"Men love ideas more than their lives. And the more preposterous the idea, the more eager they are to die for it. And to kill for it."
- Edward Abbey -
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest excuses in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
- John Kenneth Galbraith -
"A conservative is a man who believes nothing should be done for the first time."
- Alfred E. Wiggam -
"I don't want to see the Republican Party ride to victory on the Four Horsemen of Calamity - Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear."
- Margaret Chase Smith -
Perhaps it is a good thing the late moderate Republican Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine did not live to see the era of ultra-far-right neocon Republicanism we now have today. For these hard core zealots have hijacked the party and now control it lock, stock, and barrel. They have destroyed all its relevance and credibility. She is surely spinning in her grave at the unconstitutional antics of the Bush/Cheney years and now that vicious extremists Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter have repectively become the de facto king and queen of that miserable party (with the impulsively irresponsible Sarah Palin as lady in waiting). For, ever since Chase Smith's death in 1995, the GOP has increasingly succumbed to extremism, just as it did when nominating Barry Goldwater for President in 1964 and subsequently losing that election in a landslide.
As evidenced by this past weekend's CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) gathering of 9,000 hard core ultra-rightists, the lunatic fringe of the GOP is alive and thriving, much like a malignant tumor. Malevolent and determined to have all power for itself, the CPAC crowd is well on its way toward destroying its Republican Party host. Unfortunately for the GOP, there is no cure in sight.
Senator Chase Smith was an intelligent and civil woman of high principle. Had I been a voter or Senator in her day, I would have undoubtedly voted against her positions many times, but I would have cultivated and valued her friendship. I would have liked her and respected her greatly for her integrity and moderate views. She was one of the first critics of the notorious red-baiting Senator Joseph McCarthy, courageously rising up early to denounce the irresponsible tactics and largely unfounded allegations he made against many innocent Americans. These poor accused souls suffered tremendously for years due to his wild rants about them, and she stood up to the bullying and accusatory tactics which the GOP soon adopted due to McCarthy's influence. Her June 1, 1950 "Declaration of Conscience" from which the quote above was taken, outlined her aversion and opposition to the kind of attack-dog actions McCarthy used then and which the CPAC crowd employs today. For a very interesting and relevant read, Google Margaret Chase Smith and read her declaration. It will help you see the obvious parallels between the McCarthyites of yesteryear and the neocons of today.
Ahhhhhh, CPAC! A summit of the meanest, most fearful, ignorant, and intolerant people on earth. A Mecca of the misguided and misinformed. An entire weekend of practitioners and advocates of failed economic theory and disastrous foreign policy all venting to each other while whipping the four horses of calamity to an absolute frenzy among all in attendance. A place in which those who wish to avoid truth and reality can escape to revel in their own fantasy and delusion for a time. There was fat, old, slobby, insecure, big-mouthed blowhard King Rush Limbaugh, once more doing his best to get attention through outrageous and preposterous claims. He tried to portray the President as an advocate of fear because Obama had honestly reported the unhealthy state of the economy. In reality, Limbaugh was attempting to scare the public at large into believing that Obama was out to destroy our free enterprise market system. He characterized Obama's noble effort to more fairly level the economic playing field, by taxing the very rich more heavily to ensure they would pay a more balanced share, as "punishing achievement and punishing earners." You can always count on Limbaugh to appeal to people's selfishness and ignore basic facts. By Rush's twisted rationale, it was evidently perfectly ok for the rich and major corporations to "punish" tradespersons and regular workers alike by destroying their unions, cutting their wages and benefits, and shipping their jobs overseas, all of which helped make the very wealthy far, far, FAR richer than ever before! THAT kind of punishment sits perfectly well with Limbaugh, I guess, so long as the exorbitant wealth created by Bush's unfair tax cuts for the rich remain in place. Next, ol' blabbermouth stated that Obama's proposed budget is "spending wealth that has not yet been created." Of course, Limbaugh conveniently neglected to realize or mention that is exactly what his hero, George W. Bush, and his neocon Republican Congresses did from 2001-2006 by cutting taxes on the wealthy and then starting a very costly and illegally imperialistic war in Iraq. But I guess Limbaugh finds THAT kind of spending to be ok, since it isn't being wasted on job creation or programs for suffering common people. He characterized liberals as being "psychotic" even though the facts clearly show HIM to be the delusional one. He referred to his formative years as being better days for our country and bemoaned how liberals and Obama were going to ruin it all. Funny, though: In Limbaugh's "formative years" the country was being run by LIBERALS and MODERATES, NOT conservatives! Poor Rush even has delusional memories! I guess it takes a conservative about 40 or 50 years to recognize liberal genius. I keep forgetting how slow and dull-witted these conservatives are, and that they're not the sharpest knives in the drawer! Limbaugh was only slotted to speak for roughly 20 minutes, but, naturally, once he started beating his chest and heard the sound of fanatical audience applause, he selfishly monopolized the podium for well over an hour. Amid frenzied cheers and unified, deafening chants of "USA! USA! USA!", Rush just couldn't give it up. It was a scene reminiscent of the 1936 Nuremberg Rally. Very scary!
Queen Ann Coulter was her usual cruel, snobby, and sarcastic self, ridiculing liberals, Obama, Democrats, and the mythical liberal news media in her typically low-brow, insulting manner. Other moronic liars - I mean, speakers - included South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint (Obama is "the world's best salesman of socialism"), Mike Huckabee ("the Union of American Socialist Republics is being born"), the ever-regressive Mitch McConnell, and Michele Bachmann, who always thinks and speaks like a deer caught in headlights and will soon require antifungal spray for her mouth, due to her foot always being firmly stuck in it. These people are hopeless.
Conservative Republicans Bush, Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld used fear to lie us into illegal and imperialistic war in Iraq, stripping us of constitutional rights and instituting kidnapping and torture as acceptable practices along the way. Limbaugh, Coulter, Romney, DeMint, Huckabee and all the rest of the CPAC crowd are now trying to sabotage Obama's Stimulus Plan with fear of socialism. There's your FEAR. All deny that THEIR type of economic theory caused our economic downturn and has failed time after time, in the 1920s, the 1980s, and during the Bush regime. Yet they are pushing for more of the same. There's your stubborn IGNORANCE. They ridicule and hate liberals and gays, and view lower-class whites, minorities, and those from other cultures with suspicion and distrust. There's your BIGOTRY. They constantly lie about political opponents and deliberately distort what their opponents say to turn the public against them and to reinforce their own misconceived notions. There's your SMEAR, which rhey employ all the time.
Margaret Chase Smith was very visionary and wise to recognize these types of threats to our democracy way back in 1950. She would be justifiably and profoundly horrified to see that a new and more militant form of McCarthyism has resurfaced via CPAC 59 years later to capture and control her party today. Her dreaded Four Horsemen of Calamity are galloping her beloved Republican Party right off the political cliff!