I didn’t watch the GOP debate last night because there’s no point to it. They’ve established a pattern and it’s always the same: 2 or 3 of them get into a vicious fight over who’s most like a dictator, who’d violate the Constitution the most often, who’d break more laws, who’d give the oligarchs the most tax breaks, who’d torture more innocent people, who’d invade the most Muslim countries, and/or who’d make sure a maximum number of the poor would starve, freeze to death, and end up homeless, roaming the streets.
And just to be sure we’re clear, those aren’t attacks against their opponents. They’re boasting.
Last night it was apparently about who would be most likely to marginalize, arrest, condemn, and otherwise be the cruelest to immigrants.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani immediately set the tone for the combative event, using the first question to continue a weeks-long feud they have waged on the campaign trail. Each accused the other of ignoring laws against illegal immigration and distorting one another’s record on the issue.
Giuliani accused Romney of having a “sanctuary mansion” by employing illegal immigrants as lawn workers and of being “holier than thou” on the issue. Romney accused Giuliani of ignoring the laws and of welcoming illegal immigrants to New York. “That’s the wrong attitude,” Romney charged in a lengthy, heated exchange.
They weren’t entirely alone, of course.
Former senator Fred D. Thompson accused Romney of flip-flopping on immigration and said Giuliani had gone to court seeking to overturn a bill designed to ban sanctuary cities. “I helped pass a bill outlawing sanctuary cities,” Thompson said. “The mayor went to court to overturn it. So, if it wasn’t a sanctuary city, I’d call that a frivolous lawsuit.”
Romney and Huckabee, who are in an increasingly tight battle in Iowa, clashed over whether children of illegal immigrants should receive college scholarships. Romney said Huckabee was wrong to support such a measure in Arkansas, to which Huckabee replied: “In all due respect, we are a better country than to punish children for what their parents did.”
McCain, whose campaign was damaged by his support for comprehensive immigration legislation, promised along with others that, as president, he would secure the borders, but he called on his rivals to tone down their rhetoric on the hot-button issue. If he becomes president, he said, “We won’t have all this other rhetoric that unfortunately contributes nothing to the national dialogue.”
In this group, Huckabee’s statement is as close to rationality as we’re likely to get.
But what comes through most clearly every time I listen to – or read – what these monsters say is that it doesn’t really matter which one of them wins. As president every single one (except Paul) is promising to be a bigger, meaner, more anti-American and dictatorial autocrat than Bush. It would seem that the fundamentalists and rabid ultraconservatives who now comprise the Republican base have driven out every lick of common sense, decency, and non-fear-fed hysteria from the party. Based on the candidates’ approaches and selling points, the GOP must now be almost exclusively limited to theocrats, racists, plutocrats, corporate puppets, xenophobes, eliminationists, mindless war-mongers, and Constitution shredders. Every so-called policy, foreign and domestic, seems to be based on greed, fear, and hate.
What this all means, added together, is that the vision the Republicans have for America’s future under GOP leadership is unrecognizable as America. It would be a walled-off, armed camp run by corporations and the military, led by the whims of a dictator, in which there would be only two economic classes – the rich and servants of the rich. It would be an empire plundering the world’s resources and exploiting the weak, leaving the old and the sick to die because they weren’t savvy enough or lucky enough to accumulate a pile of dead frogs. I used to say it was a vision that harked back to and longed for the late 19th century era of the Robber Barons, before unions and income taxes, before the 40-hr week and child labor laws.
But listen to these guys and it’s worse than that. They want a return to the feudal system of the Middle Ages backed by the military technology of the 21st. They want a monarchy. They even want all science not involved with creating war hardware regressed to a point pre-Darwin or even pre-Copernicus and replaced by Bible-science.
They have occasionally been called “the American Taliban” as hyperbole, a reference to how far back it would appear they wanted to take us. But every time they open their mouths, they make it plainer and plainer that that description isn’t hyperbole. It’s a fair and accurate assessment of what they actually want. They want a Xtian war against Muslims on a global scale; they want concentration camps for anyone who isn’t white, rich, and/or a particular brand of Xtian; they want women returned to baby-making and housework; they want to live in a monarchy/dictatorship under the rule of a single leader; they want a two-tiered economy with themselves at the top and peasants below; they want to hijack all the goodies of the world and lay waste to the planet to enrich themselves. In short, they want to re-create the Roman Empire or at least pre-Magna Carta Britain under, say, Ethelred the Unready. Or perhaps a less legal-minded, more religion-friendly Henry II.
It’s a frightening picture they draw. Like the Taliban and wahabists, they want a hell-for-leather charge back to a feudal 10th century society of aristocrats and serfs, lords and nobles, kings and empires. They want peasants bowing to them in the street and the right to whip, imprison, or kill the ones who won’t. They apparently consider that their not being born in that time is a correctable mistake and that now is the time to fix it. In point of fact, after 12 years of a Republican majority and 7 years of Bush Rule, they’re very near to getting what they want.
IOW, every one of them is a clinically, certifiably batshit-crazy lunatic.
It’s not a land an American could stand to live in, and if they manage to steal their third straight election, I will head as far away from them as I can get. The next Pub Pres is liable to start WW III just to prove how manly he is, and I for one don’t want to be anywhere near here when he does. If Rudy Giuliani is going to end the world, I don’t want to be in Peoria when he does it.