More Than Words: America Suffers Through The GOP’s 2012 Iowa Extremes

American elections, especially general elections, are strange affairs rife with money, lies, special interests’  influence, misinformation, and a display of extreme positions. That is the nature of Republican politics leading up to the convention to nominate a candidate to challenge President Obama for the White House. Although tomorrow’s Iowa caucuses  mark the first electoral event of the 2012 election, it feels as though Republicans seeking the nomination for the presidency have been campaigning for an eternity; not because there were profound revelations from the candidates, but because the level of insanity and extremism steadily increased making one wonder what is so important about Iowa.

Pollsters readily admit that predicting which Republican candidate has the most support in Iowa is difficult, and indeed, nearly all of the candidates held the top spot at one point depending on who made the most egregious gaffe during the many Republican debates. This year, it is apparent Republicans are jockeying to outdo each others’ extreme positions to earn a victory in Iowa even though winning there is not a guarantee to go on and win the nomination. If taking radical positions is necessary to win the Iowa caucuses, then the contest will be a draw because each candidate has made some extreme overture to appeal to caucus delegates.

Most of the extreme positions were made during the plethora of Republican debates regardless of who sponsored them. Besides the debates, there were various forums where candidates made their cases before, for example, special interest groups like the Thanksgiving Family Forum in Des Moines, Iowa sponsored by Bob Vander Plaats, head of the controversial conservative group Family Leader.  As Iowa caucuses drew nearer, whether at debates or Christian family values forums, the candidates made more outrageous statements of policy leading one to believe that Iowa delegates are as crazy as the Republicans seeking their votes.

It is challenging to determine which candidate is most extreme, but suffice it to say that each candidate took their opponents most radical position and took it two steps farther. What is discouraging is that the candidates were not only pandering to Iowa voters; they all were looking forward to the subsequent state’s primaries giving Americans a glimpse of the tenor of the 2012 campaign for the presidency on the Republican side. First, it is noteworthy that two candidates that appeared most reasonable on first glance changed their positions often to pander to the neo-conservative, evangelical voters in Iowa and Deep South states. Willard Romney and Jon Huntsman distinguished themselves as the ultimate flip-floppers and because they did not have integrity or conviction in their positions, voters should reject them as dangerous for lacking intestinal fortitude to hold fast to their beliefs. A candidate who changes their position on important issues to meet, what they perceive as, the voters’ expectations, does not warrant primary support, much less a vote in an election.

The rest of the Republicans did not have problems maintaining integrity of their beliefs, but instead of staking out a position and holding fast; they waited to hear their opponents’ position and exceeded the level of severity as if voters in Iowa were searching for the most radical candidate to support. For example, Rick Perry proffered his plan of eliminating 3 departments of government only to be bested by Ron Paul who promised to eliminate 5 departments such as Energy, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and Education.

The evangelical wing of the Republican candidates all spoke out against abortion and in support of family values, but Michele Bachmann took it to the extreme by asserting that President Obama is “putting abortion pills for young minors, girls as young as 8 years of age or 11 years of age, on the bubblegum aisle.” For the record, the president overrode an FDA recommendation to make emergency over the counter contraception available for all ages and the result was angering women’s health advocates. Bachmann could not take a chance at not being the most extreme candidate with pro-life voters and acted accordingly. Rick Santorum had no compulsion to hold back and said he would, as president, talk about “the dangers of contraception in this country.”

Santorum promised to abolish the 9th Circuit Court for being a “pox on the Western part of the country,” and not to be outdone, Newt Gingrich promised to arrest judges who did not agree with him. Rick Perry joined that anti-judiciary frenzy and decided, if he was elected president, to unilaterally change the Constitution by not appointing judges for life. It is worth watching closely the candidates’ statements as the state primaries approach to see which candidate promises to abolish the judicial branch of government altogether to appear most extreme with neo-conservative voters.

Romney has emerged as the most extreme in many ways and unfortunately, he is not just pandering to Iowa voters; he is expressing views held by hard-right conservatives who yearn for a return to the  Bush administration in 2012. Romney said Dick Cheney was a man to be admired and was the “kind of person I’d like to have. A person of wisdom and judgment.” Willard also defended banks and suggested not trying “to stop the foreclosure process,” and that instead, “let it run its course and hit the bottom.” Romney also told Iowa voters that “corporations are people” referencing the despicable Citizens United decision that allows unrestricted campaign contributions by corporations that amounts to buying elections.

There is no end to the extreme positions Republicans espoused in courting Iowa caucus delegates, but it is unfair to portray Iowa as the reason for their insane positions. Each of the candidates is pandering to Iowa delegates, but they are also putting their extreme positions out for state primary voters to support. It is sad, no, tragic, that to garner support, these Republicans have taken such extreme positions and it informs the rest of America that there are millions of Americans who crave a theocratic government owned and operated by a few wealthy industrialists. The most outrageous aspect of this current group of candidates is that in varying degrees, they truly believe their positions are not extreme and will pursue them with unrelenting tenacity. One can only hope more Americans are repulsed by neo-conservative, theocratic policies than support the agendas that will take this country back to the Dark Ages, and will reject extremism and instead embrace reason and moderation.

