Now that Herman Cain has "suspended" his campaign so he can spend more time with his attorneys and the GOP field once again bleached to its usual levels, the differences between the candidates become less obvious (four of the five men taking part in the debate wore red ties). Minus Jon Huntsman, last night's ABC News-Yahoo debate looked like the 19th Hole at Augusta with Michele Bachmann as the barfly at 1:59 AM hoping to get noticed.
Obeying the laws of campaign politics, the other nominees played Capture the Flag, taking turns taking swipes at G
hilanderer Newt Gingrich. At 68, this is obviously Newt's last hurrah in his quest for the Oval Office. By process of attrition and running against a clearly mentally unbalanced field consisting of non-entities, morons and psychopaths, Newt is currently on the top of the dunghill even while crowing about making children janitors. And Mitt Romney, Newt's closest competitor and in a process straight out of Last Action Hero
or The Purple Rose of Cairo
is playing Gordon Gecko to the hilt, proving, as always, to be about as popular as Pat Buchanan in the Castro.
As usual, the punches and counter-punches were done under the guise of civility, with Mitt stiffly laughing as only a possessed Gentleman's Wearhouse mannequin can at Newt Gingrich's jibe that the only thing that kept him from being a career politician was getting his uptight ass slapped over his well-coiffed head by Ted Kennedy, which is true (One can only imagine Romney after the debate, seething with fury and looking for someone's dog to strap on a car roof). But it hardly made Gingrich any less of an insider, an image that he's trying to belie in the current wave of anti-incumbency that was powerful enough to make even Barney Frank retire.
Rick Perry's neurons fired together just long enough to note that the American electorate is quite justified in factoring in a man's infidelity to his wife and to extrapolate from that a suspicion about his moral turpitude in general. Gingrich got points in the always-supine MSM for "smoothly" parrying Perry's thrust. Yet it's notable that while agreeing the American public has a right to ask any questions of any presidential candidate, he also referred to his own serial adultery as if talking about some other
Newt Gingrich or a ne'er do well kid brother. Never once in his agreement with Perry did Gingrich admit to any wrongdoing except to say in the abstract, "I've made some mistakes". Nor did giving the American public a blank check to ask any questions it saw fit jibe with the typical Republican surliness and thuggery that comes with trying to hold the candidates' feet to the fire.
Despite currently leading in three of the four early primary states. Gingrich will not survive the holiday season and will be put on a shelf with the other fruitcakes so we can start all over again. Romney is running away from his "liberal" past and flip-flopping about as successfully as a three legged elephant. Romney's detested for that and two other reasons: His Mormonism and the fact that he's just not nasty enough. Republican voters, I think, have come to the consensus that Romney intends to do what's best for Wall Street and purging the nation of unions, gays and liberals may be just an afterthought.
Huntsman and Paul, who are more adroit at hiding their own particular lunacy, are the two scrawny kids always picked last for the kickball game and will never even get to be the flavor of the day. And even among a demographic that revels in watching traffic at NASCAR tracks and WWE wrestling, Bachmann and Perry are just too stupid for even these people to elect (although, how George W. Bush slipped by them 12 years ago is still anyone's guess).
Santorum can forget having any political future ever again thanks to Dan Savage and Google. Plus, as the field's only other Catholic, he'll never pass muster with the evangelical vote that's still waiting for Republican Jesus to come down in a golf cart made of light and wearing a Brooks Brothers suit. Santorum is the worst of both worlds: He's simply crazy and
stupid, a shithouse rat that's been clonked on the head too many times with a pipe wrench.
That leaves Romney, a guy who could name his campaign "Bridesmaid Revisited" and who changes positions more often than a double-jointed porn star with ADHD. But the truth is, Romney and Gingrich both have one thing handicapping them: They both present an appearance of being career politicians at least in ambition while being miserable failures at it. Year after year, after getting hounded out of the House when his Contract With America crashed and burned on the Lakehurst, New Jersey part of the political landscape, the Lizard King has spent his time forming exploratory committees that told him every fours that no one wanted him as President.
Romney, when he wasn't taking over weakened companies in hostile takeovers with Bain Capital and throwing American workers on the streets, has only a failed single term as Massachusetts' Governor to point to and otherwise has failed like he's failing now to secure any other position. Because even the mouth-breathing electorate that make up Crazy Base World know the difference between someone who wants to do something (even if it's destroying our social safety net and making unions a quaint thing of the past) and someone who just wants to be something.
Romney and Gingrich, moreso than the also-rans, are coldly ambitious. Beneath that transparently disingenuous veneer of affability and reasonableness squirms two wannabes who would literally cut the tendons above their grandmothers' heels if they thought it would augment by one iota their chances of getting into the Oval Office.
And, as always, the biggest thing they have going for them is the "R" after their names and their dedication to getting that Muslim, Kenyan, Commie nigger out of the White House. And Gingrich has the edge simply because he's not Mitt.
Labels: 2012 election, Republican clown car