What Tim Pawlenty is finding out--or maybe he already knew--is that the GOP has descended into a John Birch/John Galt party because of the FOXation of the party and some of its members reveling in racism.
During his recent swing through New Hampshire for CNN's presidential debate, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty courted more than a hundred Republicans at a house party in the town of North Conway. But the Pawlenty campaign's choice of a host for the event, which was arranged by the candidate's regional field manager in the Granite State, was nothing if not controversial. The party took place at the home of Ray Shakir, a local Republican activist and retired construction executive, who calls President Obama a "jungle alien," Hillary Clinton "Osama's dream girl," and once labeled certain disabled children "uneducatable" and thus undeserving of taxpayer-funded schooling.
In an interview, Shakir says Pawlenty addressed tough issues at the house party, such as cutting subsidies for corn ethanol and implementing right-to-work legislation, which would allow employees to opt out of union membership but still receive union-won benefits. Shakir praises Pawlenty as "a real nice guy, very gregarious," adding, "at this point in the game, Tim Pawlenty is my choice for president."
The Breitbarts of wingnutopia can scream the word racism as much and as loud as they want in an attempt to cheapen its meaning, but it doesn't change the fact that that's exactly what the party has embraced. We saw it during the August Townhall meeting during the health care debate and Pawlenty is actively courting them on his presidential run.
Check out some of the other insane things Shakir has said in the past:
You can call me a birther if you want." Shakir claims the long-form birth certificate recently released by the Obama administration is merely a clever forgery. (The Pawlenty campaign did not respond to a request for comment.)
Moving to other issues, Shakir called human-caused climate change "bullshit" and accused liberals of "trying to destroy this country." "They're brainwashing people," he says
Shakir has a history of rhetorical flamethrowing. He's referred to President Obama as "Borat Hussein O'Bummer" and suggested he is "a radical, subversive, con-artist fraud."
In response to a special education official who said there was "no such thing as an uneducatable person," Shakir told a gym full of citizens: "I would dispute that fact. There are certainly individuals that are uneducateable. I am simply suggesting to you and everybody else that there should be a line drawn where the taxpayer is responsible to educate certain people."
Shakir's statement drew a chorus of boos, calls to resign, and even a comparison to Hitler. To which Shakir responded, "If you don't like it, that's the way it is. You people are divorced from reality."
Andy Kroll asks a question in his great piece that he really doesn't answer:
Q) But why did the Pawlenty campaign, running on a "Time for Truth" message, turn to Shakir, an activist whose eyebrow-raising comments on a range of topics fly in the face of that theme?
A) Because that's who the GOP of today are. Simple.