|Romney in Virginia on September 8th.|
I stand there quietly absorbing as much Romney talk as I can, until my patience and soul begin to wilt. I fully expect what I get at first: the standard mantras about Obama's economic and social policy failings. The deficit, "out-of-control spending," and the great GOP boogeyman, “Obamacare,” which Clifford calls “the final vestige of socialism.” Here he gets more full-throated: “That healthcare socialism was the final straw, more big government telling us how to live our lives, just controlling everything.”
I ask him to elaborate and he complies, vigorously.
"What's killing us is all these entitlements, we've got to get rid of all of them. All this welfare, food stamps, Medicare, and then big government health care on top of it, it's all just too much! When do we say enough is enough?”
What do you mean, exactly, I ask him. You say people are suffering under Obama, don't they need some help?
“No. No more help, enough is enough. People have to pick themselves up, take some responsibility. Why should we be paying for people’s mistakes and bad choices? All these illegitimate families just adding to the population, making all these bad decisions, then asking us to pay for it? It's time to cut them off."
I ask for some clarification: what do you mean, just starve them out? What if people can't find work? Let them starve?
"Look, there's always something you can do. You telling me people can't make a choice for a better life? We have to help all of them? No. I'll tell you what really need to do with these illegitimate families on welfare—give all the kids up for adoption and execute the parents."
I stare at him and blink in a glaze of shock.
Just to be sure I heard him right, I ask him to repeat it, twice.
"Yes, I mean it. Get rid of all of them, give the kids up for adoption, execute the parents, and you get rid of the problem.” (When I call him back to revisit the issue, he elaborates: “put the children up for adoption and execute the parents, and word would get out soon” that poor people shouldn’t have kids.) This is a local Romney headquarters in swing-state Virginia, not some far-right Tea Party fringe group (or maybe that’s what the GOP has become). This is, at least in growing part, today's mainstream GOP.
By the way you just KNOW this guy has a pro-life bumper sticker on his car, don't you?
Now let's first admit that there are lunatics on both side of the ideological chasm in this country, but THIS was somebody working as a representative of the Republican party trying to attract more voters for Mitt Romney. You would think that THEY would be screened more carefully, or at least told to keep their more controversial view points to themselves. Yet this guy repeated them (And much worse if you read the rest of the article) multiple times.
He did not seem to be worried that he was not representing the typical Mitt Romney supporter in Virginia. And perhaps that is because he WAS supporting the typical Mitt Romney supporter in Virginia.
And this comes on the heels of yesterday's post about phone solicitors claiming that President Obama is a Muslim who is trying to turn America into a Socialist country.
So the question, I believe, should be, is this reporter right, and THIS is who the Republican party has become? Or are these simply outliers who have spent too much time being indoctrinated by Fox News, and not representative of the average Republican voter in this country?
I have to say that I am almost too afraid to ask this question, because if this IS an appropriate representation of the GOP in this country then that talk of a new civil war may not be too far off the mark.