5 Giant Contradictions That Are Sinking the GOP
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Enough uplifting, all-purpose notions why Obama and Democrats prevailed, some pertinent (like demographics), many laughable: it was Sandy the storm, tons of “stuff” Obama promised, or Democratic voter repression (right!). “No, no,” shout disbelievers, “Mitt was too moderate, or too extreme, his V.P. too fixated.” Or Obama was simply superior on the stump. Below such media noise rumbles a larger tectonic, thus my nomination for what made this election significant: a gang of rightwing contradictions reared up, then crashed and burned.
While this trend transcends any one folly, Romney was the ideal, fossilized Republican awash in a fantasy golden age when bountiful bosses generated jobs and pampered laborers. Likewise, what bizarre political deviance tabbed Paul Ryan as more than a shrill ideologue with zero national clout? For the first time, both misfits atop a national ticket lost their home states. Remarkably, even that matchless twosome, McCain-Palin, outpolled (and outwinked) the votes to Romney-Ryan.
And the good news rolls on: fake debates came and went, gaffes didn’t disqualify, and America survived another suspense-packed media circus. Reactionary donors didn’t buy the election, as feared, though they warped the discourse by exiling climactic issues: energy planning, Wall Street reform, drone killers, global warming, Afghanistan, education and immigration. Minor stuff, really. Did more billionaires ever waste more treasure failing to convince more doubters we all share the same economic interests? And the president got away with never fleshing in what a second term presaged, his pitch reduced to: “Not Romney.” Oddly, Mitt the bereft plied the same waters: “Not Obama.”
Frivolities aside, Republican dinosaurs tanked because they fell into their own dazzling quicksand of contradictions, exposing both intellectual fraudulence and ideological perversity. Even gullible Americans, eager to endorse UFOs and angelic (or satanic) intervention but not evolution, are growing up (and growing younger). Despite sham indirections, Romney-Ryan personified the rightwing swamp, swarming with deception, denial, blarney, and delusion. To wit:
Glaring Contradiction One: Big government is evil except when running wars, paying subsidies, or legalizing morality
With a refreshing demonstration the Big Lie doesn’t always gain by repetition, the confluence of Romney’s robotic personhood reinforced the core vacuity of the GOP con game replayed here one too many times. Thus, big government is diabolical when serving up social justice or safety nets, emergency relief, science education and research, safety and environmental regulations. Drown that overpriced sucker. Yet, when empire building or tax cutting for the rich, jailing criminals or forcing women to give birth, paying out oil, resource, or farm subsidies, government is the glory of law and order, the foundation of civilization. Throw in handgun laxity or abusing the rights of dissenters, accused terrorists and whistleblowers, then intrusive government cannot be too big. Contradictions rule the right, like those who worship Jesus but also capital punishment, sanctify the unborn but pardon killers of abortion doctors.
What Obama’s win, alongside surging Democratic senators, disrupted was the dubious marriage between billionaires dying to own the government and fundamentalists dying to institutionalize regressive morality. This election exploded Reaganite propaganda that “big government” is the problem by spotlighting the true middle-class nemesis: the rich, reactionary, class warriors who demonize government for contesting their unbridled freedom to get richer. Federalism is hardly perfect, but a majority of voters reinforced Washington as the strongest bulwark against the terrors of predatory capitalism, economic cycles and man-made “natural” disasters.
Glaring Contradiction Two: Plutocrats Should Run Democracy
America still boasts an increasingly inclusive, less racist electorate, and ethnic diversity honors a messy democracy. Did this election not displace white, affluent dominance with a much-poorer rainbow of minorities? The results set battle lines between a concentrated plutocracy vs. the authority of a democratic majority. In this regard, Romney was the perfect candidate to dramatize the contradiction that heartless plutocrats cannot rule a vital, compassionate democracy. Enter the first predatory capitalist to loom over the presidency – and his explicit performance, as a narrow, mean-spirited, out-of-touch hustler, came right out of central casting. Bravo for the only positive from an insane GOP primary; even goofy McCain would have fared better.