The GOP base: Stupid is as stupid does

In too many ways, the Republican Party deserves Rick Santorum.

He’s tailor-made for the right-wing fanatics, Bible-thumpers and racists that dominate the party of the elephant.

“As long as the GOP chooses to let the extreme right dominate its base it is doomed to find political failures like Rick Santorum,” longtime political activist Samuel Glasden told Capitol Hill Blue after Santorum cruised to an easy victory in Louisiana.

Yet two other darlings of the GOP’s extreme fringe — former Speaker of the House and serial adulterer Newt Gingrich and former racist newsletter publisher Ron Paul — finished third and last in the Bayou State primary, well behind second-place finisher Mitt Romney.

Does this mean there’s some hope for Republicans?  Or does it mean that tail-chasing ex-Congressmen from Georgia and conspiracy-spouting Libertarians from Texas are too extreme even for the fanatics who dominate the GOP?

Hard to tell.  Exit polls in Louisiana show many of those who voted for Santorum put economy above social issues yet they still voted for a political troglodyte who thinks women belong in the kitchen, abortions should return to back-alley butchers and gays should be given therapy and electrical-shock treatments. The sad fact that a screwup like Santorum is still in the GOP primary race is a testament to the poor quality of the remaining four contenders to the Presidency — a flawed field that most consider the worst slate in the history of GOP politics.

Santorum appeals to the vapid base of the GOP: A cadre of ignorant, fear-driven voters with a collective IQ around that of an average plant.  They buy into the messages of fear that Santorum issues with fake religious zeal and accept his predictions of apocalyptic doom that spill out of his mouth like verbal diarrhea.

Santorum, like so many who rise to prominence in politics, is a false-prophet preaching to an ignorant populace seeking messiahs that don’t exist to fight problems manufactured out of thin air by those who substitute hyperbole for fact and fear for reason.

That he is able to rise out of the swamp of bottom feeders that remain so dominant among the GOP ranks is a testament not to his qualifications for President but to Republican base belief that anyone — and they do mean anyone — is preferable to that black bogeyman in the White House.

Santorum appeals to a GOP base where racism lurks, homophobia thrives and bigotry triumphs.  His messages resonate with those who think women should be subservient to men, blacks should be hung from the nearest tree and everyone should bow to a government-mandated, white Christian God.

So it makes sense that Santorum wins in Southern states.  It helps when an idiot Romney goes down into the Bible belt and tries to act Southern, saying “y’all” and talking about loving grits. It helps even more when the only other choices are Gingrich and Paul.

Romney can win the GOP nomination without the South but Santorum and his fellow conspirators say Romney can’t beat Obama without the South.  That may be true but maybe the real question should be: Do the Republicans deserve to win?

As long as the GOP presents a slate of Presidential candidates like Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, the answer is easy:

No way.

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15 Responses to "The GOP base: Stupid is as stupid does"

  1. Hal Brown  March 25, 2012 at 7:44 am

    So well put, Doug, that I can’t think of anything to add except a subtitle for the graphic: Beware of small caliber minds with large caliber bullets.

  2. Jon  March 25, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I can.

    Here’s something to add: In the politics of compromise, they who start with the most extreme position win.

    Even the leftists in the USA are to the right of Franco. Keep pushing one limit, and the median becomes what you want.

    J.

  3. Hal Brown  March 25, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Jon,

    The median, mathematically speaking, doesn’t become what you want. However I agree that extremists can, by accident or design, move the median of political positions in their direction by taking ever extreme positions, and thus push the other side (currently the Democrats) to take ever more right wing views in their one-sided effort, however futile, to compromise.

    This the median moves to the right. I’ll leave it to statisticians, political and social scientists to plug the appropriate values into the equations:

    Here’s an interesting explanation of the median voter theorem for this who, unlike me, didn’t struggle to barely pass two semesters of required statistics in college.

    • Jon  March 26, 2012 at 1:48 am

      Strictly mathmatically, imagine the set {1,2,3,4,5} where the median is ‘3’, but if you want the median to be ‘5’, you add {6,7,8,9}, even if all you want is ‘5’.

      Or something like that. :)

      J.

  4. Sandy Price  March 25, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I understand the bell curve as well as anyone. It points out the truth as does Doug Thompson this morning but the missing link is a solution to bring America back to a positive nation of honest and good people.

    At this point we are interested only in expanding the divide between right and left. The solution to trying to fix the moral standards of America is not through the religious convictions of the Christians. Christians in America today grow through the degrading of other races and religions and offer nothing moral in return.

    In this respect Senator Santorum is the perfect leader. He lays out all the prohibitions taught to him by his Catholic teachers. He has no place to preach these prohibitions except in the theater of the Political primaries. The RNC wrote this agenda for the GOP and hopefully it will destroy their chances of electing any Republican in November.

