Tuesday, October 09, 2012

How about that Republican Party?

A while back, I started a key category of “Just Plain Crazy” to tag some of the crazier stuff Republicans have been saying in the campaign so far.  And, true to form, they’ve just been pumping out the crazy, although I’ve just not been able to keep up!

But so far, this week they’ve turned on the afterburners!

US House Rep. Paul Broun from Georgia recently told an audience at Liberty Baptist Church:
God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says. And what I’ve come to learn is that it’s the manufacturer’s handbook, is what I call it. It teaches us how to run our lives individually, how to run our families, how to run our churches. But it teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in society. And that’s the reason as your congressman I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I’ll continue to do that.
Charlie Fuqua, candidate for the Arkansas House of Representatives, recommended child execution in his book, “God’s Law: The Only Political Solution”:
The maintenance of civil order in society rests on the foundation of family discipline. Therefore, a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. … 
He goes on to recommend the Biblical death sentence, with explicit references to the manner in which it does so in such an admirably Judicial manner:
Even so, the Scrpture [sic] provides a safe guard to protect children from parents who would wrongly exercise the death penalty against them. Parents are required to bring their children to the gate of the city. The gate of the city was the place where the elders of the city met and made judicial pronouncements. In other words, the parents were required to take their children to a court of law and lay out their case before the proper judicial authority, and let the judicial authority determine if the child should be put to death. 
Or, hear what this guy has to say:

And, finally, this article from Think Progress:
After Arkansas Republicans disavowed a book by state representative Jon Hubbard (R-AR) claiming slavery was “a blessing in disguise” for African Americans, Hubbard’s colleague, state Rep. Loy Mauch (R-AR) has been outed by the Arkansas Times for his pro-slavery, pro-Confederacy letters to the editor over the past decade. Mauch’s run for reelection this year is backed by the Arkansas Republican Party.“In letters to the Democrat-Gazette, Mauch vehemently defended slavery and repeatedly suggested Jesus condoned it: 
If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861? The South has always stood by the Constitution and limited government. When one attacks the Confederate Battle Flag, he is certainly denouncing these principles of government as well as Christianity. 
His other letters call Abraham Lincoln a Marxist and celebrate the Confederate flag as “a symbol of Christian liberty vs. the new world order.” He also organized a conference in 2004 praising John Wilkes Booth and calling for the removal of an Abraham Lincoln statue. Mauch has been supported mainly by contributions from the Republican Party and other Arkansas candidates. Now, the state GOP is pulling all funds from Mauch, Hubbard and another state legislative candidate, Charlie Fuqua, who wants to expel all Muslims from the country and thinks rebellious children should receive the death penalty.
Though the party committee has cut them off, the three candidates are still receiving support from other Arkansas politicians, including U.S. Reps Steve Womack (R) and Tim Griffin (R). Mauch has also been endorsed by the National Rifle Association and the Arkansas Right to Life PAC.”
This last one in particular is telling to me.  It shows clearly that the Republican Party is splintering.  If the fact that a far right group, paid for by Koch Brother money took over the reins of the Party two years ago isn’t enough, the fact that the RNC can cut off money to these clowns, yet their local and/or State Party keeps supporting them should be enough to tell you that.  This isn’t the first time this has happened, either.  Remember Akin and his “women can’t get pregnant from rape” thing?  The Republican response to that was mixed, and now that he can’t be forced out, the RNC is forced to support him anyway, just to try to keep his seat Republican, even though their first reaction was that his wingnuttery would hurt the Party nationally.
There is no doubt to me that the Republican Party is in the midst of a huge internal struggle.  On one side, you’ve got the traditional Party leadership. Backed by the wealthy movers and shakers, they comprise the “old” Party faction. Next is the Religious Right.  A long time ago, it made a deal with the Republicans to back their game if the Republicans would bring god “back” into politics.  And finally, you’ve got the new guys, at least partially represented by the Tea Party and financed by the Koch brothers.  They are, in reality, the new version of the oligarchs who weren’t happy with the timid way the Traditional folks were pushing their favorite policies on making this country an oligarchy in their favor.
But, remember the posts I’ve written about that group called the Dominionists?  They’re the fourth side here, and they’ve got some heft also.  It is from these guys that the crazy is coming from, and it indicates why the campaign is getting so crazy.
The “old” Party was being run by the Traditionalists and the Religious Right.  On the other side are the Tea party and the Dominionists. Both sides have, essentially, the same pact with each other - scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.
The problem is that not only do neither side have full control yet, but there really aren’t any people at the top who are calling the shots.  There is a broad outline of consensus on both sides as to how to proceed - both in winning the election and with dealing with their internal opponents - but there aren’t any true leaders with anything like full control, so disagreements over particulars from State to State are inevitable.
One would think that this is odd, coming from an authoritarian group, but remember, this is a battle for the heart of the Republican Party.  At the same time, they’ve got to develop and run a campaign to elect one of their own as President, when really, neither side is happy with the guy they ended up with.
The campaign is getting so crazy because the real wingnuts live on another planet, and they think that enough people in this country think like they do, so they are safe in broadcasting their nuttery as they try to attract enough voters to their guys to decimate the “old” Party folks.
If the rest of us are lucky, the general election voters will shut their asses down completely.  What is more likely is that within their own ranks, the issue will be split and neither side will come out on top, but Obama will win the Presidency.  How much the GOP is damaged by this and whether it sinks into a battle royal after the election depends on how the Congressional and State elections turn out.
If the voters throw the wingnut bums out, things might work out in the long run, but if they win more seats than the old guard yet keep the House and fail to win the Senate, it is likely, in my opinion, that the Party will split.  If the Republican Party gets shut down completely, look for it to simply implode.  How that will work out, nobody knows, it’s been over a hundred and fifty years since a major Party in this country died.
All in all, this election is turning out to be a fun time for all!

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