The Party of Crazy

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Republicans aren't just wrong this year, they've gone crazy. The inmates have taken over the asylum at the GOP, and there is no responsible adult supervision.

Once again, "This is not your father's GOP." Traditional Republicans and traditional conservatives have fled the party or have been thrown out by its far-right fringe of John Birch Society, states rights nullification theory "Tenthers," anti-government sedition and secessionists, Anti-Constitution radicals who want to "reinterpret" the Constitution or to repeal it, Christian Reconstructionists who want to impose a theocracy, and the usual smattering of religious bigots, xenophobic nativists, and unrepentant racist segregationists.

I have said before I believe what we are witnessing is the implosion of the Republican Party as we have known it, comparable to the final days of the Whig Party and the Know Nothing Party in the 1850s which gave rise to the Republican Party — and the Civil War.

What is emerging from the wreckage of the GOP is something dark and alien to our long-cherished American values and principles, the Constitution and even American history itself. The far-right fringe should not be permitted the use of the Republican Party label — the far-right fringe is hijacking this name brand to give themselves legitimacy, but they are not legitimate nor are they the rightful heirs to the traditions and values of the Republican Party that these parasites have hollowed out. Extremism should bear a new name.

Steve Benen of The Washington Monthly reports:

Democrats unveiled this video, titled "These People Could be in Charge," this morning, shining a light on a variety of high-profile GOP candidates. All of those featured appear to be, to varying degrees, stark raving mad.

The point isn't subtle — voters are supposed to start connecting "Republican" and "crazy." This is a party that doesn't just want to turn back the clock to the Bush/Cheney era; this is a party that wants to scrap New Deal-era pillars of American society, repeal constitutional amendments, eliminate cabinet agencies, purge the GOP of moderates, etc.

That this effort is being launched the day before right-wing, anti-government zealots gather at the Lincoln Memorial is not, I suspect, a coincidence.

What's more, the larger significance is very likely intended to push back against the very nature of the cycle. For months, the Republican plan has been to make the elections a referendum — if you don't like the status quo, vote for the GOP. The Democrats' task has been to present the midterms as a choice — you can choose to move forward with Dems, or you can go backwards with a radicalized Republican Party.

It's a direct response to the best scenario Democrats could have hoped for. The GOP brand is still deeply unpopular, but presented with a key opportunity for massive gains, the party has nominated some real nutjobs. Voters who may have been inclined to vote Republican this year may think twice when they consider the weirdo whose name is on the ballot.

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I consider this the Dems' strongest pitch. If the American mainstream is already inclined to be suspicious of the Republican pitch, it's wise to reinforce those doubts by demonstrating just how ridiculously right-wing the GOP has become.

As E.J. Dionne Jr. noted yesterday in the party of crazy: "The paradox is that a Republican Party in the grips of ideology needs to shift the campaign in a less ideological direction, hoping that voters simply cast protest ballots against hard economic times. Democrats, who are more doctrinally diverse, have every interest in turning the election into a philosophical contest, arguing that even unhappy voters cannot trust their fate to a party in the grips of a right-wing revolt. Once again on Tuesday, Republican primary participants seemed determined to give Democrats that opportunity."

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