political convention

political convention

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Judgment Day and the ‘Useful Idiots’ of the Republican Party

It’s the End of the World—Again

Rev. Harold Camping, a radio preacher from Alameda, CA, predicted that the world would end on May 21st.  On that date Jesus was expected to return to earth, rapturous believers would ascend to heaven, and the world would blow up along with all of the sinners still on board. 

On May 22nd, most people, including Rev. Camping himself, noticed that none of this had happened.  Rev. Camping said he was “flabbergasted.” Apparently, he had expected to awaken in heaven instead of the pleasant city of Alameda, which is certainly no hell hole. 

Not surprisingly, Rev. Camping has now announced a new date for Doomsday.  It is October, 21, 2011.   The significance of this date and Rev. Camping’s method of calculating it have not been released.  However, the date’s numerology may hold a clue: 10/21/2011.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

The Useful Idiots of the Republican Party

Stalin and other cynical leaders of the Soviet Union regarded communist activists in the west as “useful idiots,” naïve pawns in the war against capitalism.  Used to infiltrate western institutions, they were doomed to be eliminated when the moment arrived for the real forces of revolution to take over.

Some observers are now beginning to wonder whether far right Republicans and Tea Partiers, along with their favorite presidential candidates, are serving the same purpose. Biding their time are the real Republican power brokers, people like the Koch brothers and Karl Rove, who will anoint their champion when the time is right.  Think Jeb Bush.

Two recent commentaries hint at this way of thinking and provide enjoyable summaries of where Republicans now stand eight or nine months before the first primaries.   

Writing in The Nation, columnist Eric Alterman was blunt in his assessment of Republicans and their candidates (June 20, 2011, page 10):

“One aspect of American politics that receives insufficient attention is that a significant percentage of self-identified Republicans—around half—are complete idiots.  And the candidates who wish to be elected by them must pander to them, either by being idiots themselves—see ‘Bachmann, Michele’—or pretending to be.”  Alterman goes on to note that 57 percent of Republicans believe that ACORN, a voter registration organization,  is “definitely” planning to steal the 2012 election or “might be” planning to do so. He adds that “this should strike a person with normal mental faculties as a mite surprising, given that the organization no longer exists.”

Commenting on the current field of Republican candidates, the New York Times observed in an editorial (June 15, 2011, page A26): 

“Monday’s Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire — full of historical error, economic obfuscation, avoidance of hard truths and even outright bigotry — was a feast for connoisseurs of political dysfunction. Desperate to avoid being outflanked on the right, the seven candidates tried so hard to outdo each other in finding fault with President Obama that they seemed to forget that they are competing for the same party nomination. By evening’s end, they had melted into an indistinguishable mass of privatizing, tax-cutting opponents of Shariah law.”

The useful idiots march on until political doomsday when the big boys descend to straighten things out.

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