Keeping up with the Republican presidential presidential candidates — the GOP clown car — would be fun if it didn’t hold such concerns for America’s future. The domination of Donald Trump, as appalling as it is, has tended to cover what a poor crop of candidates the GOP offers us. And it is such a treat to watch the party twitch and squirm to get around the Trump factor.
For Fox News, of course, it;s the greatest thing since white bread. Great for their ratings. and it’s downright hilarious to read the Wall Street Journal — Fox News for grown-ups — agonize over Trump. Each of their columnists takes turns telling us in aggrieved terms just how bad Trump is for the Republicans, and the newspaper’s editorial pages almost sink from the weight of their disgust for the Donald. Here’s the catch: once Trump abandons the party, we are left with a field of lightweights and irresponsible panderers.
What is it with the candidates and their fetish for linking President Obama in some way with Hitler? Mike Huckabee is the worst in that respect, but Rand Paul, Lindsay Graham, Ted Cruz and others have piled on. That is reprehensible. Jeb Bush, favorite of the party’s mainline conservatives (as differentiated from the Tea Party and like-minded extreme right-wingers) seems prone to verbal slip-ups and simplistic thinking. Ben Carson obviously lacks the experience and knowledge to be a serious candidate; he seems to be treading in ever-deeper water. Scott Walker has a face that looks as if he’s carrying a smelly piece of cheese in his pocket.
I could go on, but …. what the point? The presence of so many unqualified people speaks to the shallowness of today’s republican Party. And when you look at Republicans in Congress, there’s nothing better. The GOP there is expending its efforts to defeat the President’s nuclear agreement with Iran, striking an alliance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose dangerous, self-serving rants in the service of his party’s right-wing extremists are causing serious rifts in the relationship between the U.S. and Israel.
Congressional Republicans who oppose the agreement caution that there should be no negotiations with a leadership who have vowed to pursue their own interests. Of course, we’re not talking about Iran. We’re talking about a leadership cadre of Republicans in Congress who have vowed to pursue their own interests and not to negotiate the the White House. Shame on them.