Grand Ole Party? Or Grand Ole Playboy’s Party?
By Joe Olvera ©, 2011
Is the Grand Ole Party (GOP) turning into the Grand Ole Playboy’s Party (GOPP)? The question begs to be answered because of the shenanigans two of the candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination have been accused of perpetrating – and justly so – of playing with other women and having scandalous affairs while married and, allegedly, being devoted husbands and upright citizens who want to lead this country. Of course, everyone knows who they are, don’t they? ANALYSIS
While not all the candidates have been accused of having extra-marital affairs – at this point, anyway – the GOP still stands in disarray. The GOP race for the nomination has been called by pundits a reality show and a circus. First, and foremost at this time, is Herman Cain – who came in from left field to claim a strong backing for the nomination. Cain immediately superseded the favored Texas Governor Rick Perry, tying with perennial leader Mitt Romney – a flip-flop man if there ever was one.
While Cain enjoyed immense support at the outset of his candidacy, that support ran for cover when several women accused him of sexually assaulting them when he was president of the National Restaurant Association. Cain denied all the allegations, saying that his rivals for the nomination were responsible for the women having come forward with their accusations. As CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza chain, Cain brought what seemed to be a fresh outlook on the presidency that seen through the eyes of a businessman who touted his 9-9-9 plan was exactly what the nation needed.
The fact that he was black also added to his mystique because, for the first time in history, the Republican was considering a black man as its nominee. While Cain’s alleged mistresses stepped forward, his denials of inappropriate behavior almost had a doubting public convinced of his innocence, until another woman stepped forward and said she had been Cain’s mistress for 13 years. That was the death knell for the Cain Train, as his campaign was called. Soon after that accusation materialized, Cain “suspended” his race for the nomination. Apparently he is waiting to see how those accusations stand the test of time and whether he will be forgiven by the voting public.
Because, you see, Cain isn’t the only nominee with a checkered past. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, also has had to overcome scandalous affairs to become one of the top contenders. Gingrich also had extra-marital affairs while he was married two different times. Both times, Gingrich had affairs while his wife at the time suffered from serious illness. One of them suffered from cancer.
A resurgent Gingrich blamed his infidelities on his “patriotism.” He dismissed his indiscretions as coming at a time when he was driven by how “passionately” he loved his country. “I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate,” Gingrich said at the time. Meaning, of course, that his love of country led to his having affairs while still married. Pundits and comedians then labeled Gingrich as the “horny patriot.” Amazingly, Gingrich seems to have been forgiven by the public because he is at the top rung of contenders and battling with Romney, the staid and boring favorite, albeit, a clean one. One wonders if Cain will be forgiven as well.
Another candidate for the nomination, one who almost had it sewed up but lost it, is Texas Governor Rick Perry. While no accusations have been made against him about extra-marital affairs, he has bungled badly in other ways. Perry became an instant favorite as soon as he announced because of his government-bashing and his flirting with secession – at one time Perry advocated Texas seceding from the union. He was considered a perfect fit for the extreme right-wing segment of the Republican Party. He thought that, like George W. Bush, the waters would part for him and his nomination would become a cinch. It almost happened that way, but, not quite. Today he is touting the support of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona, a hard-line anti-immigrant zealot. If Perry thinks he will garner the Latino vote by this endorsement, some think he is sadly mistaken. Other gaffes in Perry’s plummet to the bottom of the pile include:
*He allowed certain undocumented immigrants to attend Texas state colleges by paying in-state tuition; a plus for immigrants, but, a no-no for the anti-immigration gang. In addition, he labeled as heartless those Republicans who disagreed with him;
*He also harbors and supports such racist views as supporting, then removing his support, of license-plates with the image of the confederate flag; to boot, his family had once owned or leased a hunting lodge that contained huge boulders with different slogans painted on them. On one huge rock were painted the words “Nigger-head,” ridiculing, of course, African Americans. While Perry said his family immediately painted over the offensive words, some people believe that they didn’t act fast enough and might have, indeed, guffawed over what they deemed funny;
*Perry’s flubs at debates, his short memory regarding important historical dates, and other mishaps have plagued him and his campaign, dropping him to the lowest point in his lengthy career as a politician and Texas Governor.
While the other candidates have not been accused of wrong-doing or other shenanigans, the fact remains that the GOP is losing public support, even from the most hard-nosed Republican voters. The GOP in disarray? You betcha