THE BLOG
11/22/2011 04:25 pm ET | Updated Jan 22, 2012

Somebody Has to Say It

Somebody has to say it.

The Republican Party has lost touch with reality. They offer an irrational alternative to President Obama.

Who's responsible for this staggering development in our political history? The elephant's share of the blame goes to those perfectly reasonable, completely rational Republicans who have chosen to step aside and watch from the sidelines as their party disintegrates into dangerous foolishness, heading for destruction, its entrails perhaps to be scooped up one day soon and tossed upon the dust bin of history along with the Federalists, the Whigs, and yes, the name's already been taken, the Know Nothings. Like today's GOP, the Know Nothing Party of the late 19th century was anti-immigrant with a membership proud to say, when asked anything about the their party's organization, "I know nothing."

Have modern 21st century Republicans pitched their tent in the intellectual desert? Are they our Know Nothings? Do they exalt ignorance while supporting arrogant indifference to science and other facts? Has their party become irrational? Judge for yourself.

Two generations ago General Dwight D. Eisenhower accepted the Republican nomination for president and ran on a promise to end the war in Korea. Americans were at the tail end of 20 years of Democratic party presidents. Ike was in the right place at the right time. Even if you disagreed with specific GOP policies in the 1950s, Eisenhower's administration and the entire GOP was certainly rational. In other words, they weren't crazy, nuts, absurdly silly or worse, depending on your choice of words. Ike did end the war. He began the interstate highway system. He also reduced taxes for the very highest earners. Under Truman the highest rate was a confiscatory 92 percent. The new Republican administration dropped that to 91 percent. Irrational? You decide.

In the 1960s the Republicans successfully elected Richard M. Nixon president. Irrational? Nixon introduced the cost of living increase to Social Security, a yearly increase for seniors ever since, without which many might be poverty-stricken. Nixon also started the EPA -- yes, the same Environmental Protection Agency that seems to be the favorite whipping boy for every Republican who can remember its name, and some who just can't. A Republican did that. Nixon's the one. Not Lenin or Stalin and not Obama or Hitler. Nixon also did the Clean Air Act, another piece of American "socialism" the current crop of GOP candidates want to dismantle. Do they know their history -- our history? No, and they don't care that they don't know.

In 1980 Ronald Reagan ran for President by asking if people were better off today than they were four years earlier when Jimmy Carter took office. A perfectly reasonable and completely rational approach to seeking the presidency. He got elected. Twice, in fact. He lowered the highest tax rate that was 70 percent under President Carter to 69.13 percent. When George H. W. Bush followed Reagan and actually raised taxes by 3 percent he was replaced by Bill Clinton. Clinton raised those same tax rates again, yet he served two terms principally because, if you judged things by people's pocketbooks, he was the best President of the twentieth century. Also, folks liked him. They still do. President Clinton presided over the best economic times in American history. Only the constitution kept Bill Clinton from a third or fourth or maybe even a fifth term in office. Face it -- we all know it's true -- if Bill Clinton were allowed on the 2012 ballot he would win in a massive landslide. And still, Clinton defeated reasonable, rational and eminently qualified GOP opponents. President George H. W. Bush and Senator Bob Dole weren't nuts. The GOP was still saving its nomination for the sane.

Then, in the dawn of a new century, as if the axis of the planet had tipped over, the Republican Party went "all in" on crazy. They nominated the totally unprepared son of Bush 41. It was a shocking nomination when compared to the qualifications and backgrounds of former GOP nominees, winners and losers both, in the previous 70 years. And the Republicans lost that election. Gore beat Bush in 2000 -- have you forgotten? Bush 43 became President by virtue of his Daddy's Court -- America's first selected, not elected President. What happened in 2004? You tell me -- after you recount the votes in Ohio.

In 2008, GOP reason attempted a comeback. John McCain, while a candidate with many faults, was a war hero and legitimate potential commander-in-chief, That is, until he, too, went with the wingnuts as exemplified by his VP choice. From virtual obscurity McCain created a monster, the Queen of Crazy. He, and she, lost, soundly beaten by Barack Obama. Barack Hussein Obama became President. Like the stupefied cry from Animal House that "The Negroes are taking our dates!" John McCain became the nominee who couldn't even beat a black man. The GOP rank and file -- and the leftover leaders of a defeated Republican Party -- jumped the shark, practically speaking leaping off the Cliffs of Reason falling helplessly into the Fun House of Hell. Obama must be... not an American! And, to fully appreciate the danger Obama presents to all of us, Newt Gingrich -- who wants to be President -- says we must understand "Kenyan anti-colonialism." Have the crazies in the GOP forgotten American anti-colonialism?

And now the crazies are running the joint once known as the Republican Party. They've completely taken over. Just look at the people who have emerged as the GOP's candidates for the same spot on the Republican national ticket once occupied by the likes of Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush The Elder, Bob Dole and John McCain.

Go ahead, look at them: Willard Mitt Romney (Mr. Hedge fund job killer, "Please let me be President!") Herman Cain (pizza man and nothing else) Rick Perry (Gov. "duh... "), Newt Gingrich (the Smartest Man In The Whole World), Michelle Bachmann ('nuff said... ) Rick Santorum (see John Kerry's name definition) Dr. Ron Paul (who's against licensing doctors) and Jon Huntsman. Tell me, what's Huntsman doing with that bunch? The answer is not much -- finishing last! Huntsman's the only halfway rational one in the crowd and he can't get any traction at all among Republican voters.

Romney is like a lava lamp from the Summer of Love -- in the room but not actually necessary, if you know what I mean. He'll say anything -- and I mean anything -- to be President, but "real Republicans" don't like him. He's a Mormon. Talking about the leaders in today's GOP polls, David Letterman said it best: "Romney's the Mormon, and Newt's the one with three wives." Republicans just don't like Mitt Romney. Who really knows why? Least of all Romney or anyone who works for him. Maybe, just maybe he's not nuts enough for them. Even when he seems to be taking the "crazy" position, the crazies themselves still have doubts. Republicans secretly think Romney, if elected, would morph back into the dreaded liberal he was in Massachusetts.

So, who do they like, these Republican voters in Iowa, South Carolina and red places East to West and North to South? They're supporting men and women who, on a whole raft of issues -- let's put it plainly -- don't know their ass from their elbow, can't distinguish what's shit and what's Shinola, haven't a clue about what to do in places around the world they've never heard of and don't give a damn where they are. Do they care about anything? Sure.

They all believe in torture without the slightest idea of who they might be torturing or why. They love the Constitution with little sense of what it actually says. Not a one of them has the courage to say they believe in evolution. Why? Because they love Jesus, believe in the Bible and hate taxes. Those are their primary qualifications for high office and they all seem quite proud of it. Isn't that exactly what we're looking for in a Chief Executive? They think so because they are irrational and divorced from reality.

Somebody big -- somebody millions of people will listen to and actually understand -- needs to stand up in front of a national TV audience and say it out loud -- sort of like proclaiming that the king has no clothes on -- somebody has to say that the Republican Party has lost touch with reality and has instead embraced the ignorant and irrational. They've lost their way and their minds and now it seems more and more probable that they will nominate somebody who is simply too crazy to be President of the United States.

Somebody has to say it.