Scott Horton translates for us as Der Spiegel notes what needs to be noted, that the Republican primary is so embarrassing that it is doing damage to our image abroad. This country has to give up either its ignorance or its empire or its democracy. If the president had no real international power, the global ignorance of his constituents would be fine; or if the ignorance of the constituents had no selective power on the exercise of power, that would work too. Worst of all, to me, is that there is a perfectly fine nominee, Huntsman, who appears to be intelligent and responsible and rich and so forth. A perfectly decent Eisenhower Republican, who if he were your neighbor you’d go to for investment advice and who probably has a fabulous collection of fancy socks. But Republicans don’t want him. They can’t even complain that they only voted for Cain or Gingrich or Bachman or Perry because there was no one else.
“Africa is a country. The Taliban rule in Libya. Muslims are terrorists. Immigrants are mostly criminals, Occupy Wall Street protesters are always dirty. And women who claim to have been sexually molested should kindly keep quiet.”
Welcome to the wonderful world of the Republican Party. Or rather: to the distorted world of its presidential campaign. For months it has coiled through the country like a traveling circus, from debate to debate, from scandal to scandal, contesting the mightiest office in the world — and nothing is ever too unfathomable for them… These eight presidential wannabes are happy enough not only to demolish their own reputations but also that of their party, the once worthy party of Abraham Lincoln. They are also ruining the reputation of the United States.
They lie, deceive, scuffle and speak every manner of idiocy. And they expose a political, economic, geographic and historical ignorance compared to which George W. Bush sounds like a scholar. Even the party’s boosters are horrified by the spectacle…
Platitudes in lieu of programs: in serious times that demand the smartest, these clowns offer blather that is an insult to the intelligence of all Americans. But as with all freak shows, it would be impossible without a stage, the U.S. media, which has been neutered by the demands of political correctness, and a welcoming audience, a party base that seems to have been lobotomized overnight. Notwithstanding the subterranean depths of the primary process, the press and broadcasters proclaim one clown after the next to be the new frontrunner, in predictable news cycles of forty-five days.
Byron says it best:
There is the moral of all human tales;
‘Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
First freedom, and then Glory, – when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption – barbarism at last.
There used to be a day when a conservative used to be the kind of person you could rely on to know a quotation like that.