Ian WilliamsRepublican Party reptiles are now on the rabid rightby Ian WilliamsSunday, September 9th, 2012Talk about culture shock. After a summer spent in London, I returned to the United States from the content-free closing ceremony of the Olympics in time to witness the opening of the Republican National Convention. In its own way, it was amiracle. Once upon a time, I wouldn’t have crossed a back alley to hear George Michael sing – indeed I’d have run across a crowded motorway to avoid it.But, after watching with eyes saucer-like in disbelief as Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan spoke, I became retrospectively fond of the faded pop star. George had not issued one word of a lie, whereas the guys in Tampa were the Web 3.0 of dissimulation. Not only was every single statement mendacious, even the definite articleshad lies in hypertext.I’d thought that the Olympic closing ceremony was an outstandingly well-choreographed fantasia of fluff, the International Olympic Committee’s apology to the worldfor making people think with the opening. But it was steeped in portentous meaning compared with the events in Tampa, as the god of storms hovered undecidedly offshore wondering whether to sweep the lot into the sea with Hurricane Isaac. Ipresume the deity forbore more out of consideration for the marine environment than from mercy for this cabal of fundamentally evil people and their dupes.First, British readers must disabuse themselves of “false friends” – the spurious similarities. An American political convention – from whichever party – makes even a NewLabour conference seem like anarchist riot (but was an object of emulation forTony Blair and company when they saw one in operation).An American convention is nothing but a carefully scripted media event in whichthe delegates are drafted in as extras. But this one, famously, had one moment of unscripted spontaneity and Clint Eastwood’s angry soliloquy with an empty chairwas symbolic of a party where dementia is now endemic.I have never overcome my distaste for Michael Moore in Bowling for Columbine scoring points over an ailing Charlton Heston, which made me almost as angry as theNational Rifle Association abusing the hero of Ben Hur and Soylent Green. But what possessed the Grand Old Party to have Eastwood inarticulately abusing the chair for not finishing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?Where was George W Bush, the man who started those wars (with a little help fromBlair)? He has disappeared down an Orwellian memory hole, along with his part in the financial crisis. To be fair, in the disappearing act, even his belatedlypositive acts to rescue the economy have also evanesced into Republican limbo.Since they involved government action to help the economy, which is anathema tothe deranged cultists now dominating the GOP, responsibility for two terms of Bush has now been shifted onto Barack Obama!So, to combat the false friends thing. Most Democratic politicians in the US arefar to the right of the Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition. The Republicans are inanother universe entirely, which last had contact with our world when the weirdbunch of cultists set off in the Mayflower.They are not alone in being in extra-territorial orbit. So-called American leftists prefer Ron Paul, who makes Paul Ryan sound like a democratic socialist, andare discussing ways to defeat Obama.