The GOP's Lame Presidential Candidates: Are They Crazy Enough for the Right-Wing Screamers?
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There was a time when Rush Limbaugh fans would happily trot to the ballot box and vote for soulless corporate lackeys like Bob Dole simply because they represented that last bulwark defending Real America from Hitlerly KKKlinton’s mandatory castration program.
But times have changed and nowadays Rush and his fellow right-wing media shriekers are far more demanding. As the nominations of Sharon Angle, Joe Miller, Carl Paladino and Christine O’Donnell demonstrate, Limbaugh and his like-minded allies have inspired their audience to thumb their nose at the Republican establishment by supporting candidates who not only protect them from Democrats but who also speak to their deeply held cultural values.
Oftentimes, these values take the form of a checklist of key issues: Does the candidate want to privatize Medicare? Do they want to start wars with multiple Middle Eastern countries? Do they properly relish punishing teachers, policemen and firefighters for daring to seek higher wages? And most importantly, do they oppose any efforts to encourage children to exercise and eat vegetables?
Unfortunately, most of the 2012 Republican favorites all have certain critical flaws that could cripple their chances of winning over the Limbaugh-Fox News-Malkin axis of the GOP base. In this piece we’ll break down the major 2012 contenders and see how they stack up to the conservative media howlers’ ideals of misanthropy, bloodlust and authoritarianism.
-Candidate #1: Mitt Romney
Romney is the classic type of plastic corporatist puppet that the Republican Party has proudly nominated for decades. He has perfect hair, chiseled looks and a business background that would typically make him an ideal candidate in any Republican primary.
But there’s a major problem with Mitt: He started his political career in Massachusetts, which ranks somewhere between North Korea and Mordor in the eyes of talk radio personalities. While running for and serving in public office in Massachusetts, Mitt made a number of statements that are standard fare for Bay State politicians but that sound like chants from the Satanic Bible to the Limbaugh-Beck axis. For instance, in 2003, then-Governor Romney said he’d support a nationwide gas tax hike. He also worked very hard to establish his pro-choice credentials by filling out a (gulp!) Planned Parenthood questionnaire on reproductive rights. Oh, and he also once said during a debate with Ted Kennedy that “we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern.” Uh-oh!
But the very worst thing Romney did while governor or Mordorchusetts was to help people get access to health care. It didn’t matter that Romney did so in a corporatist manner that enlarged the take-home pay for insurance company boards – his efforts to get people in Massachusetts health insurance may well doom him in the coming election. You see, helping people get health care is the one of the most horrific crimes against humanity according to Fox News and friends largely because… well we’re not sure, but helping people get health care seems to be the worst thing any Republican governor can do.
The point is, many conservatives have called on Romney to apologize for helping people get health care, even though he touted it as one of his signature strengths while running for president in 2008. And for a candidate whose persistent flip-flops have led Dittohead guru Erick Erickson to brand him as “Multiple Choice Mitt,” another reversal on health care could be deadly.
Romneycare should be a lesson to all Republicans everywhere: Do not touch health care at all unless it involves privatizing Medicare or slashing health benefits for veterans. The GOP’s Limbaugh faction will stand for nothing less.