Really, Iowa?

I’ve always had a good deal of respect for my fellow corn-loving flatlanders to the immediate west, but Iowa Republicans are really insane enough to pick Michelle Bachmann as their preliminary favorite for the Iowa Caucuses? As Barney Frank said, I hope I’ve led a good enough life to receive that as a reward, but still, I find it highly disturbing that someone with such regressive and reactionary views can attain such traction in contemporary American conservative politics. Yes, I’ll be the first to joke about Bachmann’s lunacy and fringe beliefs, but the right-wing retrenchment and anti-Enlightenment hysteria currently en vogue is a troubling thing to witness, and ultimately, will not bode well for our democracy, what’s left of it. I’ve touched on most of these subjects in various ways, but in 2011 when one of the two major political parties views a right-of-center president as a dangerous communist intent on destroying their mythologized view of America, when what’s become the mainstream of that party fervently believes that women should have no control over their bodies, that LGBT people should remain second-class citizens because we have the temerity to not fit into their misread ancient history of what love and marriage mean, when that party’s mainstream denies science, and relapses into a grotesquely and ill-understood postmodernist denial of the possibility of objective fact and the concurrent sincere belief that facts are essentially irrelevant, well — this is a problem. Bachmann epitomizes all the worst of the Know-Nothingism prevalent on the right today, and the fact that Obama has so flubbed his presidency actually (and I can’t believe I’m saying this sincerely) has opened up a space for her or Rick Perry — who’s equally extreme in his views and a better and more opportunistic politician — to become the leader of the free world. I really can’t believe I’m saying this, but they both make George W. Bush look moderate.

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~ by Benji on 13 August 2011.

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