Wednesday night on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow took a hard look at Republicans who are being driven further and further to the right as they alienate moderate conservatives and dip in the polls. State politicians like Virginia’s Attorney General and gubernatorial hopeful Ken Cuccinelli (R) and former Florida Gov. George Bush (R) are being forced to plumb the depths of right wing fantasy and paranoia in order to attract any voting bloc at all.
Jeb Bush, for example, gets credit, said Maddow, for being a moderate Republican, “but that’s not actually what he’s doing with his time.” Bush is biding his time ahead of 2016 by mostly staying out of the national spotlight, but has been taking paid speaking gigs at a retreat hosted by Herman Cain, a conference presented by ex-lobbyist and evangelical Christian Ralph Reed and a fundraiser for tea party stalwart and Maine Gov. Paul LePage.
LePage famously said that liberals want to anally rape the country “without Vaseline” and that he wants to fly a plane into the Portland Press-Herald building.
“I don’t know why Jeb Bush gets Beltway credit for distance from the guys on the fringe of his party,” Maddow said, “because the he is right there with them. He keeps doing events with them. Even the fringiest ones.”
Virginia’s Republican nominee for governor, Ken Cuccinelli, has enlisted Bush in his campaign. Cuccinelli is currently down in the polls. Maddow said it’s “hard to tell” what is weighing Cuccinelli down with the public. It could be the mushrooming corruption scandal swirling around current Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell. It could be his stringent, far-right ideology and high-handedness. Cuccinelli has fought to have the state’s antiquated “sodomy laws” reinstated, making any type of sex outside of the heterosexual missionary position illegal, or it could be the fact that he had the Roman goddess on the state seal redrawn to cover her exposed breast.
Cuccinelli also supported a proposed law that would require any woman who has a miscarriage to report it to the police within 24 hours. The law is ostensibly intended to curb abortions in the state, but most voters see it as a ham-fisted invasion of privacy and an example of government wildly overreaching.
“Think about that for a second,” Maddow said. “You are pregnant. You suffer a miscarriage. Within one day of that you have to call the police and tell them you had a miscarriage. So the police can investigate your miscarriage? That’s the Republicans’ Attorney General candidate running.”
After initially attempting to distance himself from the other Republicans running this fall, Cuccinelli is now stepping into their embrace as his poll numbers fall. He has shaken up his campaign staff, bringing back hard-right loyalists from his first campaign for Attorney General.
Then there was his unfortunate anti-Semitic joke earlier this week about money-grubbing Jews. Cuccinelli’s desperation to win the governorship is turning him into a caricature of a right-wing blowhard.
“Ta-dah!” said Maddow. “Welcome to the Republican Party! It is 2013, I swear. I checked my watch right before the show.”
Watch the video, embedded below via MSNBC: