The current Republican-primary circus should remind Americans just how utterly misanthropic the Grand Old Party is. Whereas most presidential primaries usually had two clear frontrunners—e.g., Obama and Clinton in 2008, Edwards and Kerry in 2004, Bush and McCain in 2000—in the current GOP primary, the lead has changed more often than Herman Cain's views on women. To recap, Romney was considered the heir apparent in early 2011, not because he's been a loyal Republican but because he basically came in second in 2008 to John McCain ("next up to bat"). And Romney is slick, smooth—a Ken doll with a load of cash. Then, all of a sudden, as if the entire GOP voting electorate was hibernating for the past dozen years, his support among crazy conservatives began plummeting. "RomneyCare" started to fly around, and then, in the summer, Michele Bachman won a completely inconsequential straw poll (which might as well be called a "bullshit poll") in her home state of Iowa (a place where she erroneously claimed John Wayne was born, though her crack campaign team apparently didn't realize there was a "Gacy" at the end of that Wikipedia search). Nonetheless, people instantly began questioning the hard-right bona fides of Mitt Romney. Did they forget he was the governor of über-liberal Massachusetts? Did they forget he crafted a health-care bill that was the blueprint for the much-maligned (among the idiot right) Obama health-care overhaul? Oh, wait...no, they didn't forget. They didn't know: Most of the GOP electorate shun the news media and knowledge in general. People who are smart are labeled "elites," and to the GOP throng they're no better than Moos-lem extremists.
So for a while at least, Bachmann basked in the spotlight. But she's clearly obtuse and one with an intellect so dull that one might think she has some sort of learning disability—she's borderline special-needs. Thus, just as quickly as she rose, she fell; who stole her thunder? Yet another spectacularly dim bulb: Texas governor Rick Perry. When he jumped into the race, it was almost like a battle among the candidates to see who was the dumbest. Perry did his damnedest to win that crown. Even before he made his notorious "one...two...and, the third...uh..." gaffe, he had been making insipid and false statements that would only appeal to the most lurdane American (e.g., "The first round of stimulus ... created zero jobs" and "Social Security is indeed a Ponzi scheme).
But apparently, his debate gaffe was a bridge too far for the GOP electorate. Hey wait a minute, they said, he forgot the third governmental agency he was going to shit-can? That's weird. Thus, the Perry tumble began.
But wait...have no fear, the Cain Train was arriving in the station. Though Herman Cain had been in the race for some time, he never caught fire until Perry gaffed his way into oblivion. But what sparked Cain's rise? Fox News of course. Around the time Perry was beginning to flame out, the reliable right-wing nutjobs of Fox News were celebrating Cain's preposterous 9-9-9 tax plan. Cain was like a stand-up comic looking for a gimmick, and he found one the right-wing establishment could talk about.
Thus, out of nowhere (seemingly), Cain rocketed in the polls. Why? Because he was eloquent? Sure, just ask the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial board. No, he was given serious consideration because, quite simply, he hated himself. He was a self-loathing, misanthropic little man with an IQ even lower than that of Bachmann or Perry. The GOP electorate loves candidates who hate themselves, so they gleefully jumped aboard the Cain Train.
But of course, all intense crushes come to a bitter end. And I need't rehash what brought Cain down. Ironically (or not), he was still flying high in the polls even after a half-dozen women came forward to accuse him of being a creepy sexual predator. Why weren't his poll numbers cratering? Because the GOP voters love psychotic candidates who are off the rails. What were these supporters saying when Cain was accused of the numerous harassment claims? Rather than, "No, he couldn't have done that," there were likely saying things like "Cain harassed women? Fuck those bitches, they were probably liberals and deserved it." That's the typical GOP voter. (Look at Rush Limbaugh, the de facto head of the Republican Party—his misogyny is legendary.)
The Republicans will say, "Hey wait a second, Liberal Fuck, how can you say those things?" Here's how. Remember what transpired during the copious GOP debates this year: Audiences cheered at such things as a man dying because he didn't have health insurance; the jobless should blame themselves for being unemployed; and the record number of people put to death in Texas. When people cheer this kind of stuff, it's very telling. It's not the sign of normal, stable people. It proves the GOP, as a group, are a misanthropic set of extremists: an American Taliban, complete with their own "news" network supporting their every move.
So once marketing-whore Cain flamed out (and his candidacy was rightly labeled a "book tour" by the American Prospect), who was left to fill that void? Rick Santorum? Nope. Even the hard-right hate that guy: a completely unlikable, bitter, repulsive douchebag with little to offer anyone. The only one standing with right-wing cred was...hard to even write his name...Newt Gingrich, proving everything that's old is new again.
Much has been of Gingrich's crass, selfish, disgusting personal moral code (or lack thereof), but the media still gush over his alleged "intellect." I guess that's like saying [insert nasty despot here]'s intelligent. One of the big lies spread by the "liberal" media is that Newt's smart. Hey, he's a former college history "professor" they say. At Yale? Harvard? Uh, no, West Georgia College. Being a professor doesn't mean you're smart.
So the GOP primary boils down to Romney v. Newt? Really? As a liberal, I very much hope Newt wins it (he's already said he's going to be the nominee), but the GOP electorate will have to ask themselves: Do we lose and hate ourselves and want to die (Newt)? Or do we lose and at least retake the party from the clutches of the tea party (Mitt). Either way, the Republicans will lose in 2012, because as much as the GOP wants the election to be about Obama, it's going to be more about the sorry state of the Republican Party, a party that has been hijacked by the tea party and like-minded extremists. And with the economy in full (albeit slow) recovery, it's looking to be the perfect storm for an Obama reelection.
I'll leave you with an excellent Ali G. interview with Newt Gingrich several years back.