Thursday, January 19, 2012

As the Elephant Turns

A few interesting developments in the old Republican primary race over the last 24 hours:

Turns out, Rick Santorum actually won the Iowa Caucuses, not Romney. The voting was so close that it took until now to officially certify the winner - and it wasn't Mitt Romney as thought on the night of the caucuses. Hmm. OK.

Next, Rick Perry bails out of the race and endorses Newt Gingrich.

Newt is again surging in the polls. Not necessarily because of the Perry thing, but because he's popular in the very (very) conservative state of South Carolina - site of the next primary.

And of course Mitt "I pay 15% income tax" Romney maintains his status as front runner for now.

How does this all relate? Well, to my eye, it appears that the GOP is going to nominate one of the following to go up against Obama in the fall...
  • A raging, out of touch social conservative with beliefs that will shock well more than half the nation into either not showing up to the polls or voting for Obama. Santorum believes in some pretty crazy stuff. Check it HERE. Hint: you think birth control should be outlawed because it's against God? Rick's your man.
  • An authoritarian blow hard who's main interest is self promotion and "beating the other guy" rather than new ideas and what's best for the nation. Seriously, Newt is so bent on showing you who is boss and wallowing in verbal combat that he literally shut the government down in the 1990s. Not too sure we want a combative hot head who actively goes out looking for a fight running our nation. Oh, and he has a really bad track record on his personal relationships.
  • A super rich, out-of-touch, aloof flip-flopper who belives things like "corporations are people my friend," and that by God we have way too much regulation. Right, just what we need. The exact type of guy who crashed our economy running it. Isn't major deregulation of financial, tax, energy, environmental, labor, real estate law one of the big reasons we find ourselves in our economic mess now? 
I'm seeing some credibility issues here people.

Oh, and sorry Ron Paul fans, I almost forgot. I just don't see your libertarian hero getting the nod by a party so dominated by big money and social conservatives. I am not a Ron Paul fan, but I do know that on many issues he is a threat to big business and social conservatives - so, thanks for playing Ron.

What's double ass scary is each one of these guys subscribes to the devastatingly disproved "supply side" economics theory that got us into our current mess. They'll talk about "personal responsibility" and "pulling yourselves up by your bootstraps," but what the all are actually saying is "give more tax breaks to corporations and the rich and deregulate more."

Perhaps a hard core dude like Ron Paul actually belives that philosophy (although a study of, oh, I don't know...the entire history of the USA would strongly suggest he's wrong), but it is a fantastic stretch to take Romney, Newt or Santorum seriously when they hold themselves up as having the answer to everyday issues in the form of making the rich richer. You just KNOW they're putting you on because they are beholden to and like the perks of associating with huge money people and companies.

Let me put it another way. Who do you think will be the first and primary beneficiaries of a Gingrich, Romney or Santorum presidency? Will it be the mother or father in a poor to middle class family who finally gets a job becuase somehow the magic of tax cuts for the rich unleashes a new wave of new jobs? Will it be the elderly who will suddenly benefit from lower housing and drug costs because of the "unseen hand of the market" forces prices down following more deregulation?

Or, will it be the Wall Street bankers, energy companies and the upper class who suddenly get new tax breaks and less regulation on their businesses?

I think we all know the answer to that one.

Anyway, to summarize, I think the Rs are going to nominate someone who has serious credibilty issues. They all have credibility issues on the econony and what they'd do, but then they each individually have big liabilities in their personalities, history or ideas. And I think that will be their undoing. Unless something major happens, I don't think these guys are going to beat Obama.

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