We’ve been watching since 2008 the development of a soap opera plot that if it had appeared on television we would have never believed. It has featured Republican voters and candidates engaged in a grotesque dance of death – the death of democracy and the death of the U.S. Constitution.
We can ask what came first, the chicken or the egg, whether it was it the candidates who riled the mob or the mob that gave birth to the candidates. But in a sense, it doesn’t matter who actually started it – our problem now is what keeps it going, and besides corporate cash that‘s the folks who drank the Kook-Aid, er…I’m sorry, the Kool-Aid – literally a bunch of people who have fallen off the ideological deep end and couldn’t now punch their way out of a wet paper bag if we spotted them a hole.
The GOP continues to offer us candidates, apparently thinking each one will be better than the last – look at Sarah Palin’s long flirtation with the presidency, or Mike Huckabee’s heavy petting with Christian conservatives, followed by Bachmann’s replacement of Palin as Tea Party messiah-in-waiting, following by all these others including, especially, Rick Perry, who though endorsed by God’s own apostles can’t speak coherently. The most recent messianic candidate is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has just announced, in the words of Sarah Jones, that he “won’t be the GOP’s Rick Perry rebound.”
On his September 27 show, Jon Stewart eviscerated the Republican base for their collective failings, putting the blame squarely where it belongs, asking, “Have you ever considered the possibility that your candidates aren’t the problem – it’s you?” This is a point we are all well familiar with but one the mainstream media will not, of course, ever entertain. Leave it to Jon Stewart to point out the painfully obvious.
Watch the video from The Daily Show on Comedy Central:
“You want to add another candidate? It’s like the Republican primary is a season of American Idol in reverse, where every week you just add some new idiot… Have you ever considered the possibility that your candidates aren’t the problem — it’s you?”
“It’s like the Republican base is at war with its own talking points. I want someone who is going to cut taxes and balance the budget, someone who’s a skilled orator and doesn’t talk all fancy, a child of poor immigrants who will build a fence to keep them out of this country, someone who’s strong enough for a man but pH balanced for a woman, someone who will roll up their sleeves but not show their arms.”
“It’s like your ideal candidate is a rare super-heavy element that can only exist in a particular particle accelerator and, even then, for only a fraction of a second before you all remember how much you all hate science. You guys need to take a long hard look in the mirror — you need to take a long hard look in the mirror and not come away thinking, ‘There is something wrong with this mirror.’”
It’s difficult to see this story having a happy ending. As Stewart points out, the hopes of the base are mutually incompatible. The problems Boehner is having with the Tea Party are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s bad enough to offer knee-jerk condemnation of everything liberalism offers, but when your own message is so utterly incoherent that it’s physically impossible according to the rules that govern the universe, you are left with nihilism and anarchy.