The ugly face of the Republican base is becoming more visible

There are a lot of people out there who have been so riled up by the Republican party and conservative media by wild allegations about president Obama and the state of the nation that they have become positively unhinged and now believe the craziest things.

I try not to post the ranting of crazy people but this woman in South Carolina at a Rick Santorum event is emblematic of the kind of people who will attend the political events of the Republican candidates and pose problems for them in answering. The candidates will likely feel that they cannot right out say that what the speaker is saying is nonsense because of fears of alienating other crazies who think like her, but at the same time they have to be mindful that to actually support these allegations would be a disaster for their expectations of being taken seriously by the national media and invite ridicule.

Observe how Santorum tries to thread that needle. He does not repudiate any of her wild allegations but takes one claim (that Obama plans to establish a dictatorship) to segue into Obama’s use of executive orders (that he does in order to counter Republican obstructionism) to imply dictatorial tendencies, and hence implicitly endorse the charge that he is a tyrant.

Expect to see many more of these encounters in the coming election meetings.


  1. raym says

    A lot more than “mildly terrifying”, I’d say. And while this woman is obviously misinformed, she also appears to be totally deranged.

  2. says

    Please don’t call them “crazy” and “deranged” etc. Mental health is not a choice on the part of the sufferer, whereas these deluded individuals have chosen to absorb and believe in the basest propaganda.

  3. lanir says

    Couldn’t listen to her long enough to get to Santorum. Could see he didn’t do one of their primary tactics in dealing with these people though: hurry on through. If you cut them off before it gets that long, even the most insane rhetoric gets lost among other questions that have actual meaning to people. Sure you notice the warped nonsense but what you’re really thinking about is likely to be whatever issues were raised that had some meaning to you. It tends to get the “someone was wrong on the internet!” treatment.

  4. raym says

    @Marcus Ranum: No offence intended. I take my meaning from the OED definition: “Disordered in mind”. Even Wikipedia (ok, ok) says “a mental state often described as involving a ‘loss of contact with reality'”.

    Whether intentional or not, I’d say she has lost contact with reality (at least as I understand it!), and she certainly strikes me as unstable.

  5. Jockaira says


    I agree that mental health is almost never a choice, but a delusional state makes one generally incapable of rational action or decisions, much as belief in aberrant political philosophies or religion makes one incapable of rationality. Unfortunately those in this state are a significant portion of most human populations and being recognised as generally harmless nevertheless take part in decisions effecting all of us.

    Not all of “these deluded individuals have chosen to absorb and believe in the basest propaganda”, many of them can make no other choice by their own logic.

    Just as unfortunate is that nothing can be done to isolate ourselves from the results of their irrational political allegiances and their votes sustaining retrograde policies.

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