This is my 10th presidential campaign, Lord help me. I have never before seen such a bunch of vile, desperate-to-please, shameless, embarrassing losers coagulated under a single party’s banner.
Then, having demonstrated that even apparently sane people like Romney and Pawlenty wind up talking like gibbering idiots when they seek the Republican Presidential nomination, Klein concludes … that someone apparently sane, such as Mitch Daniels or Jeb Bush, needs to get into the race.
This reflects what the social psychologists call the “fundamental attribution error”: attributing behavior to character rather than to situation. If Daniels or Bush got into the race, he would be forced to sound just like the rest of the lunatics. (As one cable news talking-head said about Huckabee’s rantings on Obama’s upbringing, this is what happens to a party when the fringe becomes the base.)
As Logan Pearsall Smith wrote, you can no more be rich and not behave as the rich behave than you can drink all day and not be drunk. And you can’t seek the GOP Presidential nomination without behaving like a GOP Presidential candidate. In that role, a willingness to mouth hateful nonsense isn’t a character flaw; it’s a bona fide occupational qualification. No point trying to change Republican candidates unless you can change Republican voters.
UpdateThe Indiana anti-abortion law, which Daniels apparently plans to sign even after his fellow-partisans declined to put in exceptions for rape, incest, and life-threatening pregnancies – after all, they argued, how do you know that the sluts won’t just lie and claim they were raped?– is rather badly timed with respect Klein’s assertion about Daniels’s sanity.