How low can they go? The Republicans continue to be the gift that keeps on giving. The fact that Rush Limbaugh can make such repugnant comments about Susan Fluke and not be repudiated by the Republican leadership is astounding. The fact that the Blunt Amendment could be seriously presented by the Republicans in the Senate in 2012 is amazing. The fact that the Reverend Franklin Graham can again bring President Obama’s Christianity into question is so sad. The fact that Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona states with great fanfare that his investigation proves that Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery is unbelievable.. The fact that Newt Gingrich, the model of a values-driven life, dares to accuse Obama of infanticide is laughable. Taken all together, you have to ask, how low can they go? But equally important, who do these people really represent? Do they really represent the Republican Party? Can this group of dangerous extremists really represent the base of the Republican Party? If so, everyone who does not identify with this group had better get ready for the most important fight for the Presidency this country has faced in many decades. We must realize that if these people come to power that the issues they raise that concern us, will be the programs they put into place if elected.
However, we continue to be told that the vast majority of the electorate is in the center. The fastest growing portion of the electorate are registered Independents. They now represent some 40% of registered voters. The target of any Presidential candidate must be to hold on to the base of his party while attracting the Independents. I can’t imagine how a Republican candidate can do this. They have moved so far to the right that it is almost impossible to imagine how whoever that candidate is could march back to the center. But of greater concern is that the Republican Party has become so extreme that it has made itself inhospitable for moderates. The announcement by Maine’s Senator Olympia Snowe is a tragic indicator of what is happening to the Republican Party. While on the one hand this would seem to be good for the Democrats, on the other it is bad for the country. It only makes the extremes more extreme. But extremes extinguish civility. Without civility, compromise is hard to come by. All Americans become the losers when the two sides in Congress can’t compromise. We have all seen plenty of that over this past year.
The words and actions of the Republican extreme over the past several weeks has illustrated how low they can go. It is despicable and unacceptable. All Americans need to begin to make it clear that these extremists do not represent them. They need to make it clear that this behavior is both destructive and counter productive. If, as we are told, the majority of Americans are in the center, it is time to let the extreme right know that they have gone too far.