It seems like the rigors of the presidential campaign is acting like some sort of truth serum on the Republican field, causing candidates to speak candidly, and in the process, revealing much about themselves and their party.
Rick Perry got the ball rolling when the derogatory name of a family ranch was revealed; a word that is demeaning to African-Americans. Rick Santorum got in the act by suggesting that Blacks were hooked on welfare payments. Not to be outdone, Newt Gingrich then suggested poor children have no examples of working adults in their environment so kids should be put to work to give them a taste of hard work and responsibility. Ron Paul’s past caught up to him and he was forced to explain his ties to some inflammatory political propaganda. Now, Mitt Romney has added his two cents by suggesting he is “not concerned about the very poor.” It wasn’t a good week for Team Romney. One of the candidate’s biggest supporters and campaign surrogates, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, was busy explaining his statement that African-Americans would have fared better with a public referendum on civil rights during the Jim Crow era. Christie made the comment in response to his call for a public referendum on gay marriage. In one fell swoop, the governor insulted both the African-American and gay communities.
The GOP field can’t seem to get out of its own way. Just when we thought we had heard the last crazy sound bite; another Republican presidential hopeful steps up to the mic to keep the fires burning. These are not gaffes. They are the “did I say that out loud” expressions of men who are cut from the same cloth and their words reflect the inner core of these individuals. Yes, we believe Mitt Romney when he says he cares little about the very poor, and we take Newt Gingrich at his word when he advocates a return to child labor. We think Rick Santorum sees African-Americans as a ravenous population, unwilling to work and ecstatic to receive a public assistance check that barely covers minimum necessities. And we are sure Rick Perry is back on the ranch, enjoying Texas sunsets at Niggerhead. There is nothing to suggest that these supposed slips of the tongues are not in keeping with the true sentiments of these candidates and are certainly compatible with whom they have shown themselves to be in the past.
This is not a race to the Republican nomination. It is the “Crazy and Stupid Tour” and the thought of any of these candidates sitting in the Oval Office is disgusting. The one GOP candidate who seemed to have a modicum of decency, Jon Huntsman, dropped out of the race. Ironically, it was Huntsman who President Obama appointed to his administration as a sign of bipartisanship. Apparently the President has the ability to see the good in people despite party affiliation.
While the statements of these candidates do not represent the views of all Republican voters, they do reflect a prevailing sentiment that now dominates the Republican Party. While conservatives accuse President Obama of inciting class warfare, the GOP is actively engaging in a battle on behalf of the wealthy and powerful, working to undermine the poor, and finding ways to demonize the country’s emerging majority of color. The elephant might continue to be the symbol of the Republican Party, but hate is the new brand. All of these candidates, and their political offshoots, including the rancid Fox News Channel, are intent on creating a permanent white, conservative ruling class.
Expect more of this gutter politics in the months to come. It is the only way Republicans have a chance in hell of winning. It is a party bereft of principles, lacking in morality and breeding the 21st century equivalent of southern Dixiecrats. The good news is that time is running out on this bunch. It is only a matter of time when the numbers catch up with them; a real cause for panic for Republicans and the reason why they work ferociously to curb Mexican immigration. Soon, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans will be looking at these folks in their rear view mirror. That moment can’t get here quick enough.