The Spotlight-chasing Candidates of 2012

Run away! The sky is falling! I agree with George Will! The end must be near!

opinion from George Will

If pessimism is not creeping on little cat’s feet into Republicans’ thinking about their 2012 presidential prospects, that is another reason for pessimism. This is because it indicates they do not understand that sensible Americans, who pay scant attention to presidential politics at this point in the electoral cycle, must nevertheless be detecting vibrations of weirdness emanating from people associated with the party.

The most recent vibrator is Mike Huckabee

On this past Friday’s broadcast, when commenting on Will’s op-ed, Rachel Maddow couldn’t bring herself to say the word, “vibrator”, instead asking her viewers just to read the transcript. A definite LOL from one of the smartest people on TV.

Huckabee went off on a now famous rant while speaking with a rightwing talk show host, about the President “growing up in Kenya”, Will then compares the lack of facts in Huckabee’s talk to William Jennings Bryan

A contemporary of William Jennings Bryan once said of the three-time Democratic presidential nominee, “One could drive a prairie schooner through any part of his argument and never scrape against a fact.” But an absence of facts means there is no argument.

A spokesman for Huckabee dutifully lied, saying his employer “simply misspoke”

in conclusion, Will offers a smidgen of hope for rational, (small-c) conservatives, but not much.

Let us not mince words. There are at most five plausible Republican presidents on the horizon – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Utah governor and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, former Massachusetts governor Romney and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.

So the Republican winnowing process is far advanced. But the nominee may emerge much diminished by involvement in a process cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons.

Thank you George Will, even if I find 90% of your writings to be sheer nonsense, in this case you have highlighted the problem facing the modern Republican Party – yawning chasms between the various factions that have assumed the mantle of conservatism. Even his list of preferred candidates has problems:
No way can the racist past actions of Haley Barbour be swept under the rug. Romney has the problem of being a Mormon, the radical evangelicals hate his religion and the fiscal conservatives will bring up his past support for government healthcare in Massachusetts. Tim Pawlenty is trying desperately to reinvent himself as a manly man with some of the most bizarre commercials I’ve ever seen, another pol attempting a cover up of his past actions. Mitch Daniels is finding his anti-union actions aren’t working out too well plus his former position as Budget Director for GWB ain’t a positive. That leaves us with John Huntsman, an intellectual with a decent record as governor of Utah but – another Mormon.

MY take on the matter; on one side we can see a libertarian/corporatist alliance that wishes to see the end of all government regulation, then there are the old style, nearly extinct Republicans of the Eisenhower mold – fiscal conservatives with liberal social ideals and third, we have the True Believers ™ dominated by Christian ideologues who believe in small government, except when discussing those issues that they consider to be moral imperatives – no abortions, no rights for gay Americans, xian history in public schools, no evolution, prayer in schools, in general, government that favours xian dominance over all other religions. Too many in the modern GOP have taken to heart Bush’s axiom of “My way or the highway” Nothing gets accomplished in a democracy when factions are not willing to compromise.

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