What soul-weariness it is to try to begin to fathom the evil spoken by the thugs and frauds seeking the Republican nomination in tonight's CNN debate in Mesa, AZ. Gingrich, Santorum, Romney. When the discussion turns to foreign policy, there is nothing these three won't say to inspire the fear and hatred they think will push themselves past their rivals for the nomination and ultimately tear down Obama. Nothing. Romney says that Obama caved to the Russians -- in negotiating a treaty that six former secretaries of state and George H.W. Bush supported as a fit renewal of the START treaty. Santorum asserts that Obama could have made the Green Revolution in Iran a success, when the merest hint of concrete U.S. support for any group in Iran is toxic. Gingrich tells the audience "you live in a world of total warfare" at a time when a lower proportion of humans is dying by violence than ever before in human history. Santorum builds Iran into a global threat of supersoviet proportions. Gingrich justifies a preemptive Israeli strike on Iran -- with unstinting U.S. support -- purely on the basis of what Israelis might "think" Iran will do if it ever gets a nuclear weapon.
Gingrich, finally, always one to take the crown in demagoguery, delivers the coda: under Obama, "as long as you're an enemy of America you're safe." And Romney, outdone as usual in potency of demagogic phrasing but never behindhand in his will to smear and lie, immediately agrees.
Gingrich, Santorum, Romney. They are in different degrees and proportions liars, frauds and fearmongers (with an admixture, in Santorum's case, of sincere fanatic Islamophobia). One of them could be president. One of our two national political parties is degenerate. We are in peril.
FT podcast: World Weekly with Gideon Rachman
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