Richard Cohen writes this morning that Herman Cain's endorsement of Newt Gingrich is proof positive that the Grand Old Party is brain dead:
It’s hard to know who is the more ridiculous figure — the grandiloquent, bombastic and compulsively dishonest Gingrich, or the beguilingly ignorant Cain, a man who has never held elective office and who was reduced to speechlessness when asked a question about Libya. Nonetheless, Gingrich, his Alfred E. Neuman grin on his face, accepted the endorsement and then went on with his nihilistic campaign for the White House. This has been an exceedingly silly political season.
In fact, the Republicans have become the silly party, precisely because they cannot accept the concept of nuance:
If you ask me what I think of abortion, I’d say, “It depends.” It depends on whether you’re talking about the ninth month of pregnancy, the first, the health of the mother, the fetus — or, even, the morning-after pill. But in the Republican contest, the answer to the question is always the same: no, no and no again. Thanks for giving the matter such careful thought.
It is the same with taxes. Should they be raised? It depends. It depends on economic and fiscal conditions — and on whose taxes will be raised and by how much. The answer cannot be “No, never.” That’s not an economic position; it is an ideological one and exhibits a closed mind.
And so it is with all issues -- global warming, the Iranian nuclear problem, relations with China. The answers are all simple. The problem is that the world isn't. And the Republican Establishment -- if it still exists -- has not had the courage to bring this to the party's the attention. For too long, Cohen writes, the movers and shakers in the party have
been mute in the face of a belligerent anti-intellectualism, pretending that knowledge and experience do not matter and that Washington is a condition and not a mere city.
They are now reaping the harvest of their neglect.
This entry is cross posted at The Moderate Voice.