But the Dems should be cautious about counting their votes in the next House and Senate before they are hatched. For once I agree with MSNBC’s overwrought Chris Matthews, who has been around as long as I have. We both remember Goldwater, and how the Dems were sure he had killed the conservative movement by being so extreme. (Looking back, he would be a centrist with a few liberal views today.) We also laughed off Ronald Reagan as too conservative and too flawed to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate. (An actor? Give me a break.) Now his positions seem downright enlightened compared to the right-wing-nuts who keep pulling their party – and this country — farther and farther right.
Which leads us to today, where we see Rand Paul in Kentucky, Joe Miller in Alaska, Sharron Angle in Nevada and now Christine O’Donnell in Delaware winning top slots on Republican tickets. Among them, they support positions such as privatizing/eliminating Social Security, outlawing abortion even in the case of rape or incest, repealing the 14th Amendment and exercising of our Second Amendment right to armed revolution if the electorate fails to give them their God-given right to tell the rest of us what to do.
And you can add to that fear-inducing list some sort of government effort to persuade kids not to masturbate. Abstinence education is a big issue for Ms. O’Donnell, who looks like Katie Couric after a lobotomy in the video below.
My friend Dr. Carl S. Taylor at Michigan State argues that there is a grave danger in a culture that normalizes ignorance and violence. And the bar is moving fast in terms of pretending these views deserve serious consideration. Pretending also that Sarah Palin and her Tea Party cronies exhibit the minimum standards for running for high offices means we are colluding in reaping what we sow, if not this election, then the next.
Feeding into this insanity is a press corps so hamstrung by its supposed commitment to objectivity that we already hear reporters treating Ms. O’Donnell as a candidate deserving serious consideration. This is a woman who lied about her college degrees, whose home is in foreclosure and who seems to do nothing but run for offices she doesn’t win as a way to avoid working for a living.
Yet once we won the primary, even supposedly liberal MSNBC featured perky reporter Kelly O’Donnell (no relation) glossing over her namesake’s horrendous resume. All it takes to become respectable is for a group of equally unhinged and uneducated followers to delude themselves into thinking they are voting on principle when they are voting for charlatans trained to parrot all the “right” slogans.
Perhaps most unsettling for me is that I would like to see women succeed in politics. But I long for the day when I will never hear the words Mama Grizzly again. Sinclair Lewis once wrote that â€œwhen facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.â€ I worry that you can add to that “and wearing a dress.”