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.