Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Not Clowning Around

As kids get back to school this week and a few more personal milestones happen to our staff members and their families, it seems like the perfect time to stop and take a moment, and look around at the political landscape around us.

Yes, we're well aware of the circus that's blown up around Missouri Republican Rep. Todd Akin. Before the general election in Missouri has even begun, Akin appears to have soundly defeated himself, thanks to his misogynistic and ignorant comments about "legitimate rape" this past weekend.

A sane person would think that virtually every American, from almost every political background would have chastised Akin, and driven him out of politics and into another line of work. That would be where sane, logical people go wrong though, as clowns like Akin continue to prove their political careers are not yet over.

The fact is, there are a surprising number of influential members of the Republican Party who continue to support Akin. While not the majority of the modern Republican Party, those who think Akin did nothing seriously wrong include such notable figures as Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, and syndicated media talent Dana Loesch.

If you're wondering how we got to this point, where the current Republican Party isn't even a macabre, clownish vestige of its better days, we can show you the answer with ease. In fact, we've been saying this in words and cartoons for several years now.

The current Republican party leaders don't care about governing. They only care about winning. If they truly cared about governing, they would never have installed a clown like Akin into a position where he could cause them such serious grief. Even after the National Republican Party and Karl Rove's SuperPAC both yanked their ads and financial support abruptly from Akin's campaign, those on the far right of the party insist Akin said nothing wrong. They continue to push for him to stay in the race, and say those like Rove and the RNC are merely cowards.

Frankly, we can't disagree with that characterization.

So now we have the makings of one doozy of an intra-party Republican battle. For those of us who watch these kinds of things closely, this fight has been brewing for years.

It's a battle between several kinds of Republicans. There are those few who are left from the old days, rational Republicans who understand what it really means to govern effectively and to find compromise. Then there are those like the extremists on the far right, who insist that any compromise with those who disagree with them is treason. Finally, there are those who only care about being on the winning side, whatever side that is - in other words, mercenaries.

Regardless of whether Akin resigns from the U.S. House of Representatives, and from the U.S. Senate race against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill, the Republican intra-party circus battle will continue.

We're not rooting for the clowns to win this one.

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