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Mainstreaming The Crazy

By The Reverend Published: October 26, 2013

The United States has always had it's fringe political movements and groups. It's the cost of freedom, especially first amendment freedom......and I don't ever want that paradigm changed. The more free speech, the better, as I see it.

So don't mistake what I'm about to argue next.

During the tense nonsense (new band name?) we witnessed during the government shutdown and default "debates" Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was especially upset over the tactics and the language used by fellow Republican Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). Cruz compared fellow Republicans who would not support his plan to destroy Obamacare to British leaders in the 1940's who appeased Hitler and the Nazis.

However, as Jon Stewart (not a liberal) pointed out on his comedy show this week, McCain has no right to complain about what he, himself, has helped to mainstream.

Here's the Maverick in 2008.....

“My friends, we had a good debate last night,’’ Mr. McCain said to cheers at a sports center. “It was a lot of fun. I thought I did pretty well. The real winner last night was Joe the Plumber.”

Some in the crowd chanted “Joe! Joe! Joe!”

“Joe’s the man!” Mr. McCain cried.

That would be the same Joe the Plumber who has recently come under fire for posting this on his blog site....

The article, “America Needs a White Republican President,” opines: “Admit it. You want a white Republican president again. Wanting a white Republican president doesn’t make you racist, it just makes you American.”

After, predictably, receiving heavy criticism for the posting....Joe responded....

“So I post an article by a black guy, about a black guy and guess who they call a racist...?” Wurzelbacher wrote on his Facebook page.

What's important to remember here is that John McCain is the guy who mainstreamed Joe the Plumber by exploiting his "story" during the 2008 presidential campaign. Later, the McCain camp responded that they had not "vetted" the Plumber sufficiently ....which is odd....because that's what the McCain campaign handlers also said about the Maverick's selection of the 1/2 term Alaska Governor whom Johnny Mac chose as his 2008 running mate.

I would also argue that McCain's exploitation of Joe the Plumber in the 2008 campaign allowed for the Serious in Village media to treat the Plumber with Seriousness. McCain made that happen. If McCain had not given shoutouts to Plumber Joe during the 2008 campaign......then, most likely, only Fox and AM hate radio would have celebrated the non-plumber Plumber.

The same is true of Sarah Palin. McCain did not choose Palin as his running mate because he had a gun to his head. McCain willingly chose Palin, thus willingly introducing the "crazy" into the mainstream....whether McCain was fully aware of what he was doing, or not.

My use of "crazy" is not meant to be a personal attack on Palin or the Plumber....not really. They are both Americans who have, as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, a full right to free speech in our country. I may disagree with whatever ideology the two upstarts hold, if any, but absent John McCain, Palin and the Plumber would have not gone mainstream.

Once John McCain willingly put Palin and the Plumber under the national limelight, the fact that both Palin and the Plumber became fixtures on Foxy-time teevee....with Palin and the Plumber, also predictably, constantly being portrayed as "victims"....was inevitable.

And so, I think it is important to remember how we arrived at where we are. The "crazy", as I refer to it, had always been kept under wraps by the GOP. Yes, the GOP has always needed the votes from those who were admirers of the "crazy" in order to compete nationally.....but until 2008...GOP desperation had never gone so far as to mainstream that "crazy."

Until 2008, it would have simply been too embarrassing and too humiliating for the Republican Party to be identified so closely with the "crazy." That all changed in 2008.....and only now in 2013, after the "crazy" has become too obvious to ignore (shutdowns, default threats, economic damage).....have the Serious in the Village begun to speak factually about the "crazy." Better late than never...but I got's to tell ya'....the damage is already done.

Once the Frankenstein monster was quickened by that jolt of lightning....exposing the monster to the mainstream, as it was too late to prevent the damage the monster would inevitably do.

History will not be kind to John McCain when it comes to unleashing the "crazy." The Mac Daddy will always be remembered fondly for his service to America, both in the Navy and in Congress. The Arizona senator will also be remembered for his sometimes "mavericky" stances, going against his own political party at times.

But history will also remember McCain as the guy who did something no other modern presidential candidate had done. McCain unleashed the conservative "crazy" on America....he mainstreamed the "crazy".....and the country is worse off for it.



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