Meanwhile, in the party of Lincoln....

Stephen Green drunk-blogs the latest Republican debate, and it isn't a pretty picture:

We're in a very fluid race. The frontrunner, Rudy Giulliani, is down almost everywhere. A scary populist preacher is taking the lead, almost everywhere. The war hero and the TV star are getting no respect, almost anywhere. These should be exciting times. Instead we have... well, we have what we had at today's debate -- candidates who don't seem to want to win, performing for audiences who don't much care which one wins, either.
Alan Keyes (who polls around one percent) is definitely attracting attention:
Blogger Wyoming Cowboy wrote in the comments on my site, "It was a four martini affair. If Alan Keyes hadn't shown up everyone would have fallen asleep." What he left unsaid was, "What the hell was Keyes doing anywhere near real candidates? Did PBS feel the need to bring someone new in to make Ron Paul look sane? And did anyone let the Secret Service know that Keyes was going to be near the real candidates?"
Keyes seems to be good for jokes everywhere. Here's John Podhoretz:
Alan Keyes says he would, upon assuming the presidency, instantly commit himself to an asylum. Okay, he didn't say that.
And:
He is a deeply unpleasant buffoon.
(Via Glenn Reynolds.)

In October, Ed Morrissey characterized Keyes' ranting as "jaw dropping demagoguery." Forgive me if my jaws don't drop when I hear it, as I've grown quite accustomed to it. (Likewise, please forgive me for taking humor more seriously than I probably should.)

Still, I'm glad Keyes is in the race, because I think the shrill and angry wing of the Republican Party is its worst enemy.

On the other hand, Dean Barnett thinks Keyes is not a serious candidate:

I would be remiss if I left this analysis without dedicating at least a few sentences to Alan Keyes. If moderator Washburn was Nurse Ratched, Alan Keyes was a patient who went off his meds. I'm quite confident that he broke the presidential debate record for most frequent usage of the word "womb."

To bring it full circle, Keyes's distracting presence was yet another indictment of the unworthiness of the Iowa media for the enormous role it plays in this process. Keyes isn't just a frivolous candidate for president. He's not a candidate at all. And yet he was allowed on the stage to toss bombs and to perversely whine about his lack of airtime. Thompson and Romney, alone amongst the contenders, had the good sense to use Keyes as a comic foil.

The problem with the Keyes/WorldNetDaily wing of the GOP is that a number of people claim (on the right and on the left) that its support within the GOP is far greater than it actually is.

It's easy to dismiss Keyes as lunatic fringe, and much as I'd like to do that, it should not be forgotten that Keyes was the guy the Republican Party saw fit to run for United States Senate against the same man who may become the Democratic Party party presidential nominee. I'd like to know when and how an officially sponsored Senatorial candidate (in Illinois, by the way, an important state), whose supporters claim to be the true Republican base, came to be such a total joke. Why wasn't he a joke all along? Why wasn't he considered a joke when he called homosexuality "the thermonuclear device--that is aimed at the soul of America," and "a direct repudiation of our most important principles." Seriously, I would have liked to think he was a joke when he ran against Obama. In fact, I was so upset that I grabbed the republicansforobama.com url -- not because I especially liked Obama, but as a sort of protest, and I pointed it to one of my anti-Keyes posts, this one, I think. (I dropped it after a year, but I see it's for sale. Damn! If only I'd kept it, I might have been able to make a few bucks selling it.)

But now the man is a joke. Maybe he's more of an embarrassment. And maybe marginalizing Keyes is an attempt to corral the voters who sympathize with what he says, while blurring their strength.

Once again, I'd like to know how precisely many people support Keyes' nonsensical views. I'm sick of hearing them scream about how they are the true base.

"Iowans suck at picking winners," concludes Stephen Green.

My worry is that so does the GOP.

posted by Eric on 12.13.07 at 10:10 AM










Comments

I'm a non-wingnut, pro-defense mildly conservative but basically moderate libertarian. Who's out there for me to vote for? The "I don't believe in evolution" preacher? The small town lawyer/actor who doesn't want to be there? The NYer with a trail of wives and a 1 note resume? (2 notes if you count Rudy's takedown of the Mafia as DA) McCain, whom I detest for nearly everything except his support of the war?

I am tired, tired, tired of the right wing idiots. Even more so of the left. You interested in a job for a couple years Eric? I'll write you in .... might as well.

molon labe   ·  December 13, 2007 12:46 PM

I'm a non-wingnut, pro-defense mildly conservative but basically moderate libertarian. Who's out there for me to vote for? The "I don't believe in evolution" preacher? The small town lawyer/actor who doesn't want to be there? The NYer with a trail of wives and a 1 note resume? (2 notes if you count Rudy's takedown of the Mafia as DA) McCain, whom I detest for nearly everything except his support of the war?

I am tired, tired, tired of the right wing idiots. Even more so of the left. You interested in a job for a couple years Eric? I'll write you in .... might as well.

molon labe   ·  December 13, 2007 12:47 PM

Keyes was Dave Syverson's idea. He is my State Senator. I guess the idea was that since the Republican Party was so identified with corruption (an equal opportunity employer in Illinois) and Jack Ryan was identified with the swinger element in the Republican Party, a no no for the socons - and his name was similar to that of the corrupt Governor George Ryan, that they had to go with a candidate who was beyond corruption and a "real" Republican to boot.

Bush out polled Keyes in Illinois by a significant margin. A lot of Illinois Republicans refused to vote for Keyes. It was a debacle.

Evidently it will be one for some time.

M. Simon   ·  December 13, 2007 7:40 PM

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