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America off the Rails

I’ve pondered how to write this post for a while, at least since the third debate of this long GOP primary season, but in all honesty, I don’t know where to begin. We’ve seen one ludicrous statement after another:

April, 2011: Why did it take him two and a half years if it was no story? I made the assumption, and I think a lot of Americans did, there must be something that he wants to hide, there must be something on his birth certificate he doesn’t want people to know. If it was an issue, why wouldn’t you just put the issue away? –Rick Santorum, speaking about the President’s birth certificate

June 7, 2011:  I am only going to allow small bills — three pages. You’ll have time to read that one over the dinner table. –Herman Cain

August, 2011: I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending. –Michele Bachmann

December 10, 2011: Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits for working and have nobody around them who works. So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash,’ unless it’s illegal. –Newt Gingrich

Taken together, these comments paint a terrifying picture of the GOP, in terms of competence, constitutional knowledge (Rick Perry has called for a constitutional amendment to ensure that schoolchildren can pray in school if they want to, which they already have the right to do), and in their incessant fear-mongering. The terrorists are coming for us, along with undocumented workers, queer people, socialists, anyone in a union, poor children, and so on, all led by the secret Muslim president who was really born in Africa. It’s a narrative that makes no sense. It’s filled with contradictions, easy-to-find inaccuracies,  pseudo-science, and fuzzy logic, but it’s been presented so frantically to the nation that this story has taken on a life of its own. Maybe I could even call it the animated corpse of political campaigning. Read More…

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