It's not the lies and misrepresentations (see Ryan, Paul). We are, after all, in the middle of a presidential campaign where truth isn't merely a casualty, it's a no show.`Really, now you ask me,' said Alice, very much confused, `I don't think--'`Then you shouldn't talk,' said the Hatter.Louis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
It's not the self-promotion (see Christie, Chris) or the silliness (Eastwood, Clint).
Hell, it's not the conventions at all.
No, it's the stupidity.
Within the last two weeks, we've had Todd Akin's bizarre gynecological discovery of the magic, legitimate-rape-detecting, intra-uterine spermicide.
We've had Tom Smith, Republican Senate candidate in Pennsylvania who, when asked whether he agreed with Akin that abortion should be banned in all situations including cases of rape and incest said it should. At which point he should probably have packed in his appearance at the Pennsylvania Press Club and gone home. Instead
Asked by a reporter how he would counsel a daughter or granddaughter who had been impregnated by rape, Smith said: "I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. . . . Don't get me wrong; it wasn't rape."Smith responded: "Having a baby out of wedlock." After that, he seemed to struggle to articulate what he meant.And we've had Lubbock County Judge Tom Head explaining that he needs tanks because if Obama should win re-election he'll turn the country over to the UN and then send UN troops into Lubbock to stop the civil war that will erupt there.
"That's similar to rape?" a reporter asked.
"No, no, no," said Smith, who was referring to a daughter's decision to have a child outside marriage. Then he added, "But, well, put yourself in a father's position. Yes, I mean, it is similar."
But I think we have a winner.
Lubbock sits just at the bottom (really, just below the bottom) of the Texas panhandle. It's but a short trip west to New Mexico where Pat Rogers of the Republican National Committee was upset with Governor Susana Martinez. See, she attended an annual summit with tribal and pueblo leaders, which, according to James Monteleone reporting for the Albuquerque Journal, the governor is required by New Mexico law to attend.
Rogers, a longtime Republican strategist, wrote in a June email to members of the governor’s staff in June that 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate Allen Weh “would not have disrespected Col. Custer in this manner.”Really.
The feral genius, Jennifer Abel, was dumbstruck.
Still, I naively thought "These rape comments are so stupid, so bigoted, so utterly clueless, it is not possible for any mainstream Republican to say anything stupider." Wrong! Over in New Mexico, GOP lobbyist and RNC leader Pat Rogers ignored issues of rape and sex altogether, in favor of something even worse: criticizing New Mexico's governor for meeting with Indian leaders, on the grounds that such a meeting dishonored the memory of General George Armstrong Custer.In the wake of his comments, Rogers resigned from his law firm.
He hasn't resigned from his elected leadership position in the Republican Party.
Now, I haven't been quite fair. I said all this within the last two weeks. Actually Rogers made his boneheaded statement back in June. Then again, stupidity hath no season. And the news only broke last week.
This is, by the way, non-partisan. Joe Biden will be speaking at the Democratic convention in a few days.