Mario Piperni on Repug Gumbo

GOP – Bad Reality TV

December 8, 2011 By

This is just about right.

The prospect of Donald Trump moderating a debate is what finally made things click.

It occurred to me the other day as I was leaving a comment elsewhere: if someone had written a TV show and the plot followed the current Republican primary, I would have some serious problems with it. Namely, I would pan the show as unrealistic. A joke. Liberal Hollywood’s parody of what the Republican Party is. Herman Cain? Who the hell acts like that. There is no way that a party would seriously give a serial-adulturing, ideologically muddled, lobbying-compromised former House Leader a shot at the nomination. Hollywood couldn’t devise a more repugnant figure as the potential head of a party that they want nothing to do with.

The degree to which the GOP seems to really be becoming as unhinged as the Democrats always said it was is actually somewhat hard to determine except out of hindsight (if Romney wins the nomination and runs a conventional campaign, this will all be forgotten and the equivalent of an adolescent phase and not any sort of genuine threat to the republic). Indeed, it’s that my entire adult life I have heard over and over again that the GOP is truly unhinged that makes me skeptical that it’s genuinely true, all evidence to the contrary, in a “boy who cried wolf” sort of way. I’m still in wait-and-see mode. If anybody but Romney (or Huntsman or maybe Johnson, haha) gets the nomination, at this point, they will have made their critics case for them. (I am thinking of the GOP as a “they”; this is not a promising sign).

Few people aside from hardcore conservatives view the Republican party’s performance over the last three years and, more specifically, the last three months, as anything other than the antics of an unhinged group of people firmly detached from reality. Herman Cain? Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry? Embarrassing.

There have been few conservatives willing to stand up and call out the madness for what it is in the way that a David Frum or Andrew Sullivan have. Most conservative have allowed their irrational hatred for a centrist Democratic president to become an excuse for taking a drastic hard right turn. How else does one explain allowing a corrupt and unstable nutcase to become the governor of Florida? Or worse, allowing a transparent, self-promoting flim-flam pizza man to spend a month leading the Republican primary field?

One word: unhinged.

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