    What is missing from this theater is a strong Secular point of view who can speak for the American people and how to respect the separation of church and state. Sadly the GOP has no other agenda available except a continuing war with Islam.

    Doug is right! This is pure insanity!

  5. glennk1949  March 25, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Obama is lucky to have such creatures to run again. However, that doesn’t say much about his own less then stellar performance these past 3.5 yrs. America is without leaders anymore. We have descended into something less then a Nation. Being led by men unfit to run a 7 Eleven.

  6. Davld Clark  March 25, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Being everything to everyone means being nothing to no one.

  7. glennbear  March 25, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I sincerely appreciate Doug’s CAT scan of the current GOP. This is the GOP that true conservatives such as W.F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater warned of: Now the lunatic fringe right-wing of the Republican Party is in command. The inmates are in charge of the asylum.

    We on the left heartily welcome ["man on dog"] Santorum as the GOP nominee for the Fall election. Even Etch-a-Sketch Romney will do.

    And Rush Limbaugh mightily helped with the cause of re-electing Obama by so viciously attacking Sandra Fluke, thereby heaping gasoline on the raging inferno known as the “War on Women.” A 20% gender gap favoring the Democrats makes me wonder if the GOP is on a suicide mission this election cycle?

  8. Jim B.  March 26, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Powerful analysis by Doug! It appears that for a good number in the GOP base, as stated, they cast their primary votes from pure, distilled emotion and not reason.

    Do they care that the candidate they trumpet — Santorum — doesn’t have a whisper of a chance against Obama in the general election? Maybe they just want to be heard and seen like the people in the photo with this article…and that’s all they really care about?

    BTW…the poster at the bottom of the article reminded me of this famous quote:

    “No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have searched the record for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.”
    ― H.L. Mencken

    ———-

    Jim

  9. Almandine  March 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    No way… except where Obama is concerned.

  10. Danny Adams  March 27, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    In the process of clearing out my basement today following it getting flooded by Saturday’s storm, I ran across an article in the then-Roanoke Times & World News from November 1985 that was headlined something like “Desperate Republican leaders want to rescue party from extremists”. A pity they failed.

    • Almandine  March 27, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Which extremists are being decried this time?

  11. Sandy Price  March 27, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I can only hope that Doug, or someone here can write up the ridiculous comments Romney made today after the open mike that President Obama didn’t realize was live. He apparently spoke to Medvedev in private about having more time to approach matters involving Russia after the election. Romney is still under the impression that we are still in the cold war with Russia.

    Is there no Republican who is up to date with our foreign relations with other nations? I fear for that 3 am telephone call that Hillary Clinton spoke of in 2008.

    These off the cuff comments meant only to degrade Obama really make the GOP look stupid. Maybe Palin isn’t as dumb as she appears. No Republican seems to have the brains to stop and think before speaking.

    In my dealings with the GOP in the last couple of decades, I cannot believe that not a single member of the Party can be trusted to understand the mess America is in.

    One liners to be followed by a laugh track is all the GOP can come up with. If we had more time, I would suggest an IQ test based on current events be given to anyone running for office. Even our media giants can’t seem to feed questions to anyone running for any office in the GOP.

    Romney is so ill-equipped to run for the White House, that his being a Mormon is his least of his problems. Does he have a trainer anywhere near him who can shove something in his mouth before he dares to speak before he gets us bombed by Russia/Iran/name your enemy. Is he looking for a fight? What about Ann; can’t she give him a few pointers to keep his damn mouth shut? Is the whole family genetically stupid?

  12. ArkansasAngie  March 28, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Part of the “problem” is that you call them stupid.

    I remember being called a racist when I supported Hillary over Obama. It pissed me off. It still pisses me off.

    We have been very effectively wedged apart with social issues that you and I care about but the politicians don’t. In so doing they keep us from building a coalition against what they do care about … getting our money and sticking it in their pockets.

    The trick is to go after all incumbents. And yes it will take several election cycles.

    But … I suggest you quit calling people stupid if you want them to smarten up and go after the real enemy … the Powers That Be who protect the Too Big To Fail.

  13. Sandy Price  March 28, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Angie, the impression that the GOP is excessively stupid does not bother me at home. I’ve known this problem for years but it is the impression that the world is now aware of the missing mental links found throughout the entire Republican Party.

    They feel so much animosity for the minorities in America that their programs are now more against Obama than for anything. The party itself is fighting the individual mandate when it comes to health insurance and yet demand it when it comes to women’s issues.

    Their new agenda of white supremacy is shocking and the people of the world are watching closely how America handles what the Republicans call the founders’ intent. How can these same nations respect our Democracy the way it is described by the Religious Right?

    The only way to show all Americans and other nations that we believe in individual freedoms is to throw the GOP out on it’s holy arse. How else can we lead the world in freedom?

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