The Iowa caucuses will give a glimpse of the upcoming election year and although Iowa is not (hopefully) representative of the entire country, the results of delegates’ votes should set the pace for what is guaranteed to be the most extreme candidate’s positions in recent memory. One thing is certain, regardless of which side Americans support, the Republican campaign will only get stranger and more extreme and it should frighten the life out of every voter in America.


10 Replies to “More Than Words: America Suffers Through The GOP’s 2012 Iowa Extremes”

  1. Romney has admitted to taking whatever position his church elders have told him to do in order to put his Mormon self in office (wish I had the link), and that causes me to wonder about Huntsman. It makes me wonder if we’re not looking at a steeplejack race among denominations. I caution again: watch out for false flag candidates!

  2. The XXX-treme fundamentalist sects and cults of this nation are very, jealous of the other desert religions; the Jews and Muslim religious ultra-XXX-tremist who have established theocratic rule by minority default in the parts of the Middle East regions.

    The American Dominionist Movement (which, BTW does include not only Protestant, but Catholics, Jew, Mormons all under the umbrella of dominion) want what the “desert guys” got; and, they are willing to use the same extreme methods to do whatever it takes to rule America; this is a kamikaze raid on their war on American democracy…

    I sincerely believe that we are seeing the last days of fundamentalism based on absolutes of religious text in civilization. It has reached, rather, over-reached for the last time. Civilization will not survive a Gingrich (insert whatever name suits you) ideal based upon a world of a twisted Puritan “traditions” that falsely claims a work ethic, sexual repression as piety, and slavery to enhance their personal wealth…and of course, extinction of “the other” by means of debtor prisons, withholding health care, food, shelter to kill off the “un-pure”.

    Fundamentalist are a dying specie, even though they are big breeders, they won’t over-run the larger “herd”, the majority who survive on free choice, free will and, most importantly, the vote.

  3. Good point…the nice, white, polite people battling it out in the public arena to own the land and make it pure for Cheeszus…

    There is no doubt that all the “heads of state” of the 20%’ers are placing their bets on their guy to “win”. I wonder if we will ever know the amount of money being spent by the churches on this dog race? I wonder if Vegas,a good Mormon-owned town, is taking in the bets?

  4. This post is so frightening. When the GOP debates reached a point of such extreme need for red meat and extremism from the Tea Party audiences, I could no longer tune in because it was just too toxic. At this stage of the GOP candidates running for office, what makes them different than the extremes taking place in other parts of the world all under the guise of righteous ideology? What makes our voting process better than the middle east when GOP led states are instituting voter suppression laws to impact the election in their favor. Remember with the help of the Supreme Court, it’s still uncertain to this day if that election was taken from the Democratic Party and handed to George Bush and Cheney. And remember what that got us.?!

  5. Thanks for this post Rmuse, respectfully, just one thing:
    “One thing is certain, regardless of which side Americans support, the Republican campaign will only get stranger and more extreme and it should frighten the life out of every voter in America.”

    …the Republican campaign will only get stranger and more extreme and it should frighten every American enough to occupy the vote 2012 (and bring 2 friends)

  6. The major GOP presidential candidates debated yet again and made one thing very clear:

    They have no agenda but to take down President Obama.

    They even nodded along when one called the Obama administration a “destructive force,” and they said nothing when another said the President has “embraced our enemies.”

    If nothing else, it was a wake-up call to anyone who thinks they can sit tight while the Republicans battle each other for the nomination: The campaign to defeat Barack Obama and roll back his entire record is well underway.

    And that’s the one thing on which all of their potential candidates agree.

    Fundamentally, these debates was about which of their candidates would turn back the clock the farthest.

    They came out for re-fighting the battles they lost on Wall Street reform and the health care law.

    They backed reinstating “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

    They even talked about abolishing the Environmental Protection Agency — and phasing out Social Security and Medicare.

    They actually spent time debating whether they think Sarah Palin would have made a better vice president than Joe Biden (spoiler alert: they still think so!).

    But the words “education” and “middle class” were never uttered even once.

    If you were watching at home, you might have thought it was a re-run from four or eight years ago.

    Most of these people are full-time candidates with nothing to lose and nothing to do but keep pushing to take us back to the failed policies of the past.

    Luckily, none of them have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning.

  7. The evangelicals are commiting sacrilege, messing with perfectly crafted Masonic documents,namely the US constitution and the Declaration of Independance. To the evangelicals I say “the bricks of your foundations shall crumble to dust and your house will fall for your foul deeds, the all seeing eye knows your treachery, and shall not be put assunder”.

  8. I honestly think birth control will be a big item this cycle. In every state there are efforts to do away with birth control pills, something the American woman has lived with for their lives and their mothers lives. The candidates have to be forced to discuss this in the open. The republican senators and representatives who support the personhood laws need to be forced to talk about it in the open

    These people are going to bury themselves by November in the competition to be absolutely nuts

  9. GOP wants lots of slaves to be produced to work as slaves to enrich them like the historical times. They need more poor people to fight wars and die or be discarded. The founding fathers thought the future politicians will be as honest as themselves, so much so, they did not add an amendment for political corruption. 584 people including the SC judges are slowly tearing down this wonderful land. Not even God can help unless every voters go to to vote these elected crooks out of office. Will they?

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