McCain’s Opinion of the GOP Base
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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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McCain’s Opinion of the GOP Base

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What does John McCain think of the radical right wing base of the Republican Party?  That is an easy one.  When running for President, John McCain felt a need to appeal to the ‘base’ of his party.  So where did he go, what were his impressions of the ‘base?’  Answer: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber.

John McCain has been generally viewed as a moderate.  He has been seen as one who is willing to compromise.  He is a reasonable legislator who worked across the aisle.  The GOP base was mad at him, witness Rush Limbaugh’s tirades.  With his back to the wall, trailing in the polls, McCain went to the base for support.  And how does one capture the base – surround self with people you believe the base will like.  And who does McCain see as representative of the base?  It is all in the History books now.

The Republicans were nailed to the wall and tanned with a slurry of toxic sludge in the 2008 elections.  Are these results an affirmation of McCain’s poor political judgment?  Yes.  Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber delivered the base.  So McCain accomplished his goal, right?  Wrong.  McCain’s goal was to become the President of the United States.  The only thing McCain got right was his opinion of the GOP base.

Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber represent the base of the GOP.  And that is exactly the problem with the GOP.  The modern GOP has completely missed the point of the Reagan Revolution.  Reagan was a fiscal policy conservative.  Reagan was tough in the era of the Cold War.  But Reagan was a pragmatist – that means he actually thought about practical solutions to common problems.  Reagan was smart enough to allow Jerry Falwell and the other religious loonies to march around and gather up votes for his election.  But Reagan was never foolish enough to hitch his whole wagon train to a fringe movement.  Not so with Karl Rove and George W. Bush – they packed their bags with toxic sludge and rode that wagon off the political abyss of ultimate failure – not for them – but for the GOP.

What are the ideological failures of the modern GOP?  Here are a few thoughts:

The GOP base has no concept of education.  Joe the Plumber has no concept of literature, of the humanities, of history, of geography, of international relations, of natural science, of the Universe, or of science in general –  Everything that is wrong with America.  And the Republican Party owns this label.  The leaders of the Republican Party of the past thirty years sold the soul of the Grand Old Party for fanatically ignorant support at the polls.

Palin has actually stated in clear terms the depth of foreign policy reaches as far as the eye can see.  This myopic view, shared by George Bush, led the United States into Middle East wars without the support of the world community.  The shallow and arrogant idea that our country can act unilaterally in all cases denies any historical understanding of international relations.

There is an overwhelming consensus in the scientific community about global climate change.  Palin, like George Bush and Dick Cheney, acknowledge the ice is melting – but deny human causation.  Dick Cheney knows better – but his support of big oil takes precedence over the future of humanity.  Bush and Palin just follow the Cheney party line.  And who is the go-to-guy – Joe the Plumber.

Any study of interpretive literature, and of historical fact, informs us of the problematic ignoring of the lower class of people.  This arrogance of the noble class has always led to ultimate rebellion.  Bush, Cheney, McCain, Joe the Plumber, and Palin should be grateful they do not live in 1790’s France.  Their heads would roll.

Joe the Plumber is of the radical religious right – the fanatics who believe in Biblical creationism as science.  Those folks are as wacko as the Islamic Fundamentalists of the Middle East who teach hate of infidels to their children.  This writer does not at all discredit the Bible as a great work of theology – we merely recognized the purpose of the Bible was theological, not science and history.  The earth is not flat, the heavens do not revolve around us, and evolution is practical science.

Like it or not, Governor Palin, Mike Huckabee, Karl Rove, and George Bush — the Bible does not take precedence over our Constitution.  Actually, the Constitution protects the right to worship however one chooses – and it grants that right to all people of our country, not just the religious fanatics.  The Constitution even grants the right to avoid worship all together if one so desires.  The United States is not a theocracy – is not governed by religion.  The United States is a country of law.

Joe The Plumber is in the news again this week.  Joe reports he has friends who are homosexual – but he would not allow any of the ‘queers’ around his children.  McCain does not always agree with Joe – but John McCain knows what Joe represents.

Denying the protection of privacy from government intrusion into the lives of individuals is contrary to the protection granted in our Constitution. The denial of historical understanding results in poor decision making.  The denial of scientific inquiry results in poor decision making.  Elevating the Bible over the Constitution results in poor decision making.

