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Jewish Journal

Rattling the cage

American psychos

By Larry Derfner

October 26, 2010 | 1:25 pm

Next Tuesday, a uniquely deranged political party is going to take over the most powerful country on earth.

The key word here is “unique.” The Republican Party in 2010 is the only major political party in the Western world, the only one shooting for national leadership, that has been supercharged by crackpots with crackpot ideas – i.e. Tea Partiers, the generic name for America’s xenophobic, libertarian, right-wing Christian conspiracy freaks. There are lunatic fringe movements all over, but only in the US is there a major party, a governing party, of this nature. And in Tuesday’s congressional elections, this unique modern political phenomenon, the 2010 Republican Party, is going to neutralize a sane, moderate president and “take back America.” 

This is not entertainment; this is serious.

Where besides America is there a Sarah Palin – a defiant ignoramus with so much political power and influence, with such a good chance of becoming head of state?

Where is there an equivalent to Glenn Beck, a multimedia force who brainwashes millions every day into believing they’re under the heel of totalitarian dictators, of Bolsheviks, of Nazis? 

Where else is there a Fox News, a top-rated “news” program that shills for the right,  that describes a high-five between Barack and Michelle Obama as a “terrorist fist-bump,” that asks about the president, “Do we know he wasn’t a drug-dealer?” – and that gives a platform to a grinning, teary-eyed demagogue like Beck?

In what other country can a movement like the Tea Party, which idolizes Palin, Beck and Fox, radicalize a major party and steer it to the brink of a historic electoral upheaval?

This is unique.

Yet another fun fact about the GOP (Grand Old Psychos) is that while the whole world has been burning up and drying up, while everyone except a few eccentrics now understands that global warming is real and mankind has to change or we’re going to die a horrible death, the Republicans say this is all a hoax. This is just “the man-caused climate change mantra of the left,” to quote Sharron Angle, who is expected to unseat Nevada Democrat Harry Reid, leader of the Senate.

Find me another major political party anywhere that says manmade global warming is a myth. Find me one prominent center of scientific research where such a view is taken seriously. There is, in fact, a debate going on over global warming, and it’s between scientists and Republicans. This would be entertaining, except America’s involvement, and probably its leadership, is needed to save the earth, and America is about to be taken over by the criminally insane.

When boiling waves are rising over the Capitol building, the Republicans, with their dying breaths, will be shouting, “It’s all – glub, glub, glub – Al Gore’s fault! – glub, glub, glub, glub, glub…”

It’s very strange to remember that two years ago, the symbol of everything wrong with the GOP was George W. Bush. Today, Bush seems to be the most sober, judicious statesman compared to this new generation of Republicans. Next to Palin, Newt Gingrich and some of these people coming into Congress, Bush was Adlai Stevenson.

It amazes me how gullible American voters are. Some “outsider,” or insider pretending to be an outsider, gets up and says, “I hate politicians, I hate Washington – vote for me for Senator.”  And they do!

The insurgents are raging against socialism, against big government, against taxes, against regulation – you’d think it was 1980, you’d think the Reagan Revolution had never happened.  You wouldn’t know that even a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, announced nearly 20 years ago that “the era of big government is over.”

These people do make one good point – Obama is cranking up ridiculous, dangerous deficits. But he also inherited a huge deficit from Bush, while Bush, by the starkest contrast, inherited a tremendous surplus from Clinton, then spent it all and much, much more on tax cuts and two wars, which left Obama with a country deep in the hole. If deficits were the Tea Partiers’ beef, why didn’t they rise up during the last administration instead of this one?

No, this is not about deficits. This is about that weird old cowboy, survivalist, paranoid, angry white streak in American politics, and it’s coming out now because of economic hard times, and because the man in the White House is personally too alien and politically too liberal for Middle America.

You don’t have to be paranoid to think Obama’s a bad president; there are plenty of rational claims to be made against him from right, left or center. But the alternative to him and the Democrats – the Tea Party GOP; rabid radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh (who calls the president “Imam Hussein Obama”); countless conspiracy-fixated bloggers; Gingrich, Palin and Beck – these people aren’t rational. These people are nuts. There’s no grand-scale political movement on earth remotely like theirs. And it appears that on Tuesday, they’re taking over.

I used to dread the idea that China would one day replace America as the world’s most powerful nation. Now, the way things are going, I think I’d be relieved.

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