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Snapshots

The terrifying race to the loony right – Republican Party – Salon.com

My father was a Republican for the first 78 years of his life. For the last 20, he’s been a Democrat (he just celebrated his 98th). What happened? “They lost me,” he says. They’re losing even more Americans now, as the four remaining GOP candidates seek to outdo one another in their race for the votes of the loony right that’s taken over the Grand Old Party. But the rest of us have reason to worry. A party of birthers, creationists, theocrats, climate-change deniers, nativists, gay-bashers, antiabortionists, media paranoids, anti-intellectuals and out-of-touch country clubbers cannot govern America.

Yet even if they lose the presidency on Election Day they’re still likely to be in charge of at least one house of Congress as well as several state legislatures and governorships. That’s a problem for the nation.

The GOP’s drift toward loopiness started in 1993 when Bill Clinton became the first Democrat in the White House in a dozen years – and promptly allowed gays in the military, pushed through the Brady handgun act, had the audacity to staff his administration with strong women and African-Americans, and gave Hillary the task of crafting a national health bill. Bill and Hillary were secular boomers with Ivy League credentials who thought government had a positive role to play in people’s lives.

This was enough to stir right-wing evangelicals in the South, social conservatives in the Midwest and on the Great Plains, and stop-at-nothing extremists in Washington and the media who hounded Bill Clinton for eight years, then stole the 2000 election from Al Gore, and Swift-Boated John Kerry in 2004.

FULL ARTICLE: The terrifying race to the loony right – Republican Party – Salon.com.

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