Wednesday, October 26, 2011

From the Unusually Unlikely to the Pitifully Pathetic

Let’s consider a brief review of the Republican attempt to oust President Obama from office. As you may remember several prospective candidates who were highly regarded decided not to run: Haley Barbour, John Thune, Chris Christie, and Tim Pawlenty, who made a feeble attempt that quickly failed. Remember there were others mentioned at one time such as Jeb Bush, Michael Bloomberg, and others. Also there were two possible candidates who disqualified themselves because of Hanky Panky, John Ensign and Mark Sanford. There are also two ex Governors who are qualified to run but have not even been allowed into the game, Johnson of New Mexico and Roehmer of Louisiana. And there is also John Huntsman who I guess is still in the race but has virtually disappeared as he had the temerity to suggest that science could not be abandoned and also refused to debase himself by consulting with the birther guru, Donald Trump. There are still other Republicans who could have entered the race had they so desired. I believe it is fairly reasonable to assume that any of the above would have been respectable candidates with some chance of defeating Obama who appears to be particularly vulnerable at the moment. I don’t know why these potential candidates decided against running, perhaps they think Obama cannot be dethroned, perhaps they could not stomach the Tea Party and the current direction of the Party, or other more personal reasons.

The result of this widespread refusal to run has been a slate of candidates that I think are unusually unlikely to ever defeat Obama and become President. Starting with the current front runner, according to recent polls, Herman Cain, it is difficult to imagine a more unlikely candidate. He has no previous political experience, is a cancer survivor, seems to lack a genuine campaign, and has demonstrated an ignorance of Foreign Policy and U. S. politics that is rather mind boggling. I suppose he could somehow get the Republican nomination but he could never win the Presidency. Then there is the perennial candidate, Willard, “Mitt” Romney. He has already attempted previously and been rejected. He has demonstrated such a remarkable propensity for flip-flopping he has become little more than a joke. Similarly, he seems impervious to the obvious fact that virtually no one likes or trusts him or wants him to be President (except for his virtually unchanging 25% support, probably from Mormons like himself and I guess a few others). He is most unlikely to win the Presidency even if he should win the nomination. We must not forget Rick Perry who came on like gangbusters when he first announced but now has fallen far behind in the polls. As he manages to raise lots of money he can stay in the race but has all but disqualified himself with his unusually weak performances during the debates and his apparent ignorance of politics outside of Texas. Ron Paul has developed an apparently loyal if modest following, mostly of those who like his rather old-fashioned ideas and sort of Pa Kettle demeanor. Rick Santorum is a truly unlikely candidate, obsessed with his extreme homophobia, “the family,” that he seems to know little or nothing about, and obviously has no chance. Michele Bachmann shares his homophobia, is a religious nut case, and has demonstrated an ignorance so profound as to make George W. Bush look like a genius. And of course there is also Newt Gingrich, hypocrite, blowhard, pseudo intellectual, who believes the entire earth waits for and hangs on his every profound, pompous, pontifical pronouncement no matter how ridiculous or stupid. His unlikely candidacy has about as much chance as pigs flying.

This seems to me to be a collection of most unlikely second and third rate candidates to begin with, but as you examine what they are peddling they become a pitifully pathetic bunch with absolutely no ideas worth bothering about, and make statements so absurd as to be dismissed even before they are uttered. Ron Paul, for example, might be commended for wanting us to stop our incessant warring, but he also wants to return to the gold standard and return health care to the standards of the 19th century. Perry in desperation has revived the “birther” non-controversy and also introduced the idea of a flat tax (an idea raised many times only to be rejected immediately as completely nonsensical). Not to be outdone Romney has also now suggested a flat tax would be good, an idea he has opposed in the past. Of course it was Herman Cain with his 9-9-9 proposal for a flat tax that brought all this about, a proposal so ridiculous it has been immediately dismissed. Santorum, in addition to arguing for anti-sodomy laws has now suggested (seriously, I guess) that we should consider assassinating nuclear scientists in other countries. Bachmann has suggested (also seriously I guess) that Iraq should pay us back for the money we spent illegally killing them and ruining their country and their lives. Every one of these unlikely candidates cling to the basic Republican mantra of lower taxes and smaller government, and every one also would lower taxes for the filthy rich at the expense of the middle class and the poor. How anyone can see this as anything other than pitifully pathetic I do not understand. There is not an original or useful idea from any of them, and it is obvious that whatever they propose will make the situation worse rather than better.

Today for the first time in a very long time I think I saw at least a ray of hope, however dim. I have said that if we were serious about our nation and our economic/political system we would not tolerate what it has become. With people now occupying the streets all over the country and even overseas I think people may be once again taking things seriously. Even if nothing much happens immediately I suspect (hope) that in the coming elections Republicans will be swept out of office in droves and a more positive situation will ensue. Oh, how I hope I am not wrong! Obama is correct in insisting that we cannot wait, but with so many Republican nitwits in Congress there seems to be little choice.

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.

Unknown, Often attributed to Abraham Lincoln

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