Tuesday, October 21, 2008

1964-2008: End of an Error

Today Richard Cohen takes us for a ride. Not exactly a carnival ride, but having the feel of the roller coaster Rise and Fall of Rome. The rise and fall Cohen traces is of the G.O.P.... once known as the Grand Old Party. Now reviled as the Grand Oil Party, the Grumpy Old PooBahs and even the Greedy Oligarch Pirates.

The Republican party is stuck in reverse, so they "Party Like It's 1964." (WaPo) Cohen explains, "It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Bush and now John McCain have constructed a mean, grumpy, exclusive, narrow-minded and altogether retrograde Republican Party. It has the sharp scent of the old Barry Goldwater GOP -- the angry one of 1964 and not the one perfumed by nostalgia -- that is home, by design or mere dumb luck, to those who think that Obama is 'The Madrassian Candidate.' Karl Rove, take a bow.

"It is also that the GOP, under Rove and his disciples in the McCain campaign, has not only driven out ethnic and racial minorities but a vast bloc of voters who, quite bluntly, want nothing to do with Sarah Palin. For moderates everywhere, she remains the single best reason to vote against McCain."

And beyond Rove and Palin, the G.O.P.'s "flattering of the ignorant on matters of undisputed scientific consensus -- evolution, for instance -- and, from the mouth of Palin, its celebration of drab provincialism, have sharpened the division between red and blue. Red is the color of yesterday."

From the hard-edged anti-New Deal Goldwater campaign of 1964, to the broken promise of The Decider in 2000 to be a "compassionate conservative" who would bring people together, the G.O.P. has now come full circle.... back to an angry McNasty.

Before he died, Goldwater softened his views as he saw the G.O.P going badly off course. He became dismayed by the hijacking of the party by the religious right.... vocally opposing their crusades against abortion and gay rights.

Goldwater must have foreseen that this holy-roller coaster could only end at the bottom where party-riders of principle.... from the most conservative like Christopher Buckley to moderates like Colin Powell.... would have to depart in all conscience.

McSame's Republican party now wanders in the campaign-wilderness of McCarthyistic witch-hunts for anti-Americans.... trying to tar Barack Obama as someone who "pals around with terrorists," and mining for votes by casting only small towns as the real America.

For our tattered and bruised nation it has been a dangerous and costly ride.

November 4. Vote. It matters!

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