Can you believe it?
Hardcore, conservative, dyed-in-the-wool Republican Senator Danforth called the republican presidential candidate field, "...embarrassing, they're terrible, just terrible for the party."
In recent days, more Republican pundits have referred to the Republican candidates transversing Iowa in search of conservative votes as the equivalent of a "clown car". I don't think I've ever seen such a violation of Ronald Reagan's "11th Commandment" (Thou shalt not speak ill of thine fellow Republican") as I have this year.
The phenomenon has puzzled me for a couple of weeks and I'll have to admit I've been absolutely dumbfounded by the inability of the most organized, well-disciplined, well-financed political machine in history to put forth a candidate capable of defeating a badly-wounded Democratic President like Obama. Fortunately, we had a light snowfall last night and instead of pulling out my beast of a snow blower, I took the time to shovel the porch and sidewalk. Fortunate? Well, actually, yes. Because shoveling a light snow allows the mind to wander and, if necessary, to focus on facts that are not immediately apparent otherwise.
So I started thinking about the "clown car" comment. On the surface, it is pretty factual. The candidates jumping into the fray are trying desperately to "out-crazy" one another. They are for the most part trying to "out-conservative" the other guy (or woman, because Bachman is still technically in the race).
Watching these people trip all over themselves to claim the crown of the "real conservative" in the race is like watching a Marx Brothers Comedy. It's so far over-the-top that you've got to believe that it is actually being done more for the laugh track than any serious political objective.
At least twice this year, MSNBC pundit Rachael Maddow has referred to certain Republican Presidential Campaigns as "performance art". She has been one of the few to recognize that this whole process seems more geared to mass entertainment (and distraction maybe?) than any serious attempt to elect a leader of the free world.
It occurred to me that the problem isn't that each of the candidates is clown-car-crazy but the agenda they are desperately trying to embrace is what is really clown-car-crazy. That would also be why no moderate, sensible Republican is in the race. Because in today's Republican Party, it's all about appeasing the Tea Party Crazies who parlayed a national recession and thinly disguised racism into a pseudo-political movement that (in turn) got hijacked by America's Oligarchy for fun and profit. No respectable Republican wants to be a part of this mess.
Let me be clear about this: The clownish, almost buffoonish cast of characters seeking the Republican nomination for the Presidency is not a function of the quality of the candidates available to the Republican Party, but, instead a function of the agenda the Tea Party has forced them embrace. The agenda itself is the clown car. The candidates are just trying to hop on it and ride it to the White House.
It gets even worse. The money needed to get elected is behind the Tea Party and the Republican Party cannot survive without that money so they have to buy into the clown car agenda.
Is there a bright spot?
Maybe in some dark, smokey back room somewhere, some brilliant Republican Strategist has this all mapped out. Maybe the master plan is to allow the Tea Party to pick the candidate for 2012 and to crash and burn so badly that it even wipes out the Republican Majority in the House of Representatives, thereby cleansing the Republican Party of the the stench of the Tea Party in time for the 2016 elections where they can run against a pure, Democratic agenda.....
I can only hope.