*As the Republican Party’s ideological drumline thins out in the primary race for the nomination to unseat President Barack Obama, the nation will witness political rhetoric unlike its ever seen. At least since the last Presidential election. All of them “gear up” for Armageddon. Four years ago, they were predicting terrorist attacks in the first month of his administration if Obama was elected. Of course, it didn’t happen—but the rhetoric sounds good. The Republican’s “Big Three,” which many call the last three, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul sound like the Supremes singing “Baby Love” asking the American People, “where did our love go” for President Obama. Stands to reason it went the same place our love for every incumbent President facing re-election went…in the gutter. Mad-throwing is a professional sport in politics. No matter what the incumbent does, it will never be good enough for the party out of power. Same goes here.
The real question is how far are the Republicans willing to go to get Obama? Will they say anything to get Obama? Will they be, God-forbid, unpatriotic in their attacks of the nation’s Commander-in-Chief, that ended the war they started, soft-landed an economy that was falling fastest than a safe pushed off a roof, and had to fight for every single concession—even perfunctory tasks like debt-ceiling raises and payroll tax extensions. The rhetoric of refusing to compliment Obama, on anything, is not healthy for the national morale. Stands to chance that none of them would have done any better they been in the President’s shoes and the rhetoric toward healing our wounded spirits would be much different. Under Nixon, Reagan and Bush II, the nation did what it was asked to do for the national good during recovering economies and re-election bids. The opposite party was asked to tone down the rhetoric for the good of the nation’s morale. There has been no such call from the Democrats for this President. In fact, some Democrats have added to the rhetoric. While the President has no party opposition (at this time), some in his party have kind of been getting their “digs in” on the slide. Holding his accountable, of course. And then there’s the Tea Party rhetoric, an obstructionism that makes no sense.
If Romney locks up the nomination this week, the Republican Party will do what some say they always do, “fall is line,” while the Democrats try to “fall in love” with Obama. The only problem with that is that the rules have changed and the Republican Super PACs are ready to smear Obama like they’ve smeared each other. Super PACS are like the Klan…they can do damage under a cloak of cover and not worry about the law coming to look for them. “Mob violence” couldn’t be prosecuted under the law because it required individuals to be charged. The same with giving corporations “citizen status” to contribute in elections—they can attack under the cover of a corporate cloak and not worry about the law coming after them. Their rhetoric is vicious and flunks the smell test. And the truth test. And the ethics test. But it does what the Republicans need right now.
The Republicans need a vehicle with a big enough horn to get the public’s attention. They need to raise the ideological rhetoric just to have a chance. Regardless of what it does to the nation. The rhetoric bomb is coming under hood and sheets.
The question is, will the nation stand for it.
Anthony Asadullah Samad, Ph.D., is a national columnist, managing director of the Urban Issues Forum (www.urbanissuesforum.com) and author of the upcoming book, REAL EYEZ: Race, Reality and Politics in 21st Century Popular Culture. He can be reached at www.AnthonySamad.com or on Twitter at @dranthonysamad.