Last word on the DAR debate goes to Charlie Pierce, who is old like me, and remembers these monsters from their earlier crimes against humanity and the American system of government:
… [W]e must pause right here at the top to commend the Wingnut Undead for their lively presentations last night at the 9,875th of 10,623 scheduled Republican debates. Given the sponsorship of the vampire clans at the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, it’s true that the only way you could have kept them out of Constitution Hall would have been to garland the joint with garlic. But, mother of mercy…
Edwin Fking Meese?
The man who was breaking the heads of the civilly disobedient in Berkeley forty-one years before the Cal-Davis cops discovered what fun chemical weapons are? Ronald Reagan’s devoted porn sleuth? (Elsewhere on The Meese Commission was Father Bruce Ritter, the famous priest who ministered to the runaways in Times Square, and the angry prophet against neon-lit sleaze, who later was discovered to have been sharing his penis, as well as the Lord’s grace, with his charges.) The attorney-general who gave the Iran-Contra crooks just enough time to do the shredding? The man who once said that Miranda protects only the guilty, that the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence was a”pro-lesbian” group, and that employers should be able to discriminate against employees with AIDS if the employer decides he’s protecting the public health? I’d even forgotten how very much I disliked this guy, and now here he comes, suddenly appearing in the present, with Fred Kagan, and the chin-impaired sadist Marc Thiessen, and Paul (My War, Your Kids) Wolfowitz, and Meese gets the first question of the night? It was like seeing Bela Lugosi turn up in the newest Twilight film.
Unsurprisingly, Meese, who never met a civil liberty he wouldn’t feed to his fish, asked the assembled candidates to stand up and cheer for the Patriot Act, which Ron Paul declined to do, and about which Jon Huntsman waxed thoughtful before rising about halfway and giving a rhetorical golf-clap… Everybody else reminded us that there are bad people who want to kill us. Meese returned to the coffin full of his native earth and we were off for the rest of the proceedings…
To repeat myself: No matter what your totebagger “thoughtful centrist” aunt may have been told by dishonest hacks like David Frum, David Brooks, and the other spineless contenders for Dean Broder’s Commode of Centrist Thoughtfulness, the Republican Party has not recently been stolen by a batch of half-witted bigots, xenophobes, authoritarians, and garden-variety grifters. They’ve had control of the GOP wheel for more than 40 years, at least since Nixon’s triumphant accession to the Oval Office with the help of many of these same fine Heritage Institute ‘statesmen’. They were bad people when they were interning during Watergate, they were bad people when they used Reagan as a figurehead to start the full-scale authoritarian takeover and banana-republic-style looting of our national treasury, and they remain Bad People in Charge even unto this very day.
Anybody who votes for a modern Republican is voting for a Bad Person (h/t Driftglass).