Dad first voted for FDR for President in 1944 and Truman in ‘48, but after that he became an active Republican. Ours was a Rockefeller Republican household in the ‘60s, supporting Nelson Rockefeller, the liberal Governor of New York, during the ‘64 and ‘68 Republican nominating process. Pro-civil rights. Pro-choice (before there was such a word). Dad got involved on the local level and received the party’s endorsement for the Minnesota State Legislature in ‘72 (lost by 40 votes). But he was the local school board chairman and mayor of our small town in central Minnesota.
By the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, things were changing. The “Neanderthals” (Dad’s term) gained ascendancy in the local party structure, and he ceased his involvement, but he still voted Republican. In 2007 as the Presidential nominating process heated up, Dad said he might vote for that young black man if he got the nomination. Of course, Obama did get the nomination, but I’m not sure if Dad was able to break his Republican habit when the election judges came to his assisted living home.
The party is so weak it cannot control its own lunatic fringe. The inmates are in control of the asylum. The party spokes folk are Limbaugh, Hannity, and Palin, liars and lightweights and demogogues. Elected officials do not reproach their own, they fear them. Look what happened to Specter when he dared to be a moderate voice. Some elected officials choose to feed the frenzy for their own political ends … see Grassley and the “death panels”. One aspect seldom noted is their extreme anti-intellectualism wherein ignorance is not merely tolerated, it is embraced. The nativist, racist, anti-intellectualism is mindful of the “Know Nothing” party of a century and a half ago.
This is a party without a head, without a heart, and without a soul.
The mainstream media (MSM) often merely fans the flames, but CBS anchor Katie Couric recently lived up to the tag line of her esteemed predecessor, Walter Cronkite, “and that’s the way it is.”
I had to add this cartoon from Street Prophets: