It seems only sensible to follow up on my last post “President Palin - A Dark Possibility”, which I penned shortly after John McCain announced his announced that Sarah Palin was his selection for Vice President. It was an unsettling time when her initial popularity put McCain ahead in the polls and there was an actual possibility that we could have and End-Of-Days theologist just one [feeble] heartbeat from the most powerful military machine in history and a whole list of biblical prophesies in need of fulfillment.
Well…the world learned more and more about just how much Sarah Palin has NOT learned in her isolated life and, while still giving the Religious Right a woody, became a boil on the McCain ticket. It seems generally agreed that Ms. Palin turned what could have been a reasonably competitive campaign into a crushing electoral landslide for Barack Obama. It had been obvious for some time (after the initial Palin ‘bump’) that Obama was going to walk away with the election. … and until the recent California wildfires, the media seemed to spend half of their time talking about the marginalized Republican Party and what they would get back in the game. It almost seems like a sort of ‘Chapter 11’ bankruptcy for the party, but the bankruptcy here was intellectual and ideological instead of monetary. Their business plan wasn’t working anymore and they need to spend some time restructuring.
I had never affiliated myself with a political party and, to be honest, I always thought it rather silly to be a strict partisan of any flavor. Still…had I been forced to select a party, I would have identified myself as a Republican because I grew up thinking it was a party of fiscal conservatism…or at least fiscal pragmatism. Clearly the Republican Party, somewhere along the line, became the party of Religious and Social Conservatism. This, I think, is not just veering off the path a little bit, but converting the party into something totally foreign to American and Constitutional ideals and bearing little or no resemblance to the party that I grew up with.
I was down at Grant Park on the night of Tuesday November 4th and watched Mr. Obama become President Elect. It was an emotional time and tears welled on more than one occasion. It was a new chapter in America. It is an era that will turn us from the brink of our Supreme Court interpreting our secular constitution through a religious lens. It is an era where the Republican party can do some soul searching and return to their roots…or so I had hoped.
The media and the talking heads talk about the ‘new faces’ of the Republican party, and they are….Palin, Huckabee, Romney, Gingrich and other religious conservatives!! What are they thinking?!?!?! There is still a good deal of time. Maybe there will be that face that comes out of the crowd (much as Obama did) that can be our next Teddy Roosevelt or Lincoln. Instead; the talking heads only offer the names of religious ideologues that delivered us the mess that we have right now and want to (in Mike Huckabee’s words) “change the constitution to meet God’s word”. If the Republican Party were a struggling car company; you can’t get back in control by putting a new grill on the same undesirable car. The Palins, Romneys , Huckabees and Gingrichs are just a new grill on a car that people no longer want.
Message to the GOP: There is still time to learn your lesson. Dig deep.