Is it a mystery why a six-pack of rightwingnuts, loonier than the Wasilla quitter, are vying for Senate seats while the most principled Democrat, Russ Feingold, faces ruin? Hot-dogging prayer warriors sell better in off years than a modern philosopher king -- all of two years after Democrats supposedly routed wrong-way Bush and demon Cheney.
What an irony if the GOP Demolition Party thrives from the very horrendous recession its own self-serving, tax-giveaway, budget-busting wars fomented. Not only is this season's nasty spawn of Palinistas riding roughshod, I see few progressive antidotes -- not one, new, significant, emerging leftwing candidate who champions reason over politics as goon show.
Though "goon show" fits Christine O'Donnell, Tea Party primary wins reflect a new moralistic Politics of Judgment, honed by harsh Old Testament twists notably lacking in compassion. Tea Party extremists don't just boycott testy interviewers, scoff at science and history, or dismiss opponents as treasonous enemies. Today's radicals see politics as a holy war, adamant against compromise while clinging to some mythological, nativistic, throwback fantasy notion of America.
Though the president can't abandon two inherited wars, the left hasn't mastered political holy wars, resists pre-emptive, military crusades disguised as self-defense, and knows staged rightwing, campaign burlesque is powerless against joblessness, unfair taxation, hunger or despair.
Evil-doers Multiply at Home
To observe this factional disorder, look no further than micro-managing President Obama, who months later still doesn't promote health care as a national moral (even Christian) imperative. Instead, he squandered his bully pulpit for a year, dickering over details that insure corporate options and profits. The right hates nuance and complexity, much preferring fire and brimstone sound bites to ridicule micro-management, especially by uppity blacks.
Thus GOP fat cats fund unending domestic crusades against whatever confuses Tea Baggers -- a nearly infinite array. How simple when the world is a black-and-white combat zone between good and evil, echoing W. The only news is the expansion of "evil-doers" to include big-spending, secular "socialists" defending 20th Century advances.
W. quickly withdrew the crude term "crusade" against Muslim countries, but the concept rivets politics on the right, dripping with belligerence, contempt, moral censure and opprobrium. One welcomes the D.C. rally to "restore sanity" but that won't compensate for insane GOP candidates who think raped women must bear the offspring after violation. Or think the minimum wage, Social Security and Medicare are unlawful. A few more nutcases empowered for six years will really do in the Senate, augmenting Sen. DeMint's New Confederate Insurrection.
The reality is, reality has bolted, at least in GOP primaries. Brand- and media-driven hysteria drive holy wars, however deranged, and let's admit it: the left is lousy at absolutism, let alone gung ho crusades, or bizarre equations of personal with national salvation. Bad religion plus bad economics, laced with bad culture wars, altogether sabotage what's worked for America for 225 years: admit problems, assess options and resources, then advance legislation that serves civil rights, education, economic mobility, or access to social and health services. In short, the outclassed leftwing agenda has gotten waylaid, about as respected as Rodney Dangerfield.
Eternal Time Trumps Secular