Republicans are doing more than try to win elections next year. In both presidential primaries and Congress, they are undermining the kind of American government that people are literally dying to emulate in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world.
The Presidency is in its second round of insult to injury as Sarah Palin follows Donald Trump into making a circus of the selection process, taking a free ride to pump it for personal publicity with no clear intention to take part in it, even as Michele Bachmann lowers the bar with an Iowa no-show, sending instead a video praising Trump.
If by some off-chance she does run, Palin will have made a bad joke out of the most important decision American voters have to make—-choosing who will repair the economy, send young people to war, name Supreme Court justices-—based on wisecracks and hoopla at motorcycle and pep rallies.
In Washington, the GOP is turning the legislative process into the same kind of farce as Mitch McConnell, in the face of rising public opposition to the Ryan Plan, blandly holds Medicare hostage to budget and debt-ceiling votes vital to preserving American credit throughout the world.
A duly elected President is under attack, for the present and the future, by politicians who are clearly serious about only one thing-—exacerbating Tea Party outrage and milking it for votes, no matter what damage they do to the body politic along the way.
In his Iowa debut, “centrist” Mitt Romney declines to give primary voters the red meat they clearly crave, saying “I want to win that final race and say to Mr. Obama, ‘You’re a nice guy, we like you, you have a lovely family and you’ve done your best. But frankly, it’s time for somebody who understands how the country works.’”
With that kind of approach, Romney will separate himself from the GOP pack by bringing a note of civility into the race, but how far will it take him? One clue is that Rudy Giuliani, Mr. 9/11 who was declared politically dead three years ago, has risen again for no discernible reason than desperation, to lead him in national polling.
In this climate, babies and bath water are flying through the air everywhere. Wherever they land, it won’t be in the safety of the kind of democracy that has protected past generations of Americans for centuries.