The upcoming election will be influenced by the debates, television commercials, and efforts to get out the vote. However, a major factor will be whether the GOP can convince the American people that their Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and their ideas are mainstream. During the Republican National Convention last week, the GOP kept most of their lunatic fringe off the stage during prime time, choosing to highlight Republican governors and somewhat rational people like Susana Martinez, Tim Pawlenty, Jeb Bush and Condoleezza Rice, as opposed to Republican members of the House and Senate with their 10 percent national approval rating.
After Missouri Congressman Todd Akin’s abortion statement and Kevin Yoder’s skinny-dipping news, Joe Scarborough said: “I’m just tired of it (Republicans) being the stupid party. I’m tired of us having stupid people saying stupid things and scaring off independent voters and swing voters.”
During the Republican presidential primary campaign last year, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman mocked the rest of the GOP field when he tweeted, “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”
Moderate and centrist Republicans are a dying breed. The Tea Party’s influence has been enormous and has resulted in the election of ideological extremists. Radical statements by Republicans aren’t just gaffes; they reflect a cold-hearted, insensitive, mean-spirited, dishonest, and ignorant attitude that is reflected in the way that they govern and make laws.
The GOP’s alleged big tent is actually a circus.Here, a list of crazies that the GOP will want to hide in the attic for the next two months—but won’t be able to.
This incident flew under the radar, but Republican Lubbock County, Texas Judge Tom Head recently warned that an Obama re-election could lead to Civil War with President Obama handing over U.S. sovereignty to the United Nations. Many Democrats have called for his resignation and a U.N. spokesman told Reuters that the U.N. has no plans to invade Texas.
GOP Congressman Mac Thornberry, a climate-change denier who rejected government attempts and “flawed climate science” to solve the severe droughts in Texas, instead asked people for “prayers for rain.”
Believe it or not, Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher is a candidate for Congress in Ohio. Last month, he stated at an Arizona fund-raiser that the United States needs to build a fence along the Mexican border and start shooting. “Put troops on the border and start shooting,” he said. “I bet that solves our illegal immigration problem real quick.”
Florida Tea Party Republican Congressman Allen West stated last year that liberal women’s rights advocates had been neutering American men and that the Democratic Party was a 21st-century plantation. This week, the Romney campaign appointed West and two others to chair a Black Leadership Council.
Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has been out of the limelight for a few months, but she emerged again last week when she said that a spiritual hurricane was coming and that President Obama couldn’t relate to the common man because he is too wealthy. At least she didn’t commend the Founding Fathers again for abolishing slavery.
Even Fox News realized that Sarah Palin was toxic for a national mainstream audience. According to Palin, Fox News canceled her television appearances during the GOP Convention. However, there’s no doubt that she’ll be back in the next couple of months lampooning the “lamestream media” and the “hopey, changey” policies of Obama.
Bloviating ignoramus Donald Trump had been scheduled to speak at the GOP Convention, but the GOP lucked out when Hurricane Issac canceled last Monday’s program. Last week, he tweeted this about Arianna Huffington: “@ariannahuff is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man — he made a good decision.”
Others receiving votes: Sharron Angle (former GOP Nevada Senate candidate who suggested that people could barter chickens for health care); Christine O’Donnell (called Obama a Marxist earlier this month); PA Senate candidate Tom Smith (equated pregnancy from rape with having a baby out of wedlock); and Chuck Norris (this week, he warned that there will be 1,000 years of darkness if Obama wins).
Larry Atkins, a lawyer and a journalist, teaches journalism at Temple University and Arcadia University. He has written for the Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, Dallas Morning News, Huffington Post, NPR, Philadelphia Inquirer, and others.