Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Up the "Crazy" Spiral

You get more chances to watch tennis this week and next than any other time of the year, during the US Open. The chance of seeing some less prominent players are also much higher. Tennis Channel commentator Mary Carillo described one of the women players, at just five feet tall and barely a hundred lb., as a "hood ornament of a player". She lost in the first round, so we just had one chance to see her.

Our readers theater group was planning to perform this week at the birthday party of one of the group's founders, an older lady. The plan, however, was canceled - by the Grim Reaper himself. I'm told we might still fill a slot at the memorial service. And why not, since we always wear black?

It was just about exactly three years ago that we (us non-Alaskans) were first introduced to Sarah Palin. Some liked her, some didn't, and that continues to be the case. What we could not have known at the time was that she would become something of a role model for 21st century Republican candidates for high office.
The "babble first, explain later with more babble" school of electioneering was an immediate hit with the Tea Party crowd. Their candidates didn't all win, but all of a sudden the blurters seemed to outnumber the thoughtful responders, and by a large margin.
Take a look at the GOP candidates for president. Ron Paul almost seems quaint by leaping on FEMA, a federal agency which has not only been needed this year, but has done pretty well according to those at disaster sites. What would replace it, and how? Paul is a libertarian, so we assume the answer is "the market". Well, it's easy to see why certain businesses would love to sell water at $10/gallon or housing at a nightly fee in the mid- three figures. You don't like it? Walk to a new home.
And it gets worse. Newcomer and alleged current "leader" Rick Perry published a book which advocated the removal of the 16th amendment (income tax), and wants US senators to once again be elected by state legislatures. Calling Social Security a "Ponzi scheme" in the book, he says he's not backing off. His PR guy says differently, but so what? It was only a couple of years ago Perry was cozying up to a group backing Texas' secession from the union!
But Perry's not the only loose cannon in the field. Michele Bachmann emits something goofy almost every day. She says she'd "consider" proposals to drill for oil in the Florida Everglades (perhaps for a minute or two), and in Iowa last week she jumped right into the slippery slope of speaking for God when she claimed He was behind the latest eastern earthquake and Hurricane Irene. Just a joke, she later said. In case you've wondered, Bachmann's very first political campaign was only eleven years ago.
I don't know where the crazy spiral ends. Herman Cain demands a loyalty oath from any possible government employee who happens to also be a Muslim. Has anyone brought up the possibility that any real terrorist would be happy to take, then ignore, any oath anyone could come up with? And he's unwilling to talk about Mitt Romney's Mormon faith - unless someone asks.
Could it be that Mitt invented this whole Tea Party thing in order to seem more moderate, instead of just the quasi-official candidate of Wall Street? Maybe not. The Party has already completely demonized the word "moderate".


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