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Jim Worth Headshot

America Newtered

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America has come to an important crossroads.

One party has lost its way and has no clue how to get out of the nightmare it's in or which path will take them out of it.

What's at stake is control of the most powerful nation in the world.

Years of hypocrisy, subcutaneous prejudice, and a narrow vision of democracy, has caught up with, and left, the Republican Party questioning their direction, positions, and values.

They've become the party of derision -- a level of animus never this openly displayed by the Republican Party.

So what direction will the GOP take?

The establishment Republicans seem to be losing control to the Tea Party -- and they don't like it.

In this dark derisive period in politics, South Carolinians have chosen Newt Gingrich for the highest political office in the nation. Newt's attacks against the media, the poor, janitors, and the unemployed are red meat to the far right-wing.

Having chosen three different champions in the first three primaries is further evidence of indecision within the GOP. Deeply divided amongst the candidates the Republican Party has, essentially, neutered itself with the victory of Gingrich in South Carolina.

South Carolina's history of selecting the Republican nominee may be in jeopardy this cycle. Romney is still seen to be the presumptive nominee. However, if the Palmetto State's record of picking the nominee remains intact it reinforces the deleterious nature of the Republican Party.

But this is what Republican politics has been reduced to -- sound bites, hyperbole, outlandish ideas and perceptions, and lies.

The Republican debates have become personal -- reduced to quibbling ideological buffoons. Vitriolic attacks that rend a usually cohesive party. These disparaging assaults are exposing the vulnerabilities of the remaining four candidates, but are having the most effect on the two leaders, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

Neither candidate has the credentials to be president. In a normal political environment they have enough baggage to disqualify them from any race.

Romney has RomneyCare as his major barrier. He also has an unprecedented history of flip-flopping on every important issue. And, as recently discovered from his proffered tax returns, his Swiss and Cayman bank accounts are going to be troubling. But, even more disconcerting for him is the fact that he paid a mere 13.9% effective tax rate on his millions in earnings, a tax rate lower than most middle-class families.

Gingrich's infidelity should be a major impediment for the party of family values. Likewise, his work for Freddie and Fannie -- receiving $1.6 million for consulting us into the housing crisis -- is problematic. Equally disturbing is his lobbying for healthcare and pharmaceutical giants, an industry in which profits have risen dramatically while premiums and deductibles have more than doubled for the insured over the last 12 years. But the most egregious character flaw that would derail Gingrich's candidacy is his ethics violations as a member of Congress and being forced to leave office.

But, most disturbing to the knowledgeable observer, is their lack of understanding of the economy; of how we got here, who's to blame, and how we get out of the quagmire we're in. Their economic deficiency is apparent with every statement they make, in every pernicious assertion regarding the economy directed at President Obama, and with every reference of returning to the policies that got us into the mess we're slowly recovering from.

Neither of these losers seems to understand or have any 'real' empathy for what the average citizen is going through and no 'real' solutions to reverse it. That, in itself, makes them disqualified to govern.

The rise of Gingrich, so similar to the meteoric rises and dramatic collapses of the others, indicates a party in disarray. A party searching for an identity -- for anyone but Mitt.

Even if Romney gets the nomination, the party's fate is uncertain.

But what is certain, no matter which of these drolls receives the blessing of the right-wing electorate, is the impotence each would bring to the election.

Regardless of whether Romney or Gingrich survives the primary battle, the right-wing, and America, has been neutered by the process.