GOP Nomination Battle Exposes Another Great Divide In A Party Headed For Self-Inflicted Oblivion
The release this morning of NBC/Marist polls for Iowa and New Hampshire confirmed Trump as the odds-on favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination. The GOP base wants Trump and is thoroughly rejecting the professional politicians and the candidates backed by the insiders and the Establishment.
Since July, Trump has risen in New Hampshire from 21% to 28%, while Jeb has plummeted from 14% to 8% for 4th place, after Trump, Kasich (12%) and Carson 11%). Other than Kasich, the current Republican office-holders are all doing dismally:
• Senator Rand Paul- 5%And in Iowa, Trump has gone from 17% (and second place to Scott Walker) to 29% and first place, as Walker has sunk beneath the waves of corn and is now in a 3-way tie for 4th place with Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina. Jeb's support has been cut in half-- from 12% in July to just 6% now for a narrow 3rd place behind Trump and Carson (22%). And here too, the current Republican office-holders are all drowning in the contempt and disdain of Republican voters:
• Senator Ted Cruz- 5%
• Governor Chris Christie- 5%
• Governor Scott Walker- 4%
• Senator Marco Rubio- 3%
• Senator Lindsey Graham- 1%
• Governor Bobby Jindal- 1%
• Senator Rand Paul- 5%Most Republican Party base voters apparently get their information exclusively, or at least primarily, from sources that are ideologically biased and entirely self-referential: Fox News (the GOP's very own Pravda), Hate Talk Radio, fringe websites, religionist hucksters intent on fleecing the flock... They are the very definition of the low-information voter.
• Governor Scott Walker- 5%
• Senator Ted Cruz- 4%
• Senator Marco Rubio- 4%
• Governor Bobby Jindal- 4%
• Governor Chris Christie- 2%
• Governor John Kasich-2%
• Senator Lindsey Graham- 0%
There is no other way to explain the feeling among some of these people that the jailing of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis-- at the order of Judge David Bunning, son of Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY), and a Republican who was nominated for his federal judgeship by George W. Bush in 2001 and confirmed despite the American Bar Association rating him "unqualified"-- signaled a government policy of imprisoning Christians. Davis was imprisoned for contempt of court, and Bunning is a right-wing Christian who is no backer of LGBT equality. "Personal opinions, including my own," he wrote in his ruling, "are not relevant to today. The idea of natural law superseding this court’s authority would be a dangerous precedent indeed."
Huckabee plans to boost his pointless presidential campaign-- the latest Quinnipiac poll has him in 10th place with 3%-- by holding a "Liberty Rally" at the Kentucky jail in Grayson where Davis is trying to make herself a martyr. And the Huckster isn't the only candidate trying to appeal to the moron-base by "standing with Kim" against law and order. Take Rand Paul.
"I think it's absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty," he said on CNN shortly after the decision. "I think it's a real mistake and even those on the other side of the issue, I think it sets their movement back."
Paul said forcing conservative Christians to issue marriage licensees to same-sex couples is going to backfire. "What's going to happen is it's going to harden people's resolve on this issue," he said. "I think what's going to happen is that state and localities are just going to opt out of the marriage business."
Paul suggested compromises that would allow Davis to refrain from putting her signature on the license. The process could involve a notary public who does not object to the law.
"This is a really the problem when we decide to get involved in a situation that has always through the history of our country been a local issue," he said.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Davis marks the first time ever that the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith.
"Those who are persecuting Kim Davis believe that Christians should not serve in public office. That is the consequence of their position. Or, if Christians do serve in pubic office, they must disregard their religious faith-- or be sent to jail," he said in statement. "Kim Davis should not be in jail. We are a country founded on Judeo-Christian values, founded by those fleeing religious oppression and seeking a land where we could worship God and live according to our faith, without being imprisoned for doing so."
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also defended what he called Davis' religious freedom.
"I don't think anyone should have to choose between following their conscience and religious beliefs and giving up their job and facing financial sanctions. I think it's wrong to force Christian individuals or business owners," he told the Huffington Post. "We are seeing government today discriminate against whether it's clerks, florists, musicians or others. I think that's wrong. I think you should be able to keep your job and follow your conscience."
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker discussed Davis's decision Thursday on the Laura Ingraham Show.
"In the end, this is the balance that you gotta have to have in America, between the laws that are out there, but ultimately ensuring that the Constitution is upheld," he said. "I read that the Constitution is very clear that people have freedom of religion-- you have the freedom to practice religious beliefs out there, it's a fundamental right."
It's their... philosophy as well as their relijun
The Great Divide comes in because some of the GOP candidates recognize reality a bit and realize that this whole thing is just another crackpot right-wing scam orchestrated by Davis' lunatic lawyer, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel.
The candidates who understand what this is really all about are Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham ("As a public official, comply with the law or resign. The rule of law is the rule of law… I support traditional marriage, but she’s accepted a job where she has to apply the law to everyone"), Chris Christie, Jeb Bush (although he waffles a little), John Kasich and... Trumpy. Yep, Trump's saner instincts told him this one is too crazy even for what he's trying to accomplish. The GOP
deserves this; it's the kind of death-rattle circus routine that they've turned their party into. Anyone remember the Whigs?