Point of View Columns

Send in the Clowns

In the past, news that the circus was coming to town was a cause for great anticipation and celebration. Who wouldn’t want to see the Strong Man, the Contortionist, the Clowns, the High Wire Act and the Fat Man? It all sounds like very exciting stuff….and a lot of fun.

And the G.O.Tea Party circus would be a lot of fun except we are living in very serious times. It would be a lot of fun except the excesses and errors and lies of the Bush Administration have come home to roost big time. And so it is not a lot of fun and it is kind of sad that the best that the Republicans can do is put together a circus instead of credible candidates for the office of President of the United States.

Instead we are witness to the antics of Newt Gingrich as the Strong Man. He is supposed to be possessed of tremendous intellectual capacity, strong enough to lift this nation out of its economic doldrums. But it turns out that the weights that he is hoisting are made of cardboard and his so-called policy statements are nothing but a dusty rehash of the Republican mantra of lowering taxes and cutting the budget – all the while reducing services to the American people and limiting investment in the American future.

Mitt Romney is starring in this circus as the Contortionist. He continues to amaze and thrill audiences as he twists this way and turns that way explaining how the universal healthcare legislation that he signed in Massachusetts was a good thing while the universal healthcare legislation that President Obama signed is a bad thing.

Mr. Romney might be a champion at Twister but he is never going to convince the right wing of the right wing of his bona fides.

And then there are the Clowns. Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin have locked up these starring roles with their mangling of the English language, their massacre of historical facts and their reckless disregard for logic and common sense. Their pie in the face approach to the challenges and problems of the day might be entertaining but they are more than dangerous in the real world.

Clown #1, Congresswoman Bachmann has stated that the Founding Fathers tried their best to abolish slavery. This would have come as a great surprise to the owners of slaves like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

Not to be outdone, Clown #2, Sarah Palin went on the record contending that Paul Revere rode to warn the British not to take away the weapons of the colonists. We will soon learn from her that the National Rifle Association was a part of the Continental Army.

The High Wire Act stars Congressman Ron Paul as he repeatedly defies gravity and common sense with his contention that the draconian reduction of government would actually make life better for all Americans. The tragic impact of his policies and philosophies are there for all to see, yet he wobbles on his rhetorical high wire, daring us to believe that he will not fall.

The Fat Man would be New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He has become a champion of the G.O.Tea Party by taking on “special interests” like teachers and government workers while advocating tax breaks to the wealthiest of the wealthy in the Garden States.

The Fat Man amazes crowds with his attempts to leap across the chasm of credibility while burdened with the weight of hypocrisy, such as his use of a New Jersey State Police helicopter to see his son play baseball even while police and teachers are being laid off in because of his policies.

Simple logic would dictate that the G.O.Tea Party will have no chance of unseating President Obama with the circus troupe that is contending for the Republican nomination. But simple logic will not apply in 2012.

The reality is that unemployment continues to ravage the lives, dreams and future of Americans across the country. The reality is that the devastation visited upon the American economy and financial system by the transgressions of the finance elite and the lies of the Bush warmongers has left a national landscape where fear no longer lurks in the shadows.

When people are afraid, deception presented as an answer is gobbled up like cotton candy at the circus. The peanuts and popcorn of fake solutions and deceptive salvation at least offer a temporary respite from the fear of today and the terror of tomorrows that don’t seem to offer a future.

It would, therefore, be a good idea for President Obama and his campaign team and supporters to refrain from thinking that simple logic is part of a useful campaign strategy. These are times that are full of fear and illogic and the message of intelligence and purposeful strategies and policies can get drowned out by the calliope of the circus parade.


2 thoughts on “Send in the Clowns

  1. dianue says:

    Good morning Mr. Ford,
    As usual – amusingly prose! But what precisely is your recipe for inspiring logic-based, reason-driven national debates? The perennial senseless babbling about right-wing operatives you so accurately and cleverly describe your writings is but a distraction and a waste of time. Amplifying the deafening echoes from the media noise machines is of no value to the ordinary citizen.

  2. Anthony Pell says:

    “These are the times that try men’s souls… The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country. These are the Sunshine Patriots..”.Tom Paine….(also listen to Ballad for Americans, Paul Robeson…).

    ….and service to our country requires us to be informed, and to understand that facing our Land are these summer soldiers and sunshine patriots. They need to be identified and their Babbitt-like pronouncements understood for what they are, and counter positions and action taken. We must learn who sits on the Supreme Court, making a mockery of voting by turning it into an even more money driven process than ever — a process put en route by a far right wing Catholic majority — how many among us know there are six Catholics there, four extreme right (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito)? Tony

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