The sobering message from GOP follies

For the record, be it known that we remain committed, in this space, to refrain from mentioning by name, unless somehow unavoidable, the king-size bozo who has thrown Republicans’ search for a 2016 presidential nominee into absolute shambles. The man Trump is no phenomenon; his entertaining presidential ambitions is still the sick joke it always has been. The alarm bells now unnerving GOP chieftains have to do with what looks to be the expanse of the wacko universe within designated GOP territory. Again and again party frontliners have pontificated, after some particularly noxious sampling of the bozo’s running off at the mouth, that he had crossed the line, tipped over into damage irreparable. Again and again they’ve been proven wrong, if the polls are to be believed.

It wasn’t the “Aha” moment they expected, when the bozo dared to trivialize the combat and prisoner-of-war heroism of John McCain during the Vietnam War. Not to mention his initial smear of Mexican immigrants, to which hardly any of his rivals would take even mild exception. And it’s clear that even if Pope Francis himself had weighed in critically, after the bozo thought to make light of the Holy Sacrament with an insipid “wine and cracker” remark, this would have engendered no lessening of enthusiasm in the yahoo sector for a pied piper steeped in bile. It’s been starkly laid out for them on that side, that there’s perhaps more tail than they care to acknowledge wagging the GOP dog.

But beyond the confines of 2016 presidential politics, what the implosion in that truck-full of GOP aspirants has given us is more context for the unbridled hate that has enveloped our social space, in a resounding backlash to what was first perceived altogether differently. The bozo’s riding atop those polls in GOP land fits snugly into the pushback narrative begun in the summer of 2009, when Capitol Hill Republicans retreated to their respective spheres of resistance, hell-bent on stoking anger already bubbling up there, aimed at rolling back as much as they could of history made the preceding November.

They wasted no time getting to the business of delegitimizing a presidency. And in their vociferous and unrelenting opposition to “Obamacare” they had what seemed the perfect smokescreen for general belittling of the White House occupant. The “dis” was on, manifested every which way. The president’s State of the Union address interrupted by an insult hurled by a member of Congress. The president threatened with government shutdowns more frequently, seemingly, than Congress agreed on legislation. Attempts made ad nauseam to de-fund the president’s signature legislative achievement. Ignoring protocol, Congressional Republicans bypass the president and invite Israel’s prime minister to deliver a Capitol Hill address. ..So it has gone, with lots more tawdry stuff telegraphing the agitators’ vision of a presidency of diminished stature.

The guy dominating the primary season polls, although elected to not one damned thing, wasn’t shy about assuming a place up front among the rabble rousers setting the table for the circus that now exists. He questioned whether a man named Barack Obama qualified, by birth, to hold the office of president. He doubted whether this person of color could be an outstanding student at elite American schools, demanding that transcripts be produced. When Obama had the audacity to be re-elected in 2012, the flame thrower’s immediate reaction was that he and (presumably) fellow bozos march on Washington. It is that profile of sheer racist buffoon behavior to which a sizeable chunk of GOP heartland support is now apparently drawn. We ought not be surprised. Everything we’ve ever heard from the guy has reaffirmed that the lowest-common-denominator type of appeal is his stock in trade.

But whither the Republican establishment, in the face of this “friendly” mongrel attack, gnawing away at process as they envisioned it? Buoyed by the support polls suggest he continues to enjoy from that right-flank core, the bozo has spring enough in his step to now create some nervous tension among the party hierarchy, as talk swirls about a third-party run, if the GOP rubs him wrong. Such an eventuality, if it develops, would of course be the GOP’s own worst nightmare.

In spite of all the posturing and preening, all the bluster that comes with the territory, one feels reasonably secure in the assumption that this country isn’t about to elect as president the character who has reconfigured the Republicans’ nominee selection process. Even so, the takeaway from all the hubbub in the ongoing GOP drama shouldn’t be about what dynamics play into the party’s ultimate selection of a nominee, but about how well removed we are, thanks to Trump and kindred spirits, from a state of refined co-existence we thought to have arrived with the election of 2008.

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