Stepping away from blogging for long periods at a time gives you a little perspective, for better or worse. Sound and fury indicating nothing ebbs away, and what’s left to see is remarkably familiar.
The election of the first black president in our history was bound to smoke out the worst instincts in a very small number of Americans. Typically for our age, it began online. The email smear campaign of 2007-2008 has completely mutated into what is now today’s Republican Party. This was inevitable, given how little credibility remains of Republican dogma and policy. They are bankrupt intellectually and morally, their entire platform’s been enacted and has utterly failed, at every measure, and today they have not one single policy idea that resembles a plan to govern.
Republican tactical obsession with their base almost demanded that Republicans not just embrace the metastasized hate-fueled cancer of teabagging, but make it their own. That’s been accomplished, just as certainly as evangelical Christianism became a wholly owned subsidiary of the GOP. One group of clueless ideologues merely replaced another as the latest group of ignorants to whore themselves out to billionaires seeking merely to perpetuate their hold on the American economy which they themselves destroyed.
Whatever happens in the 2010 mid-terms, the result will measure, rather accurately, the full power that a tiny, but highly funded minority of haters can muster. These elections will be their height. And the haters will be either enraged that they failed to take Congress, or emboldened that they have. Either way, the viciousness of this hate will only increase. Barack Obama’s election didn’t remove these people from our midst, it merely identified them precisely, often by name.
To me, this means that Sarah Palin will either become the nominee of the Republican Party, or play a self-serving game that yields her untold riches and her very own most awesome independent bid for the White House. In either case, no matter the result this November, the election in 2012 will be the final act of the Republican deal with their self created devil. It may even destroy the party.
Because in presidential elections, Americans take a very hard look at their politics, and are usually disgusted by it. Nothing is more electorally disgusting than the current Republican Party. They have nominated a woman in Delaware who practiced witchcraft. A guy in Ohio who proudly dresses up as a Nazi SS goon from Josef Mengele’s own unit. A used car dealer from Cleveland who has been sued 400 times, most recently for sexual assault, harrassment, and potentially an attempted rape he may have committed literally while he was campaigning. A proudly gay hating bigot for governor of New York. A loonie in Kentucky who is so bizarre you can’t even imagine having dinner with the guy.
Up and down the ballot, all over the country, Republicans are defining themselves as the most extreme political actors this country may have ever seen. In November of 2012, Americans will reassess their decision to elect their first black president, judge his performance, and judge what his opposition became in response. I’m not worried about that judgment at all.
Not one bit.