The cheap thrills and rhetorical carnage that has characterized the Teapublican Clownapalooza presidential primaries have provided enough material to keep comedians and political commentators in business for years. We have watched the machinations of this contest the same way we will cast a wayward glance at a car crash while driving by – it is hard not to look.
We were witness to Rodeo Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann proving to be world champions of stupidity, bigotry and meanness only to see Rodeo Rick explode and be whisked away like a cheap balloon at a carnival. Meanwhile Michele Bachmann has simply evanesced making it seem that maybe she was just a bad dream. Jon Huntsmann showed true presidential qualities by quitting the race and disassociating himself from this shameful gaggle of Tea Party panderers – and then he endorsed Mitt Romney, the well-lubricated weather vane who points in whatever direction might lead to votes.
Now we have seen the Newt Gingrich Ego Machine trample Mitt Romney in South Carolina and head to Florida. During the coming week we will see Newt and Mitt and Rick and Ron trade barbs and insults as they vie for the blessings of the right wing of the right wing. And despite the obvious, glaring flaws of these candidates we can be pretty sure that one of them will win the G.O.Tea Party nomination and will be running against Barack Obama in the fall.
It is said that common knowledge is rarely common – and common knowledge supports the view that none of the Teapublican Clowns could ever beat President Obama on November 6th. And the logic that greases that slippery slope of thought could indeed lead to the inauguration of President Newt Gingrich or President Mitt Romney in January 2013.
And that should be a cause for concern for anyone who cares about the present and the future. That obviously does not include people who feel that it is more important to expound on their differences with the record of Barack Obama rather than focus on the areas of commonality and mutual support.
This is not just another futile plea for peace, love and understanding in the political arena. President Obama does not need warm hugs and cookies before bedtime. What he does need is support that matches the vigor and determination of the opposition. And it is clear that the opposition to Barack Obama is the product of molten fury that has literally obliterated common sense and good judgment.
The only explanation for the ascendancy of the candidacy of Newt Gingrich is that the opposition to President Obama would rather have anyone with a pulse and a big mouth in his place. The fact that Newt Gingrich was a failure as Speaker of the House and was fined $300,000 for ethics violations while holding that position, that he is directly responsible for the historic total shutdown of the federal government, that his personal life reflects crass hypocrisy and personal indulgence that spits in the face of his supposed adherence to “family values”, that he engages in the kind of loose grenade rhetoric that by turns insults and baffles — that with all of this excess baggage there is a significant percentage of the American electorate that would elect him to replace Barack Obama. That is how much President Obama is despised by the right wing of the right wing.
In the face of this mindless but determined opposition, it is not the time to parse through the policy nuances of the Obama Administration not only wants to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, they also want to repeal Roe v. Wade and the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Given the opportunity the voters being courted by Newt and Mitt and Rick and Ron would withdraw the United States from the United Nations, make contraception a federal crime and disband the Environmental Protection Agency, along with the Department of Energy and the Department of Education for good measure.
The opposition of Barack Obama is prepared to seize the time and strangle it into submission. His supporters who are lukewarm simply do not appreciate the nature of his opposition. The policy measures mentioned are lifted from speeches and presentations by Romney, Gingrich, Paul and Santorum. Any one of them will, as the nominee of the Teapublican Party, embrace and endorse virtually all of these positions.
The fact that Barack Obama has not been a perfect president cannot possibly be used as an excuse to allow asylum escapees to grab control of this country. The next time Tavis Smiley or Bill Clinton or Cornel West decides to grace us with their opinion on how Barack Obama could do a better job, chipping away at his support as they expound, instead of pressing the “Mute” button it might be better to ask them how does “President Newt Gingrich” sound?