Point of View Columns

Bury My Heart at Wounded Wing

The right wing of the right wing of the G.O.Tea Party has a spectacular capacity to produce shock, if not awe. In a little less than three years these pseudo-patriotic zealots have managed to change the parameters of public debate as it pertains to this country.

No longer is there a question regarding how much can be done to help those in need – which pretty takes into account a huge percentage of Americans. The issue at hand pertains to the extent to which government services can be reduced.

Since the establishment of a national income tax in 1916, most discussion regarding this tax has focused on insuring its intended progressive characteristics. Now the major focus is on reducing the historically low tax rates of the wealthiest Americans. No one else needs to apply for such special treatment.

Establishing and maintaining high standards of healthcare is now a radical notion. Protection the environment (that would include the air we breathe and the water we drink) is sacrificed on the altar of profits for the energy industry and the science of global warming is likened to witchcraft. Indeed, just about all scientific inquiry, research and derived knowledge is now suspected. Indeed, in the brave new world of the right wing of the right wing vaccines and food inspection or unnecessary trappings of an overindulgent society.

During the past year, the dismal G.O.Tea Party Clown Cavalcade of Candidates has provided unwelcome diversion and more than a little unintended humor. Even the harshest critics of the right wing of the right wing could not believe that the bizarre gaggle parading from debate to endless debate could be considered a serious alternative to Barack Obama, or George W. Bush or Millard Fillmore.

Extremism in the defense of a destructive and dismal vision is a vice indeed.
Nevertheless we have been victimized by the sight of clear incompetents like Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann posing as possible Oval Office residents. We have have seen brazen self-promoters like Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump and Herman Cain using their campaigns as a platform to peddle their books and set up their next television deal. Ron Paul and Rick Santorum play the role of right wing of the right wing bomb throwers who are taken seriously only by the true zealots.

In this unfortunate array of wannabe’s Jon Hunstmann and Mitt Romney actually seem reasonable. But Mr. Romney seems intent on polishing his right wing of the right wing trophies at the expense of common sense and reason. Mr. Huntsman seems to believe that being in the presence of bizarre and virulent rhetoric is not contagious.

This Republican campaign process has offered us numerous nightmare scenarios depending upon who has surged to a temporary lead. From President Bachmann to President Perry to President Trump to President Cain, the blood runs cold at the mere thought of these people actually residing at the White House. And now ladies and gentlemen, get ready for President Newt Gingrich.

It is a testament to the ABO (Anybody But Obama) virus run wild that the G.O.Tea Party could consider choosing as president such a spectacularly failed politician as well as a supremely flawed human being. These flaws and failings have been catalogued – divorcing his first wife while she was battling cancer; seeking to impeach President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky affair while he was engaged in (one of many) extramarital relationships; being distinguished as the only Speaker of the House ever to pay a $300,000 fine for ethics violations; collecting $100 million in fees from major corporations and the troubled federal housing finance agency Freddie Mac while working as a quasi-lobbyist.

Lately, Newt Gingrich has once again demonstrated his propensity for clearly demonstrating the poverty of his dismal and despicable thought process. Commenting on the continuing tragedy of entrenched poverty in the inner cities of this country, Mr. Gingrich opined that young boys should be given apprentice jobs as janitors in the schools that they intend so that they can learn the work ethic while gaining marketable job skills. Given that his doctoral thesis was on the Belgian education system in the Congo, we should not be surprised at the bizarre and mindless nature of his proposal.

Not satisfied with such a heartless insult to the hopes and aspirations of millions of young men and women who still believe that there is opportunity in this country, Mr. Gingrich turned his eyes abroad and termed Palestinians “an invented people”. And we can be sure that with Newt Gingrich, there is more where that comes from.

We should be surprised that there are men and women who feel that a man who seriously suggests such appalling strategies is qualified to be president.
News reports indicate that the key strategists at Obama campaign headquarters are salivating at the thought of a Gingrich candidacy. However, there is always the cautionary advisory to be careful what you wish for.

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