There is a frightening/disturbing and almost funny (almost) must-read on the Mother Jones website about “Tea party causality” Rep. Bob Inglis, a soon-to-be-former Republican congressman from South Carolina. Inglis, who seems like a decent enough guy—and not a hypocrite or a demagogue like many GOPers—was forced out, losing the primary, 71 to 29 percent, to a Tea party-backed candidate:
“They were upset with me,” Inglis recalls. “They are all Glenn Beck watchers.” About 90 minutes into the meeting, as he remembers it, “They say, ‘Bob, what don’t you get? Barack Obama is a socialist, communist Marxist who wants to destroy the American economy so he can take over as dictator. Health care is part of that. And he wants to open up the Mexican border and turn [the US] into a Muslim nation.’” Inglis didn’t know how to respond.
“I sat down, and they said on the back of your Social Security card, there’s a number. That number indicates the bank that bought you when you were born based on a projection of your life’s earnings, and you are collateral. We are all collateral for the banks. I have this look like, “What the heck are you talking about?” I’m trying to hide that look and look clueless. I figured clueless was better than argumentative. So they said, “You don’t know this?! You are a member of Congress, and you don’t know this?!” And I said, “Please forgive me. I’m just ignorant of these things.” And then of course, it turned into something about the Federal Reserve and the Bilderbergers and all that stuff. And now you have the feeling of anti-Semitism here coming in, mixing in. Wow.”
Imagine having to pander to that low IQ mob? To his credit, Rep. Inglis did not try, but look what it got him: the bum’s rush. What wins primaries for conservative Republicans is the very same thing that loses them in the general election. Only the committed, hardline types ever come out to vote in the primaries.* If a Republican wants the nomination, they have to run pretty far right candidacies.
Look at some of the positions Meg Whitman took here in California on immigration during the primary. Whitman had to appeal to the Orange County conservatives to win the GOP nomination because they’re a reliable voting bloc in the primary and in the general election, as well. But gimme a break, this Fall, those “winning” positions will become albatross-like liabilities in a state with as many Latino voters as California has. From what I can tell, the only thing Whitman’s over $100 million dollars have done for her public image with CA voters is to remind them that she is a billionaire who once hit one of her Ebay employees and that they don’t like the positions they heard her espousing during the primary. By contrast, former CA governor and current CA Attorney General, Jerry Brown, has spent under $400,000 and is still beating Whitman in a recent poll.
Prediction: Given a little over 90 days to completely turn the collective stomach of the electorate seems to be a challenge the Tea party is up for. As long as the Democrats don’t screw up on the “get the vote out” stuff, I don’t think there is much chance for the GOP to retake the House or Senate. Brown-nosing the Glenn Beck set is going to be met with disaster at the voting booth, mark my words. As many fucking idiots as there are in this country, they’re still (slightly) outnumbered.
*I don’t give a shit about the primaries, do you? I know, for sure, that no matter which Democrats are on the ballot in November, that they’ll probably get my vote. I’ve never voted for a single Republican candidate in my life and I doubt I ever will.