I have no idea who will win in November but I have to say
that what I am seeing among the Republicans is more bizarre
than anything I have ever witnessed. The “circle of clowns”
of Republican candidates seems increasingly intent on proving
that they are the voices of ignorance, fear and irrationalism.
I cannot get over it.
The attacks on contraception, for instance, are just
the latest in a long line of steps that seem to be intent
on shooting themselves in the foot. It is not only a matter
of whether the Catholic Church has a right to withhold contraception
assistance from its employees. No, the circle of clowns
is going further and attacking even the right to contraception
Of course, added to this, has been the question of
Iran. The Republican candidates are more intent than even
the most right-wing Israeli in waving the swords of war
against Iran, even though the candidates seem to be utterly
oblivious to the potential impact of such a disastrous turn
I guess the obvious question is whether these Republican
candidates and their acolytes are just plain stupid? The
answer is a resounding “no”, irrespective of whether you
happen to agree or disagree with them. There are two things
that they are counting upon. First, they are focusing on
the party base with the hope that once they secure the nomination
that they can then go after disenchanted so-called independent
voters and convince them - after winking at their base -
that they really are not as irrational as they appeared
during the primary season.
Second, they are counting on the results of the
Citizens United case. Specifically, they are making
the calculated assumption that irrespective of how foolish
they appear in the primaries, that they will garner sufficient
funds (through mechanisms such as the SuperPACs) in order
to buy the election in combination with suppressing the
Democratic electorate’s vote.
For these reasons we should not be sitting back laughing
and assuming that these idiots will implode. They will not.
There are sections of the business world which have a vested
interest in the success of these Republican candidates,
whether they take their social commentaries seriously or
not. It is also not a time to engage in any level of compromise
with these reactionaries. This latter point is particularly
directed at those Obama supporters who, along with the President,
tend to believe that they need to prove their maturity by
engaging in compromise with forces that seek their annihilation.
At the moment it is critical for progressive forces
to both increase pressure on the Obama administration around
matters like no war with Iran; green jobs; aid to the unemployed;
supporting the rights of women; and, at the same time actively
exposing and opposing the Republicans for what they are.
2012 is shaping up to be something that many of us
did not expect: a choice between a corporate liberal, on
the one hand, and forces that are intent on dividing society
between the “deserving” and the “undeserving.” The circle
of clowns (as self-appointed representatives of the “deserving”
population), see themselves as advancing political and economic
policies that reinforce an apartheid-like system that has
appeared on the global and domestic scenes between the “haves”
and the “have-nots”, with race being only one of the factors
in terms of who is in which group. While this system has
been constructed in a bi-partisan fashion, so to speak,
the Republicans have fully consolidated as the party of
Caligula, with all that that entails.
Perhaps this is among the strongest arguments for
the need for a comprehensive progressive electoral project
that is not limited to this or the next electoral cycle
but is truly interested in a political realignment and building
a powerbase among the dispossessed.
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member, Bill Fletcher, Jr., is a Senior Scholar with
the Institute for
Policy Studies, the immediate past president of TransAfricaForum and co-author of Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path
toward Social Justice (University of California Press), which examines
the crisis of organized labor in the USA. Click here to contact Mr. Fletcher