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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fearing the base and the YouTube debate

If you want some kind of idea why the Republicans fear the YouTube style debate, take a quick read of this:
Is there a secret plan being hatched by the federal government to construct a NAFTA super-highway from Mexico straight through to Canada, stopping off in Kansas City?

Alongside immigration and Iraq, it is a question that is being posed with surprising regularity to the leading Republican presidential candidates by people who fear it is the first step toward the establishment of a new mega-country that would merge Mexico and the United States.

Some of the ideas that come out of the Republican base are pretty freakin' crazy, and I sincerely doubt that the Republican candidates want to face them in a closely watched national debate.

Does life begin at conception? Is the eath 6,000 years old? Do you believe in evolution? Support for Israel? What limits on gun control? Do you believe that homosexuality is a sin?....

This batch of candidates does not really want to address elements in their base, they want to assuage them, which is best done out of the limelight.


  • That's a really interesting perspective: Repubs don't fear questions from mainstream Americans -- whom they can dismiss as the "loony left" and thus ignore -- they fear having to stand in the PUBLIC spot light and engage with their "wingnut" base.

    Very interesting indeed...

    By Blogger -epm, at 8:52 AM  

  • What's with the permanent bases in Iraq?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:58 AM  

  • If a fertilized egg is human life -- a baby--, shouldn't they count as dependents for income tax purposes?

    By Blogger -epm, at 9:08 AM  

  • EPM, I think this is somewhat true.

    The right has spent so long cultivating this group, pushing "crazy" so far out to the right to try to "mainstream" the Christian right.

    And, although the black helicopter and white discrimination groups are way out of the mainstream, there is a tempered down, more mainstream sympathy for both in parts of the Republican electorate.


    Anon, How about questions about Bush? Al Gonzales?

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 11:06 AM  

  • Many, many awkward questions. So far only Ron Paul seems brave enough.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:37 AM  

  • That's because he has nothing to lose!

    If he picks up the black helicopter crowd, his numbers go up.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:16 PM  

  • Poor old Paul. The media seem to have relegated him to the flakey division. He's almost as bad as the Democrats. I'm not sure how it happened because he actually makes a lot of sense on several key issues.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:21 PM  

  • Ron Paul starts out making sense, but in most cases he veers off into some sort of constitutional fundamentalism. Kind of like a religious fundamentalist, but with the constitution instead of religion.

    I sometimes like where he starts, but I'm not too impressed where he ends up...

    By Blogger -epm, at 2:26 PM  

  • Anon, you have to understand that he's earned the flaky status over many, many years of behavior.

    Then, of course, there's the fact that he could never actually win. He's radical in his presriptions. Abolishing eight cabinet level departments?

    As EPM says, he often starts out in one place and ends up another entirely. Given an extended opportuity to talk, rather than the 1 minute debate slots, he'll begin to meander.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 3:11 PM  

  • "Given an extended opportuity to talk, rather than the 1 minute debate slots, he'll begin to meander."

    Sounds like me. I'd make a lousy president. America needs someone tough and decisive who can keep the wars coming.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:51 PM  

  • Fair point.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 6:31 PM  

  • How one gets over the cliff, either through defective decisiveness or misguided meandering, matters little to me. I'm more concerned with getting to what I see as a healthy path of progressive achievement. For me it's not Paul's meandering, but the arc of his reasoning, that I don't care for.

    By Blogger -epm, at 10:28 PM  

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