I need a serenity prayer to recite before these presidential candidate debates.
"God grant me the serenity to accept that politics in my country is now about spray tans, small hands, penises, outspoken racism and how the will of the people can be thwarted come convention time." (Apologies to Reinhold Niebuhr.)
Yes, I'm talking about you, Republicans. The Democratic debates have been relatively boring, what with all that talk about economic and foreign policy, but you Republicans are awesome entertainment, better than a carnival freak show.
Chris Christie, the bridge saboteur and failed presidential candidate, joined our quitter former governor in endorsing Donald J. Trump for president. Of course, it wasn't bump-free. Christie had to call a press conference the next day to clarify he hadn't been taken hostage by the Donald.
Trump was reluctant in a TV interview to reject the endorsement of David Duke, a former Grand Smeagol of the Ku Klux Klan. (Not certain of the title. They're so confusing.) Later Trump blamed a faulty earphone for whiffing the Klan question before half-heartedly rejecting Duke's support.
Then former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney popped up to explain Trump is a mess, but he isn't a Republican. Romney fired off a succession of carefully composed zingers, which bounced harmlessly off the front-runner. Romney's denunciation was a little undercut by the fact that only four years ago he was swooning over Trump's endorsement. "Mitt would have dropped to his knees for my endorsement," as Trump recalled.
I had to chuckle when Romney attacked Trump by pointing out the candidate owed his business success to a rich father. Mitt would understand that better than most of us.
And then Sen. John McCain, a man completely unashamed of promoting an utterly unfit candidate for vice president, tweeted an amen to Romney. Trump, now enjoying the enthusiastic backing of that very same utterly unfit former candidate, ignored McCain.
All I can say is: You built this, Romney, McCain and fellow travelers. You could have been statesmen and actually lived the values you profess to hold, but you didn't.
McCain, you say now you don't want a reality TV star for president, but weren't you the guy who tried to put a reality-TV-star-in-the-making in the vice president's office?
And Mitt, you say now you don't want an outspoken racist as the Republican nominee, but weren't you comfortable blowing the racist dog-whistle of "takers" and "makers" behind closed doors?
If I were playing the Republican Hypocrisy Drinking Game, I'd be blotto by breakfast every day.
Let's be crystal clear about this, the Republican Party began to embrace racists, bigots and haters starting at least as early as Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy in 1968, and has cultivated and manipulated those voters ever since.
If you want to see what the barely concealed, contemporary Republican appeal to racism looks like, just turn on Fox News any day of the week. McCain and Romney can disavow Trump for lack of subtlety, but not for abandoning the party's formula for success.
When Republican primary voters say they're tired of "political correctness," what they mean is they want their bigotry out in the open, loud and proud; screw the minorities, the immigrants, the Muslims, the gays and the lesbians. They want an America that's white, straight and Christian, and they don't want to pretend otherwise.
Romney and McCain are not heroes riding in under the banner of high-minded values. They just dislike having a front-running Republican letting the public see what has been going on behind the GOP curtain for years.
House Speaker Paul Ryan joined the chorus denouncing Trump's racism as something other than real Republicanism. But the very same week, nine members of Ryan's majority voted against naming a post office in North Carolina for Maya Angelou, the acclaimed African-American poet and civil rights activist. You won't hear Ryan denouncing those racist midgets as not representing his party, because that kind of racism doesn't raise an eyebrow in his crowd.
(By the way, Alaska Rep. Don Young declined to vote for or against the post office name. I guess that's his version of moral leadership.)
According to the single most popular Republican candidate in America, Mexicans are rapists, people should be banned from the U.S. based on their religious beliefs, and war crimes are okay because the ends justify the means.
Oh, and lest I forget the headline from the latest debate over which Republican should assume leadership of the free world, the size of Donald Trump's penis is "no problem" whatsoever. Climate change? Not a subject worthy of mention, much less debate.
Do you think any of this will lead to real introspection within the Republican Party? I don't. Why? Because the reason for their problems is as plain as the nose on your face.
It's the black guy's fault. You know who I mean.
Shannyn Moore is a radio broadcaster.
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