I know conservatives. My father was a Reagan Democrat. Every holiday party I attend the Fox faithful lament the state of Obama’s America. I know boomers who in every way are loving and compassionate people but they are all too willing to believe the perpetuated myth of the welfare rich and the takeover of American healthcare. They don’t get the whole story, they believe what they think everyone believes and are genuinely surprised to see push-back on the basic falsehoods pressed as facts in the right wing bubble.
It’s striking to me how the candidates are climbing all over themselves to appeal to the FoxNews-educated (uneducated?) masses in an effort to be Tea Party worthy. (Like sponge-worthy but without the dinner and drinks.) They just double-down over and again on religion, birth control, guns, elitism, oil drilling, birth certificates, welfare queens, and the idle moochers sucking the life out of the “producers.” Ironically, many of the “producers” are seniors receiving government benefits and those with low intelligence and/or education.
“President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college,” Rick Santorum said at an Americans for Prosperity rally. “What a snob!” Like all the candidates, he runs against the fictional Obama, the real Obama had promoted education at all levels in the State of the Union address, including the need for community colleges and other venues to help to educate workers for the advanced blue collar jobs that America needs today and in the future. So the Tea Party, (those most likely to be at an Americans for Prosperity rally, the astroturf group used by the Koch Brothers to rally the misled to their pro-business anti-human strain of politics) is ready to cheer a candidate who minimizes the value of a college education.
Americans for Prosperity has a candidates pledge that tax money won’t be used to curb greenhouse gas emissions because the science of climate change is not acceptable to those whose companies might lose a sliver of profit in avoiding CO2 emissions. The GOP stakes out the anti-science territory with gusto. Considering the needs of an information society, this might be short-sighted. Ya think?
In 2008 speaking to a Catholic university crowd, Santorum declared “This is not a political war at all. This is not a cultural war at all. This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies, Satan, would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age?”
Anti-education, anti-science, and with a Good vs. Evil worldview straight out of a Stephen King novel and he still can get applause? Santorum truly is “A Candidate for the New Dark Ages®”, a slogan I will gladly license to him.
Candidate Romney is bashed for the Massachusetts universal health insurance and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). So he has to apologize for getting the people of the state he governed covered by health insurance in an affordable way and for a program that has brought hundreds of millions in economic activity to Massachusetts and is successfully reducing CO2 emissions in the northeast.
Newt Gingrich, at an event in Bowling Green, focused on his own plan to return the price of gasoline to $2.50 a gallon by increasing domestic production and approving the Keystone XL pipeline. For a guy who supposed to be smart he should be more aware of the fact that this might knock pennies off the price but it won’t take $1.70 off a gallon. He knows this of course, but he’s speaking to people who are willfully ignorant of the Drill Baby Drill big lie.
Gingrich, speaking of the Occupy movement, said “go get a job right after you take a bath.” OMG I just flashed back to 1969 when the establishment was telling the dirty hippies to cut their hair and take a bath. Does this kind of rhetoric still have legs 43 years later? Ever on the attack, because he is basically, you know, an asshole, he’s launched a Website called http://www.romneytaxes.com to call attention to the way Romney closed a budget deficit in Massachusetts by increasing fees including, drum roll, on Gun Licenses! So the right wing is so out of touch with the benefit of closing a billion plus budget shortfall that they will get stuck on the immaterial tidbit that gun owners were affected by a tax.
It goes on an on. Thirty-plus years of shrilly using social issues as a wedge has resulted in social issue stances that need to pass a litmus test of right wing loonery. The GOP turned it up, turned it up, turned it up with their Limbaughs, Becks, Hannitys, Coulters, and Thomases and now they have to make a deal with the devil to be heard by the hyperbole-deafened true believers.