If one correctly views the reactionary side of the political ledger as a massive, monstrous assembly line rolling off invective, epithets, slurs and evident falsehoods at a very industrious clip, the last several days’ worth of sordidness from Republican presidential candidates is marginal indeed.
Pointing out the latest morsels of hypocrisy and crude hostility and prejudice to flow from the GOP cornucopia has become entirely mundane, if not utterly boring, so common and profusely offered are they. Commentary about Republicans these days is less shooting fish in a barrel than shooting a barrel at point blank range.
Some ironies are easy, and some are more telling and profound, especially when it comes to America’s degenerated and degenerate right-wing. In the latter category is the irony of perpetual dehumanizing and denigration in which Republicans engage with bloody glee, being as they regard themselves a movement largely conmprised of the godly: Republicans, self-designated as the party of family and specifically Christian values. No matter that it has not been taken at its word in this regard for as long in fact as any among us can remember, the irony, even as Republicans remain oblivious to it somehow stays vivid.
For purposes here we can leave aside the often remarked Republican inclination for war, violence not only regularly cited as an attractive first resort, but oddly fetishized in the langue of movie toughs, astonishingly failing to strike godly Republicans as in any way contradictory of the explicit pacifism in Christ’s example. And for the moment, we can overlook as well that one may find a long litany of callous and indecent remarks from the mouths of our four presidential contestants soon to be mentioned here, including an alarming incidence of false witness, often glibly made.
But in the recent category we have Rick Perry, reacting to the Obama administration’s declaration that among considerations when providing foreign aid will be a consideration of policies and attitudes toward gays and lesbians, offering among the disgorging of nasty gibberish the statement that, “Promoting special rights for gays in foreign countries is not in America’s interest and not worth a dime of taxpayers’ money.”
Of course, the “special” right is the one entitling those enjoying it protection from abuse and ghettoizing, a basic human right in other words. Expecting better from an oily Elmer Gantry such as Perry no doubt was simply dreaming, a sensibility as dim as his not likely to miss such a ripe opportunity for the gratuitously hateful. Still, flipping the undeniable good of prioritizing human rights into an implied evil from one who so often extols his supposed Christianity is a decent day’s work.
By now any mention of Michele Bachman in the same sentence with the phrases stupendously idiotic or callously moronic or even perhaps moronically callous would be feloniously redundant I guess. Still, let’s note that the poster wombat for family values replied to Bill O’Reilly’s cautionary specter of dragging undocumented immigrants out of their homes, “putting them on a bus with their children’s crying can be quite something else,” that, “It can be done. That’s the thing, it can be done.” Here again, demonstrated adherence to family values, basic humanity and practical concern for family and family preservation are the suggested perfidy, brutal enforcement of a civil ordinance at whatever cost to family the virtuous course in this upside down world.
In the case of the latest from Newt, added commentary isn’t really necessary. He stands morality on its head in one concise and conspicuous swoop, saying, “It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, in child laws which are truly stupid.” Wording that invokes protective measures for children as entrapping them, along with the recommendation that ushering impoverished children into menial labor would be the enlightened and humane course is moral inversion unafraid to speak its name, crisply and succinctly presented. Perhaps he really is as special as he thinks he is.
Lastly, in news from the world of plastics, Mitt Romney became something like the forty millionth Republican to play the socialist card on a Democrat, responding not to the speech Obama actually gave yesterday channeling Teddy Roosevelt’s call for tempering corporate greed, but to one Mr. Romney produced himself and assigned to Mr. Obama, meaning that after Romney’s recently deceptive ad deceptively quoting President Obama, Romney is in the running for perhaps the most dishonest practitioner of quoting in all of American history.
Worse, Romney took a swipe at government with a conscience, saying, “That which is earned by some is redistributed to others. And the only people to enjoy truly disproportionate rewards are the people who do the redistributing — the government.” This nugget of moral inversion suggests of course that pooling our resources in order that anyone may be succored in his time of need, or that a little is taken from each for the benefit of us all, is insidiously insurrectionary.
I await Mr. Romney’s morally innovative re-telling of the loaves and fishes story, in which the vittles are coercively wrenched away from the worthy job creators, maliciously redistributed by Our Lord to the shiftless, lazy and momentarily hungry.