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The GOP’s Big Top Circus

AT LENGTH - The months-long parade of Republican debates, caucuses and primaries has brought a lot of entertainment value to American politics, the likes of which we haven’t seen in some time. The gaffes and misstatements of candidates like Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” plan has provided a veritable humorous smorgasbord for pundits and cartoonists alike, exposing the real intent of the ultra-conservatives leading the anti-Obama, “he’s-a -socialist” charge.
The scary thing is, if left to their own devices in the unlikely event that they win at the polls in November, this herd of nearly extinct pachyderms would likely roll back all the reforms that have been put in place since the Great Depression.

Even the Rush Limbaugh “slut” tirade against the congressional testimony of Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke on contraception that exploded in the media recently drew into focus the huge disconnect between “conservative values” and 21st century realities. Is Limbaugh that out of touch or is he still addicted to his painkillers? I thought for one brief moment that the old political blow-hard of right-wing talk radio would pull a Donald Trump on us and throw his hat into the three-ring circus too.

Now I’m not prudish nor offended by profane language. At times it’s appropriate to make an exclamation or exhibit frustration, but if a liberal radio commentator used those words I’m sure the Federal Communications Commission would be reviewing the station’s license. Sandra Fluke, the target of his rebuke, has a very good case for slander and I suppose that being a law student she could find a good lawyer.

This of course is all just a sideshow in the ongoing circus with the main event being the spin-jugglers and media clowns, who continue to give the pachyderm four-stooges- prime-time exposure. Romney, Santorum, Gingrich and Paul, all these guys have to do is to keep doing to each other what they’ve already done and Obama may not even have to run a campaign. They will have killed each other off in the primaries. And, this is perhaps how it should be, as much of what they are laying out is mostly extinct political rhetoric.

Moreover, even with all of their complaints about the deficit, according to the official projections, of all the candidates’ plans, only Ron Paul’s reduces the deficit. The rest of their plans expand the deficit beyond what President Obama’s would. Curiously, Paul’s libertarian economic model might be more appropriately termed 19th century, but all of them have drunk the Milton Friedman Kool-Aid of free market capitalism, the deregulated drink that crashed Wall Street and from which we are still hung over.

By the time the Republican convention comes to Tampa, Florida in August, they will likely be so wounded by each other that none of them can be nominated. Some have suggested that ending up with an “open” convention, where none of the candidates has a majority of delegates, would allow for a “dark horse” candidate to emerge, like Sarah Palin or one of the Bush brothers. This hasn’t happened at a Republican convention since 1940, when the relatively unknown industrialist, Wendell Willkie emerged as the unlikely nominee. Willkie, a former Democrat and Franklin D. Roosevelt delegate at the 1932 Democratic National Convention, was considered an improbable choice.

So, here we are in the beginning of the 21st century with a set of 20th century candidates who are running on political ideas that were popular when Wendell Willkie opposed FDR. Does anybody in the corporate media or the Republican Party get the irony of this situation?

(James Preston Allen is the Publisher of Random Lengths News and an occasional contributor to CityWatch. More of Allen and other views and news at where this column was first posted) –cw

Tags: James Preston Allen, GOP convention

Vol 10 Issue 21
Pub: Mar 13, 2012