Something happens to people when the get famous. They often give up the principles that made them famous. It’s happened to a lot of Republicans. That’s how we get RINOs in Congress. So it’s rather fitting that Geraldo Rivera is thinking about jumping into a 2014 Senate race in New Jersey, where he has lived since 1989. He would be going up against Sen. Frank Lautenberg if he decides to run again. If not, it will be a political free for all.
Geraldo will fit right in. He presents himself as a straight shooter (can I say that), but he remains a rhetorical and practicing liberal.
“I believe in choice — not obscenely – but I believe in Roe v. Wade,” he declared. “So you have to take my fiscal positions on being a Republican who believes that we have to bail out future generations rather than in-debt future generations – with some of these social policies that aren’t in sync with much of traditional GOP politics, at least in recent years.”
A number of years ago, I watched an interview that Geraldo did with an abortion clinic owner. I don’t know the year or the network. I think it was on NBC. Geraldo was holding a small glass vile that contained an aborted baby. He held it up to the clinic owner’s face and said, “This sure looks like a baby.” The clinic owner turned her face away.
Why did she turn away? Because Geraldo was right. It looked like a baby. Furthermore, it was a baby . . . a dead baby for all the viewing world to see.
But as part of his political shtick to get elected, if he decides to run, Geraldo will lay aside any principles that he used to have, if he ever had any.
Geraldo’s worldview has been shaped by an eclectic past of relationships with what we might describe as “nefarious characters”:
“Not surprisingly, Rivera’s close friends all seem to come not from the ranks of the media elite to which he has ascended but from earlier parts of his life, a motley, protective posse that includes Cheech Marin of Cheech & Chong; Brooklyn Law School chum Jerry Shargel, now John Gotti’s lawyer; and a few yes-man producers who’ve been with him since the tabloid days. Most nights after the show, they head to Elaine’s or Miss Elle’s, an Upper West Side dive Rivera proudly informs me is “owned by three dykes” (a statement that later mystifies the bar’s sole, heterosexual owner). He then drives back to Rumson in a black Bentley, fit for, well, John Gotti.”
The GOP is going the way of the Whigs. The party was ultimately destroyed by the question of whether to allow the expansion of slavery to the territories. Deep divisions in the party led to its fracture.