The media's all abuzz this morning, wondering how many clowns will get kicked out of the GOP car tonight. Iowa has already knocked off one – Tim Pawlenty – and that was due to a poor showing in a straw poll! Undoubtedly, at least a couple will be exiting “stage right” tonight, so let's have a final look at the field before
they say goodbye we say good riddance.
At a time when many people are chuckling about the cult of personality that surrounds North Korean leaders and decrying the megalomania of Iran's political & religious culture, it's worth remembering this about the GOP field. At least three Republican candidates have bragged that God told them to run:
- Herman Cain says God persuaded him to run for president.
- Rick Perry starting to feel “called” to run for president.
- Michele Bachmann “had that calling” to run for President.
However, if you look at polling data, it appears that God told a bunch of Iowa Republicans to vote for someone else. These three stand a good chance of being prophets without honor, money, or voters after tonight's caucuses.
Follow on the flip for a recap the candidates – and a very appropriate soundtrack to accompany your reading.
Ok… let's go in alphabetical order and discuss why these people should NOT be president. Of anything. Not even the Foursquare mayor of their own clothes closet….
This surprise winner of the Iowa straw poll not only got a message from God to run for president: she also thinks He told her to sponsor an anti-gay marriage amendment to the Minnesota state constitution.
Delusional Deity discussions aside, most people would agree that it's important for a country's president to have at least a passing familiarity with the country's history. Like Sarah Palin before her, Bachmann fails this test miserably – and often. For complete details, check out this delicious link (with video and fact checking): Prof. Michele Bachmann's American History 101.
But perhaps it's even more important for a president to have at least a basic grasp of foreign affairs and Bachmann's promise to close the non-existent US embassy in Iran fails that test as well.
We'll include him because he hasn't officially dropped out, just “suspended” his campaign – an action that allows him to keep legally raising money.
Bachmann doesn't know her history and Cain seems totally ignorant of the Constitution (that he'd have to swear to “preserve, protect, and defend” as president):
The GOP candidate told Christian Broadcasting Network that he would sign a constitutional amendment banning abortion.
“I feel that strongly about it. If we can get the necessary support and it comes to my desk I’ll sign it. That’s all I can do. I will sign it,” he said.
Cain's economic plan (9 9 9) sounds like a pizza commercial. His stated leadership style (“we need a leader, not a reader“) is from a Simpsons episode. And, like so many on the far Right, he glories in his willful ignorance:
“I'm ready for the 'gotcha' questions and they're already starting to come. And when they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan I'm going to say, you know, I don't know. Do you know?”.
Oh, and there was that “Women for Cain” Web site, complete with stock photos of women who had never been sexually harassed by the candidate.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, suggests that his biggest asset is the fact that he is simultaneously “intellectually” a Washington insider and “psychologically and outsider.” How is this possible, you ask? Look no further than Ronald Reagan: “Reagan served in Washington for eight years and never noticed he was there. And I think that’s a huge virtue.”
….Strongly resisting the almost overwhelming temptation to insert a tacky joke here…. so let's move on to Newt's other non-qualifications.
Earlier, in an obvious attempt to corner the George Wallace vote, Gingrich promised to defy Supreme Court rulings he opposed – Marbury vs. Madison be damned. Unless, of course, Obama should ignore a Supreme Court ruling that Gingrich supports:
But the former House speaker demurred when asked whether President Obama could ignore a high court ruling next year if it declared unconstitutional the new healthcare law and its mandate that all Americans have health insurance by 2014. Gingrich said presidents can ignore court rulings only in “extraordinary” situations.
You have to wonder… if SCOTUS told Gingrich to immediately pay his bill at Tiffinay's…. would that ba an “extraordinary” situation?
There are a number of reasons that President Obama's former ambassador to China would be unacceptable – at least to the GOP base. For reason #1, look no further than the previous sentence or at the photo on the right…
Also, Huntsman speaks Mandarin Chinese. The only thing more offensive to the party's xenophobic base might be Spanish – or Arabic.
If that's not enough, there's this famous Tweet:
“To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”
He certainly is crazy if he thinks that will win him points with GOP primary voters. And so arguably the most formidable challenger to President Obama doesn't stand a chance.
Hey, if you lie down with elephants, they're likely to stomp you to into the ground!
Texas Representative Ron Paul sometimes makes a lot of sense, but then other times you can just smell the nut fudge cooking.
What else can you say about a candidate who stands up to his own party to challenge military spending, works with progressives against indefinite detention, and advocates drug legalization – but in the next breath spouts conspiracy theory nonsense about the Trilateral Commission and a “NAFTA Superhighway” as the precurser to a national merger between Mexico, Canada, and the US:
Paul teamed up with other fringe legislators, most notably former Rep, Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA), to introduce legislation denouncing the nonexistent superhighway, even as both the Bush administration and the top ranking Republicans on the relevant transportation committees insisted there was no basis to the theory. Paul took their denials as further encouragement he was onto something and insisted that federal officials were using “secret funding” to advance the project.
And, of course, there are those pesky newsletters that Paul says he signed, but didn't write himself. They contain more jewels (of extremism) than Gingrich ever considered buying for his 3rd wife:
- Urban youth carjackings: ” It's the hip-hop thing to do among the urban youth who play unsuspecting whites like pianos.”
- AIDS is spread by “malicious gays” deliberately infecting people.
- 1992 Los Angeles riots stopped only “when it came time for blacks to pick up their welfare checks.”
He's leading or within the margin of error in many Iowa polls conducted just days ago.
There are 3 reasons not to elect Rick Perry President of the United States (other than the aforementioned deity discussions):
- He has suggested that Texas consider seceding from the Union (um… been there, done that, bad plan!).
- Not another Constitutionally-challenged president, please! Perry calls Social Security unconstitutional, doesn't know the minimum voting age, and thinks the Supreme Court has 8 justices.
- And the 3rd reason is… uh… uh… it'll come to us in a minute…. Hey, Ron Paul! Can we buy a conspiracy theory?
Let's consider all the important issues Romney supported – before he flip-flopped. Visit MittRomneyFlipFlops.com for even more!
- Romney supported mandates before deciding they're a 10th amendment violation.
- Capital gains tax rates should be zero – OR – maybe they're a “tax cut for fat cats.”
- Romney saw his father “march with Martin Luther King.” Or maybe he didn't.
- TARP was necessary. No, it wasn't!
- “Don't Ask Don't Tell” was silly public policy – but it worked well.
- The minimum wage should be adjusted for inflation. But it shouldn't because it costs jobs.
What we have in Mitt Romney is a hollow man with no center and no core beliefs:
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
T.S. Eliot – The Hollow Men
Remember, he ran as a pro-choice candidate in 1994 he said, “because it was impossible for a pro-life candidate to win.” Romney's spine is made of silly putty and he will twist himself any way you want. Until someone with more money wants something different.
Pollsters tell us that the former Pennsylvania senator is “surging” among voters – an unfortunate description for a public official whose name became the butt of an Internet prank.
Frankly, we're at a loss as to why this guy is so popular in Iowa. Can the good Midwestern folk there really agree with his assertion that marriage equality will lead to the legalization and societal acceptance of “man on dog sex?”
Do they want to elect a man who thinks that Medicare is crushing the country's health care system, believes health care reform will “rob America of its soul” and says that states have the right to outlaw birth control?
These questions and many more will soon be answered by Iowa caucus-goers. Pop the corn and stay tuned!