I tend not to like reality television, mostly because it's exploitative, stupid, and full of moronic fame whores. That said, I finally found a reality program full of the worst kind of fame-mongering jerks the world has to offer that I could watch: the Republican presidential primary. Each day I would eat in the faculty lounge with one of my fellow teachers, and gab about what was happening in our favorite show. We were sad to see Bachmann, Perry, and Cain voted off the island, but ecstatic once it was apparent just how crazy Frothy McSweatervest would act just to get attention. I especially enjoyed how the primary let the conservative id run loose, perhaps forever letting the public see conservatism's true colors. Guys like Reagan and Shrub had managed to wrap legalized torture and cold hearted supply side economics in the warm trappings of folksiness and charisma. For years conservatives did an impressive job of finding likable men to front rather unlikable ideas, but their luck seems to have run out.
The warmest candidate in the bunch was Herman Cain, a former lobbyist and fast food pizza executive who demanded not to be taken seriously until his penchant for sexually harassing co-workers went public. Their second folksiest candidate in this race is Ron Paul, a man whose ideas normally require a tinfoil hat accessory. Apart from those two they had a crazy church lady (Bachmann), a fatuous know it all forced to leave office in disgrace (Gingrich), a lame-brain Texas governor who accomplished the impossible feat of making George W. Bush look smart (Perry), a snarly-lipped modern day Savnorola with even less of a sense of humor named after anal leakage (Santorum), and a pandering robot who reminds most Americans of their clueless boss (Romney.) Watching these clowns in action falling all over themselves to say the most outrageous things to curry favor with the bitter clingy crowd made me wonder if I had stepped into an Evelyn Waugh novel. I will miss the show.
Since the media focus moves so fast today, I'd like to remember some of my favorite moments from the campaign, since they are already vanishing into the ether. Please add your own in the comments if I've missed any.
The debate crowd yelling "let him die." So I guess the party preferred by the Army of God thinks Jesus was misquoted when he told his followers to heal the sick?
Every single time Bachman opened her mouth. Remember when this woman won the Iowa straw poll, and people were actually listening to what she had to say? I cannot think of any greater indictment of our entire political system.
Rick Perry can't remember what federal departments he wants to eliminate. As a former resident of Texas, I relished watching Governor Goodhair reveal to the world the true extent of his chuckleheadedness. This man was once the presumptive front runner!
Mitt Romney declares himself a "severely conservative" governor. He makes it sound like he had some kind of disease, like a severe case of the measles.
Herman Cain joking about killing immigrants. This man was a front-runner for a major party presidential nomination?
Mitt Romney generally acting like a rich plutocrat out of a comic book. He casually tried to make a ten thousand dollar bet, acted like his wife's two Cadillacs were something every family would own, and bonded with NASCAR fans by laughing at their cheap ponchos and letting them know he knew NASCAR owners.
Newt Gingrich claiming he was paid by Fannie Mae to be a historian. Yep, a historian who has never produced a single peer-reviewed publication.
Robo-Romney telling Michiganders "the trees are the right height" and awkwardly trying to guess facts about complete strangers since he seems incapable of actual human conversation.
Debate crowd cheers Perry's record number of executions. Perry himself appears pretty non-plussed about the possibility that he killed an innocent man to boot in this debate.
Santorum denigrates "blah people." There are too many hateful things to choose from, but this statement is the worst, and his lying attempt to walk it back the most deceitful.
Three degree holding Rick Santorum calling the president a snob for wanting more students to go to college. My God the resentment of these people is crazy.
Herman Cain quotes Pokemon to add gravity to his farewell speech. Words fail.
Pope Santorum attacks birth control. Oh yeah, he also supported the Blunt Amendment. And Republicans wonder why women prefer to vote for Obama by such a large margin.
Newt's moon colony. As Colbert says, Gingrich wasn't running for president, but trying out for Bond villain. Don't forget, he was once the front runner, too.
Let's be serious for a moment, folks. Look at the list of stupidity, hatred, and buffoonery I've laid out above, and tell me how the Republican party has not become an ideologically extreme movement that would be a sad joke if it did not hold so much power.