many years, and was then inspired to leave the Republican party and write Up From Conservatism. It's a real come to Jesus moment, a blinding light on the road to Damascus, for Cole, and it's worth a read. The comments, especially, are quite lively and interesting. I'm reminded of a comment that a good friend of mine, a life-long Republican, made when I went to visit him a few months back: "Bush has fucked everything up so badly that it'll be years before we see another Republican president." He said it rather wistfully, because for him, that's a sad thought. I just hope he was correct in his evaluation -- and the evidence I'm seeing seems to point in that direction.

A bit off-topic, though it's mentioned in Cole's rant above and is explored further in the comments to that post, is something that I've noticed lately and have been meaning to comment on: the palpable fear of Muslims that runs rampant throughout Lower Wingnuttia. It is apparently taken as gospel among many on the right that the "Islamofascists" are plotting every day to take over America and enforce Sharia law here, to make all the men grow their beards and all the women wear burqas, and demand that we get on our knees and pray towards Mecca five times a day. Just how this is supposed to be accomplished is never really spelled out, but I have seen and heard this very idea in many forms from plenty of the Decider's legions, so I know it's something they think about often and truly believe. I have just one comment about this ridiculous notion: If you honestly, honestly believe that somehow a group of Muslims from anywhere in this world -- Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Indonesia, the Philippines, Iran, wherever -- are going to somehow be able to take over the United States and change the way we live according to their beliefs, you are simply too stupid to live. You are a goddamned idiot if you think that can really happen.

Okay, now that I got that off my chest, allow me to conclude by praising John Cole for his intelligence and insight, and urge you all to read his post (and maybe even bookmark his blog -- it appears that he's got other good stuff on it as well).
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