Posted by: JanF | January 14, 2011

The edge of the cliff is too close for comfort

It has become fashionable in some quarters to make statements about hoping that the most ignorant and unqualified Republican becomes the GOP presidential nominee in 2012.

Since I already used “R U Nutz?” as a title, I can’t use it again (well ‘technically’ I could but stylistically I can’t). But that is the first thing that pops into my head when I hear that: Are you nuts!!??!

Aside from the fact that it would say a lot (not nice, by the way) about our country if a major political party nominated someone who was clearly ignorant and plainly unqualified, it would be crazy for us to want to play chicken with our country.

Picture this: our car of state goes screaming 120 miles an hour straight for the edge of the cliff and when we get to the edge we put the brakes on. And we hope that the brakes hold and that we didn’t push the pedal too late and that the cliff edge does not disintegrate under us and that our tires do not blow out. To me that is too many things that can go wrong. And believe me, all it takes is for one of those things to go wrong for our car of state to go flying off the cliff into the abyss. It won’t look like the last frame of the movie Thelma and Louise … that happy/sad ending did not show the wreck at the bottom of the cliff.

It will really be the end of the world as we know it.

We saw what happened when Ignorant and Unqualified ran against Sane and Sensible in November 2010. In way too many instances, Ignorant and Unqualified won because the truth has nothing to do with political campaigns anymore. Political campaigns are scary commercials about the candidates and even more scary (and very real) corporate money buying as many of those commercials as will fit in a 24/7 time frame.

So your “we want [fill in the blank] to run because we can easily beat him/her” assumes that the voters know that she is wrong for our country. (Oops, did I say “she”? Who could I have been thinking of?)

I have a better idea. Let’s hope that the Republican party nominates someone halfway sensible. The 2012 presidential contest would then include things like “intelligent conversation about the issues” instead of celebrity politicians and gotcha politics (not the kind of gotcha politics, by the way, where a reporter tries to “trip you up” by asking you what you read. The kind of gotcha politics where personal things become a Big Hairy Deal (BHD) and consume the media’s and the voter’s attention.)

I think our guy, Barack Obama, would do pretty well toe-to-toe in a discussion about policies and caring about America and wanting what is best for Americans. But he is at a distinct disadvantage when the fear is ratcheted up because his personal story is Different From Most Americans and he Does Not Look Like Other Presidents.

And different is scary to those who live in constant fear of the other.

Here is the nightmare scenario: There is a terrorist attack on America and the right-wing noise machine claims that President Obama was party to it. Stop and think for one second (that is all it will take) about whether or not that kind of lie would take hold. And then consider that the choice at that point is between the Ignorant and Unqualified and The Guy Who Pals Around With Terrorists.

Stop hoping for the most unacceptable candidate to be nominated by the Republican party to run against President Obama in 2012 and start hoping that there is a somewhat sane and moderately sensible Republican that can be nominated by the GOP.

If you think that nightmare scenario can’t happen here in America, it is possible that you haven’t been paying attention.

(A version of this was originally posted on 01/14/2011 at BPI Campus)