Last Week, former Republican Presidential candidate Alan Keyes launched into an attack on President Obama that can only be labeled as insane. Mr. Keyes, who also lost a Senate race to the President, called him an abomination. He also questioned his legitimacy as President and questioned whether military leaders should be taking orders from him. Believe it or not, these are direct quotes:
"Obama is a radical communist, and I think it is becoming clear. That is what I told people in Illinois and now everybody realizes it's true. He is going to destroy this country, and we are either going to stop him or the United States of America is going to cease to exist."
He then added:
"We are in the midst of the greatest crisis this nation has ever seen. And if we don't stop laughing about it, we are going to find ourselves in the middle of chaos, confusion and civil war."
I have no idea how he came up with the "radical communist" idea, but saying that we have to "stop" him is very dangerous language. There are many in this country who are not happy with the fact that we have a black president, we certainly don't need semi-legitimate leaders of the opposition party calling for him to be stopped. This attempt to de-legitimize Obama was echoed this week by Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, who questioned whether Obama was actually born in the United States by saying that he hadn't seen his birth certificate. My co-contributor here SJ already spoke about the Republican response last night in which Bobby Jindal said that the federal government was a failure in their response to Katrina, so therefore they couldn't be trusted to fix the economic problem.
I think this is a very dangerous road that the Republicans are going down. I'm not sure where it leads, but there needs to be a someone in the party who is willing to stand up to this nonsense. This is what happens when a party is left with only extremist members. Most moderate Republicans were voted out of office. A moderate Republican in Congress would not be able to withstand a primary challenge from a far right candidate. Their strategy at this point seems to be to disagree with the administration, regardless of the merits of the program, and then try to minimize the President as much as possible. They have no new policies to put forward, in fact Newt Gingrich reintroduced the zero capital gains tax idea (he first brought this up over 10 years ago) as the solution to the financial crisis.
The last time the Republicans were out of power they came up with the "contract with America" in which they pledged smaller government and less regulation and that American people eventually responded to that message. The Republicans squandered that good will over the past eight years. They proved that once given the keys to government, they were in fact more wasteful than the Democrats had been. So what is their new idea? Smaller government and less regulation. However I think the American people have already been down that road. Given the fact that they have no new ideas to present, they have basically resorted to name calling. The stimulus bill is a "spending" bill. The President isn't legitimate. The Democrats are going to grow government. No solutions, just more nonsense.
Perhaps this will all fade away with time. Perhaps a more moderate voice will emerge from the Republican party. Perhaps there will eventually be a well thought out alternative to this administration's policies. However, for now, we are stuck with the nonsense that is epitomized by people like Alan Keyes.