The political process begins to break down in a democracy when a major political institution becomes moribund and is captured by folk who want to use it to promote their own bizarre and/or often dangerous views. The Militant tendency had little trouble taking over small constituency Labour Parties and didn't much care if they alienated those who opposed them. These folk are often energetic and carry with them an absolute conviction about the correctness of their own ideas. By capturing the 'shell' of an institution that has long held the loyalty of a section of the electorate they can soon find themselves translated into positions of power.
The American Republican party is now threatened by such a group. For years now the religious right has held great sway in that party. Very few politicians could flourish that would not bow to their misnamed moral 'agenda' and so it has come to pass that a latter day Mayor Lindsay would not even pause for a micro second to consider joining the Republican Party. When John McCain took the party nomination he was compelled to get a running mate from the Christian Right and chose Sarah Palin. Her instant appeal to the wilder reaches of American politics is now being played out with the emergence of the Tea Party and their candidates who have won key primary contests.
The particular wacky right wing witch I want to look at is Christine O'Donnell. In his article; This is a helluva scary witch which was carried in the Independent whilst we at Conference this year Matthew Norman writes:
Things become a little more alarming as we reach her strictures on honesty. She may once have been a white witch (a white anything will do, you suspect, for the Tea Party), but she cannot tell a white lie. Indeed she makes George Washington look like the love child of Mr Tony Blair and Walter Mitty, and for this discovery we must thank another comedian – this time, hurrah, one of our own. As a fellow guest on Politically Incorrect, during a 1996 debate about whether it can ever be permissible to tell a falsehood, Eddie Izzard asked Christine what she'd have done if a Nazi had come to her Dutch home to enquire if she was hiding any Jews.
Take a look at the clip:
Now there are lots more clips which illustrate her scariness, from her tangle with witchcraft, animal sacrifices, her campaign against masturbation (I kid you not) her view that Aids is divine retribution, etc,etc
As a right wing Republican you know you are in trouble when Karl Rove starts denouncing you.Let us be clear Karl Rove is no one nation Tory he is a no holes barred right winger who if he operated in the UK would be way outside the mainstream.He has been called 'George W Bush's brains. He is that sort of rightwinger, the type Colin Powell famously described as 'f***ing crazzies' It therefore follows that he is trying to kill of the chances of one of his own party's nominations it is time to sit up a take notice
We will see in the coming weeks whether it is a lesson too late for the learning. As membership of political parties fall in Vritain (not Southport Lib Dems ) the danger is also here. Martin Bell was so aghast at the antics of a small religious group in Eric Pickles constituency -not dissimilar in views to the wacky ideas endorsed by Ms Palin- that he provoked action after this article