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Posted by on Jan 25, 2015 in At TMV | 16 comments

Has the Republican Party become a clown car?

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I know professional clowns. They are actually very serious professional people. And it’s fair to say now that when someone suggests the Republican Party is becoming a clown car it’s an insult — to the hard-working clowns, whose humor, silliness and absurdity is intentional, and in most cases perfected after years of hard work.

What we’re seeing now in the Republican Party — perhaps most typified by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s further descent into self-parody, enshrining her forever as a massive blot on the judgment of Arizona Senator John McCain who plucked her from relative national political obscurity to be his 2008 running mate — is not intentional. It’s sad because a)America needs a responsible, thoughtful Republican Party that is willing to reach out to more than people who adore Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity b)there are thoughtful problem solving Republicans c)it’s part of a continuing disdain for Americans who may be in the center and who aren’t happy with the Democrats but see a Republican Party veering further right as meaning they either shouldn’t vote or should vote Democratic because they dislike a Moderates Not Need Apply GOP.

But don’t listen to me, here’s Politico’s Roger Simon on this subject:

DES MOINES — The Republican Party’s clown car has become a clown van.

With nearly two dozen possible presidential candidates, the GOP is having a seriousness deficit. There can’t possibly be that many people who are real candidates.

But they can ride in the clown car from event to event, and nobody can stop them.
At the Freedom Summit here Saturday, two dozen speakers ground through 10 hours of speeches in front of more than 1,000 far-right Republicans.

As it turned out, clown car candidates are not necessarily funny. Since they have nothing to lose, they can attack their fellow Republicans with abandon.

Usually they attack from the right, which can force the eventual nominee farther to the right than the nominee wants to go. This risks losing moderate voters in the general election.

This was not a concern at the Freedom Summit, however. The farther to the right, the better.

It was a classic cattle call, with speaker after speaker pandering to the crowd. Sometimes, however, pandering was not enough.
In the circus, the worse thing clowns lob is confetti. In the political circus, the clowns lob grenades. Verbal, to be sure, but they still can be deadly.

And what would today’s GOP be like without someone going after anyone deemed “moderate” and basically telling moderates to go elsewhere?

Bill O’Brien, a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, told the crowd: “I don’t know what is worse, nominating someone because he has been nominated once before (i.e., Mitt Romney) or someone who endorses Common Core (i.e., Jeb Bush). Are we going to nominate one of them?”

The audience bellowed: “Noooooo.”

“The media tells us to nominate a moderate, and moderates lose because they have no courage of their convictions or have no convictions,” O’Brien said.

Ah, not exactly.

Moderates have convictions.

Just not YOUR convictions.

Which you feel are the only convictions that are strong.

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