THERE USED TO BE a time when sane politicians ran away from endorsements from the insane. They would avoid embarrassing situations where they were photographed with loose cannons or people with loose morals. In today’s Republican Party the script has been flipped. The candidates now line up to fete the outrageous and the perpetually outraged. They have cemented their ties to the demented, kowtowing to kooks, crackpots, and crazies. A long line of losers (Kim Davis), lowlifes (Josh Duggar), and loons (The Duck Dynasty cast and Ted Nugent) are now Republican Royalty.
Just such an event took place last November when three Republican presidential candidates—Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and (former candidate) Bobby Jindal—attended an event featuring Kevin Swanson, an evangelical preacher who has a rabid obsession with homosexuals and indeed advocates their execution. Instead of running away, they eagerly joined Swanson in Iowa at his National Religious Liberties Conference, a forum to spin gay bashing into a defense of religious freedom.