When Florida Rep. Allen West, an imposing and muscular tea-party hawk, was voted out of office on Election Day, the whole nation won a small but important victory.
The black politician brought diversity to the far right, but it failed to help him against Democrat Patrick Murphy.
A shrill descendant of Joe McCarthy, who liked to count the number of supposed communists in the House, this hurler of big lies finally conceded two weeks after the election, all the while claiming that “there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results,” which, of course, could not be proven.
But when the final count was complete, West had actually lost by a bigger margin than initially thought. It’s anyone’s guess, however, when he will stop talking about “questions” raised by the voting process.
Most Americans probably know that voter fraud is a Fox News specialty, a favorite talking point deployed by Sean Hannity and his fraudulent crew. Hardly demented, it is well paid for by Rupert Murdoch, the naturalized billionaire who seems to have demanded of his Fox staff that they push the toxic factoid until death or raised taxes.
How ironic that a man who is the closest thing to an actual Manchurian candidate, can have mucked up so many viewers through his network. Reasonable debate is the highest fact of a democracy, but that network is a true fox in the henhouse, hysterically waving propaganda as news.
It is another example of what The Daily Beast’s David Frum calls a misleading “entertainment complex” that has lulled the far right into a false sleep.
In fact, it was the GOP that engaged in chicanery at the ballot box, trying to pass voter-ID laws that would have likely prevented minorities from voting. But you weren’t going to hear about that on the network of Roger Ailes, not unless given orders by Daddy Murdoch.
Now, as the voters have proven, the loons are finally being run out of the party — or, at least, out of office.
The big waste of GOP money on candidates like West, Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana (not to mention good old Mitt Romney himself) rose into a mushroom cloud of massive disaster.
Unlike the cloud predicted by Condoleezza Rice if we did not wage war in Iraq, this destructive cloud came up in a very illuminating way.
But while the radical right is on the run, it’s far from dead. Its lies have sunk deep into the national consciousness, as evidenced by a recent meeting of Georgia Republicans at which they listened to a seminar lasting four hours about how President Barack Obama is even more horrible and dangerous than the Republican radicals usually claim. The president and the United Nations were compared in one graphic caught by cameras to the totalitarian murderers Mao and Stalin. They were also told that he and the U.N. were using mind control to influence honest Americans.
Rachel Maddow rightly blasted this “nonsense” on her show, comparing it with a comment by the leader of the Maine GOP, who was surprised that “dozens of black people who came in and voted” in “some parts of the state.” Later, this bizarre true believer defended himself by saying he isn’t racist because, you see, “I play basketball every Sunday with a black guy.”
Even some on the right are starting to realize that the Republican Party will simply implode if this keeps up for another election cycle.
For example, Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative-as-ever Weekly Standard, recently said a shocking thing that must have scared the bejesus out of Murdoch’s shock troops: “It won’t kill the country if Republicans raise taxes a little bit on millionaires. It really won’t, I don’t think.” We have to think about him in the way we think about any changing coats in the party.
We must always recall that Kristol was one of those who pretended to be an impartial but honest conservative while being paid at The New York Times. That was not true because he helped sell Sarah Palin to John McCain. Kristol could not stop there. He wrote in his Times column so glowingly, one would not have guessed that he helped glue her to McCain’s lap.
That does not stop anyone from seeing that he is right about raising taxes on the wealthy. Of course, you won’t ever hear Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell and his posse in the Senate admit as much. Their only goal is to make Obama look weak; to make sure he achieves nothing of which he can be proud — even now that he has won his second term. Recently, McConnell and Senate Republicans suppressed a bipartisan report that indicated how big is their Chicken Little lie about the doom of the nation if taxes are raised on the wealthy.
Things keep getting bad for our national liars. The rednecks of all colors may end up being asked to leave the party, and then we might have a real political debate that engages in ideas, not factoids.
Now that would be the change that refreshes.
Stanley Crouch can be reached by email at email@example.com.