One only need listen to the collection of clowns seeking the Republican nomination for President to understand that what used to be considered the lunatic fringe of the GOP has completely taken over the Party.
Jonathan Bernstein noted that while there are mainstream conservative arguments "against President Obama’s policies, whether it’s on national security or budget or health care or any other issue," the Republican faithful are not hearing any of it. Rather, "they’re hearing third-rate slogans, misleading rhetoric and outright mistruths that would fit right in among the cheaper booths at a conservative convention."
Matt Taibbi describes this phenomenon as "the conservative chickens have come home to roost."
It's as if all of the American public's bad habits and perverse obsessions are all coming back to haunt Republican voters in this race: The lack of attention span, the constant demand for instant gratification, the abject hunger for negativity, the utter lack of backbone or constancy (we change our loyalties at the drop of a hat, all it takes is a clever TV ad): these things are all major factors in the spiraling Republican disaster.Taibbi believes, and it is hard to disagree, that "the conservative passion for divisive, partisan, bomb-tossing politics is threatening to permanently cripple the Republican party. They long ago became more about pointing fingers than about ideology, and it's finally ruining them."
After blaming "liberals, gays, Hispanic immigrants, atheists, Hollywood actors and/or musicians with political opinions, members of the media, members of congress, TSA officials, animal-lovers, union workers, state employees with pensions, Occupiers and other assorted unorthodox types," for the nation's "failure to return to good old American values," they have succumbed to the "last stage of paranoid illness" and turned on themselves.
This current race for the presidential nomination has therefore devolved into a kind of Freudian Agatha Christie story, in which the disturbed and highly paranoid voter base by turns tests the orthodoxy of each candidate, trying to figure out which one is the spy, which one is really Barack Obama bin Laden-Marx under the candidate mask!The ever-annoying Tom Friedman finds the decaying state of the Republican Party lamentable. Taibbi has a different take:
These people have run out of others to blame, run out of bystanders to suspect, run out of decent family people to dismiss as Godless, sex-crazed perverts. They’re turning the gun on themselves now. It might be justice, or it might just be sad. Whatever it is, it’s remarkable to watch.