The accumulating evidence of the ignorance, bigotry and callousness of the Republican Party continues to manifest itself at their own convocations of crackpottery – the GOP presidential primary debates.
The star of these debates is turning out to be the audience, as the crowd steals the spotlight from the candidates. In the first debate a few weeks ago the audience cheered the mention of 234 executions carried out during the term of Rick Perry in Texas. In the next debate a question was asked regarding whether society should let a sick person die merely because he had no insurance. The iced (hearted) Tea Party audience began shouting “Yeah!” And last evening’s debate sponsored by the Republican PR agency, Fox News, saw the crowd disrespecting an Iraq war veteran by booing his videotaped question about equal rights for gays and lesbians serving their country in the armed forces.
While the audience endeavors to demonstrate that they are bigger jerks than the candidates, the candidates refuse to surrender that honor without a fight. Amongst the inanities erupting from this affair:
- Michele Bachmann unveiled her plan to reduce tax rates to zero for all Americans. That and her unicorn giveaway program should excite voters.
- Ron Paul reiterated his theory that government immigration programs developed to keep foreigners out would eventually be used to trap Americans in.
- Rick Perry described his preference for a running mate that involved mating Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich. Setting aside the disturbing visual imagery, the prospect of a vice-president that combines the brash ignorance of Cain with the background of ethical lapses of Gingrich shouldn’t make anyone feel better about a Perry ticket.
Finally, Fox News distinguished itself by inviting a question from a representative of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks people and organizations that engage in racism and extremist criminality, has classified FAIR as a hate group. That automatically qualifies the organization for participation in any Fox News event.
The embrace of FAIR and the booing of a veteran are emblematic of the modern GOP’s moral decline. And the party is generously exposing its most revolting warts in the primary as its candidates and its members seek to appeal to basest wet dreams of their Tea Bagging comrades.