What the Hell is happening in Iowa? If verbiage could be a runaway train, then Republican political theology has gone off the tracks and is plowing its way across the fecund fields of Iowa with a force not even Denzel Washington and Chris Pine can stop. The fields, unfortunately, are fertilized with barely metaphorical excrement, and the stench is becoming unbearable.
The problem might be, at least in part, with the Republican idea that you can make your own reality. Bush ran with this and was pretty successful. He got his Iraq War out of it, that we are just now done with almost ten years later. That’s nearly as long a run as the Trojan War, fought by another guy who needed an excuse (a woman, not weapons of mass destruction though Republicans often act like they’re the same) to “self-aggrandize” – Agamemnon.
Here’s the kicker: Once you divorce yourself from reason and logic and the laws of the universe, anything becomes possible. If this, why not that? What Republicans speculate about instantly becomes true.
Look at the talk about Iranian development of nuclear weapons. Iran is the new Troy and the dreams of Agamemnon are alive and well in the Golden Mycenae of the West, otherwise known as Iowa. According to Gingrich, the nuclear weapons are a done deal. Ron Paul, who apparently has nothing against war after all (or racism), wants to take a ‘hands off” approach to Iran’s nuclear program. If he was smarter and less insane, we might almost think of Paul as the Odysseus of this fable.
The rule of thumb here is that you must up the ante. If you respond conservatively (irony intended) you run the risk of being seen as irrelevant. So Gingrich responded with, ”Do you feel comfortable in terms of my two grandchildren and everybody in this city with someone who believes that Iranian nuclear weapons are irrelevant?”
Egads! The only answer to that, of course (as Gingrich knows well) is, “Of course not!” The same answer Agamemnon demanded and received before starting his own personal war of self-aggrandizement. And it worked for Bush and Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. We all know they had ‘em. Bush told us so.
But Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons, not as far as we know. They might or might not be developing them. We could always just attack Iran and look bewildered when we don’t find any. That worked for Bush too. Bewildered was a good look for him, you have to admit. It was like the world was just moving too fast for Dubya.
Trouble is, it’s moving to fast for the rest of them as well. Look at Ron Paul. Paul’s pandering to racists and religious extremists is disturbing enough, as is his wishy-washy response to the words he may or may not have written long ago, but now he feels the need to let all those conservative voters know that he’s really quite a warlike guy, his position on Iran notwithstanding.
If Gingrich is Agamemnon, then by golly Ron Paul needs to show that he has big Mycenaean cojones too. Hell, he loves the smell of gunpowder!
Watch the video from America Live on Fox News:
Ron Paul’s problem with the stance Gingrich and others take on Iran is this, according to Doug Wead:
“He’s against these endless wars that happen at a whim because somebody believes that someone is a threat to the United States.”
Well that’s good to know. No doubt a lot of Greeks thought Troy was a threat to Greece. So Ron Paul is not against war, but he’s against the Bush Doctrine, at least. That would keep us out of a few extra wars along the way. But the essential fact here is that Ron Paul, known for his anti-war stance, is eager to make clear to the crazed masses that he is not anti-war after all.
Testosterone cred is important to any Republican candidate. Even Sarah Palin liked to remind Americans that she has a bigger set than President Obama.
What the Republican contest has come down to a game of one-upmanship (it would not be unreasonable to call it “brinkmanship” given the stakes) where each candidate tries to outdo the other in craziness in order to satisfy the extremist views of a right-wing Christian minority, as though fulfilling their fevered cravings will make them acceptable to the country at large.
Even if they sing different tunes later, as is likely once the primaries are over, they can’t take back the words they’re saying now, which we are assiduously recording to bring up at the appropriate moment leading up to Election Day. This Looney Tunes Theater in Iowa must have consequences. You cannot open the door to madness and then close it again: you will have exposed yourself.
And expose themselves as fanatics of every stripe these candidates have done. No more do we think Michele Bachmann is a lone batshit crazy candidate sitting on a branch by herself. That branch at this point can barely hold the weight and the shit is piling up on the ground beneath them. And they keep edging further out to the tip of that branch, wrestling for its tip.
It doesn’t take an Odysseus to see where this is going.
It seems almost an orgy, a sort of sexual release for the candidates, getting to air their deepest, darkest secrets and actually receive approbation and not sentences in psychiatric hospitals for having done so. It must be a vicarious thrill for the average Iowa extremist too, standing in a field full of shit of their own making, receiving abundant affirmation of their own extremist views. But then where else is a racist White Evangelical going to go outside of Texas?
Image from Andrew Sullivan The Daily Beast