John McCain correctly identified the values of the GOP base.  The problem is that these folks have moved so far right that the rational majority of Americans no longer accept their nonsense.  John McCain does not believe in the right wing – he merely sought their support.  The right wing affiliation of the GOP has proved to be their downfall.

There Are 8 Responses So Far. »

  1. This is an excellent post and I’m going to start reading your site. It’s great to read intellectual discourse. Did you by any chance read Founding Faith (I think that’s what it’s called)? Great study of the faith of our founding fathers and what they were thinking when they instituted the separation of church and state. In particular the Fundamentalists or Evangelicals were a strong force for the separation because they recognized that otherwise they would be trampled by the larger religions.

  2. Someone posted a link to you on Huff Post: glad I followed it.

    Right on!

  3. I do find it interesting that you make a lot of references to Joe the Plumber. He is not an elected official, but rather just an individual who became famous because he caused a Presidential candidate to make a soundbite. It was the press that turned him into a media darling (not necessarily a compliment), and that led to McCain picking him up on his tour.

    These people exist on both sides of the spectrum. You could use Janeane Gerofalo as an example. Not an elected official but became a part of the Democratic voice once being picked up by Air America. A few weeks ago she said:

    “Let’s be very honest about what this is about. This is not about bashing Democrats. It’s not about taxes. They have no idea what the Boston Tea party was about. They don’t know their history at all. It’s about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up and is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks. There is no way around that.”

    The racist charge has been thrown around a lot over the past year when people start to disagree with Obama or challenge Congress. Of course, Gerafalo’s comment represents some of the slurry of toxic sludge that comes from the left. And if she represents the “concept of literature, of the humanities, of history, of geography, of international relations, of natural science, of the Universe, or of science in general” in America, then how is that any better?

    Does the over reliance on the Bible = Over reliance on the racism charge? Maybe. It would be an interesting exeriment to compare the comments made between the two political ideologies to see which side has the more ignorant members. However, this just highlights how both sides have their fair share of hazzards in dealing with those on the fringes of their party base.

    (Note: I think Janeane is a good actor, just as I’m sure Joe is a good plumber. They should both stick to their professions and leave political commentary to the professionals.)

  4. U.S. Common Sense – thanks again for writing.

    Two notes on your commentary. I have never heard of Janeane Gerofalo. But everyone has heard of Joe the Plumber. And why is that?

    Not because he confronted Obama – but rather because he became a part of the McCain/Palin campaign. He was on stage with them and gave speeches for them. He became a campaign spokesman. Joe the Plumber was personally sanctioned by John McCain.

    And Joe the Plumber is emblematic of the far right wing – and I would suggest that he and Sarah Palin are both an embarrassment to moderate, thinking, conservatives – and I include U. S. Common Sense in the category of ‘thinking conservative.’

  5. Anytime. I’ve enjoyed our exchanges over the years. 🙂

    Side note: You should see “The Mystery Men.” It is a funny movie, and (personally speaking) the best role Janeane has ever acted in.

  6. […] "McCain’s Opinion of the GOP Base" Originally published:  5 May 2009 Submitted by:  U.S. Common Sense Summary:  Critiquing some of the flaws in the Republican base, and how they might be able to return to message of Reagan. […]

  7. As with anyone else, some of your thoughts are bang on whilstothers demonstrate a lack of background knowledge.
    There are and will be those who claim biblical principles that are not represented in the bilble.
    You have the right and CHOICE to trust and believe in and through Christ. As a christian, one is obligated to witness and encourage my neighbours to accept Christ, through living a life that you would wish to emulate, that is in keeping with God’s principles.
    The bible does speak of ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’,false prophets and extremists.
    One is encouraged to read for oneself and become one’s own priest, this does not negate the priest of the community, but permits one to internalise the messagefrom Christ,for oneself or not to as is your CHOICE.
    Your English Literature tutor would have encouraged one to have read the entire book prior to have critiqued the author and the story. Your not having done so would be readily recognised, so is your critiquing of the bible.

  8. To Caribbean Man:

    I did not critique the Bible – I critiqued the radical right wing interpretation of the bible.

    And this, if you are so inclined to ‘internalize the message from Christ’ and ‘to witness and encourage my neighbors to accept Christ, through living a life that you would wish to emulate’ then perhaps you can explain the GOP support of the death penalty, opposition to children receiving health care, support of torture, invasions of foreign countries, disrespect for our environment, and disrespect for education, and fascist advocacy of theocracy in America?

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