The subject of Paul Krugman’s column this morning was on the unraveling of the seemingly unstoppable Republican coalition. Different groups with absolutely nothing in common except the willingness to use each other to get what they want, ended up being used by a ruthless and unscrupulous clique of politicians and neocon activists to seize power and hang on to it as long as possible.
In some areas, including Kansas, Republicans have jumped the party and are running as Democrats. Included in the roll call are the former head of the GOP in Kansas, Mark Parkinson who got tired of the debate over Darwin, and former NBA star Charles Barkley who was touted as a rising possibility for the Republican Party. The column doesn’t say what Barkley's affiliation is now, but he quit being a Republican “when they went nuts.” Which describes the situation pretty well.
Reminds me of Bill Shirer’s description of the rise of the Nazi party in Germany during the early '30s. Different groups, the military, the church (Protestant and Catholic) and social conservatives, believing that could control Hitler and his brown shirts only to find themselves checkmated before they moved their second piece.
I suspect that in the old days when the parties actually had some control over who stood for election from the county level on, former representative Foley would never have been elected dog catcher much less to the national congress. Somebody, somewhere would have heard about his interest in kids too young to shave and he would have been diverted to the rubber chicken circuit. Useful for stump speeches in support of party candidates but never allowed any real power. If his side interests weren’t discovered until later, he would have been called into a nice private meeting and offered the choice of resigning as gracefully as possible or else. Sort of the political equivalet of the disgraced officer being left in the study with a brandy and a gun with one bullet init. After the party made sure there was a squeaky clean candidate to run in his place of course.
I think that’s what really appalls me about this bunch. They don't believe in anything or anyone except power. In the end they are so inept it’s appalling. What’s really galling is that the Democrats aren’t much better. The saying “scum rises to the top” has never been truer. It’s tainting the entire process and I’m terrified they’re going to take the rest of us with them.