Thursday, January 05, 2012

 

Political Mayhem Thursday: Santorum!

IPLawPresident!
by: oslerguy



[Disclaimer: The real IPLawGuy is actually quite articulate, and holds only some of the positions attributed to him here]

What a great time to not be a Republican! Watching the Iowa campaigning and caucus results without a horse in the race was like being the only sober person in a room full of drunks-- it just gets more entertaining and absurd as the night wears on.

Here are a few of my conclusions:

Boy, do people not want to vote for Romney!

This guy has, by far, the most money raised and spent. Between 2008 and now, he has spent months in Iowa. He has by far the best organization on the ground. He pretty much avoided gaffes, and consistently came off as knowledgeable, poised, well-prepared, and energetic. Yet, for all that, he improved his results vs four years ago by 6. Not six percentage points-- six votes. He got 30,021 in 2008, and 30,015 last night... oh, wait, that's six LESS votes. Huh. He ended up almost precisely tied with a candidate with almost no resources and nearly devoid of accomplishment-- Rick Santorum. Further, here is a list of the goofballs who have, in sequence, moved ahead of Romney previously in the polls:

Donald Trump
Michelle Bachmann
Rick Perry
Herman Cain
Newt Gingrich

Crikeys! What a motley crew-- a reality tv star, someone who promotes praying away the gay, a guy who seems unable to focus for a full hour, a pizza executive who didn't know that China has nuclear weapons, and one of the biggest hypocrites in American political history (and that's saying something).

Compare this group to the talent we saw in the 1980 Republican caucuses in Iowa. In first place was George H.W. Bush, a man with broad Congressional experience, a former ambassador and head of the CIA, and a genuine war hero. In second place was Ronald Reagan. In third place was Howard Baker, a Senate Majority leader, White House chief of staff, and Ambassador. In fourth place was John Connally, a former Secretary of the Navy and the Treasury and former governor of Texas and war hero who won the Legion of Merit. In fifth and sixth places were veteran Illinois Congressmen Phil Crane and John Anderson, and in seventh place was war hero, veteran Congressman and Senator, and future nominee Bob Dole. Now THAT is talent.

And now we have Rick Santorum? What I take from all this is that Republicans are nearly desperate for someone besides Romney.

That strikes me as kind of weird, since he is a good candidate in any observable respect, especially compared to the competition. Newt Gingrich pretty much had a meltdown last night, Rick Santorum couldn't even hold his senate seat in Pennsylvania, and Rick Perry may already be done.

Of course, I also think Romney would be the worst president. His policies are almost shockingly single-minded in increasing the income disparity in this country, which has become a major and legitimate issue. He is, and serves, the very wealthiest among us. Wait a minute... could it be that Republicans don't want that, either? I really do think that has something to do with it (I tease them, but Republicans are right about a lot of things, and are no more idiots than the Democrats).

Meanwhile... I wonder if Tim Pawlenty thinks he dropped out too soon?

[I'm ignoring Ron Paul in order to incite Ron Paul enthusiasts into a lathering rage]

Comments:
I'm too depressed by the whole thing to even defend myself.
 
"lathering rage" - love it.
 
What about Huntsman Jr? Despite, him not campaigning in Iowa ("Iowa picks corn, New Hampshire picks presidents,") he arguably has the most experience among the GOP goon squad.
 
RedState--

Very true. But Republicans seem to like him not at all... but maybe New Hampshire will be different for him?

At any rate, part of what we are seeing is the manifestation of the two principle groups in the Republican Party (which, hat tip, I think IPLG and Waco Farmer first explained to me). You have the business side people, who care about low taxes and less regulation, and the social issue people, who care mostly about gay marriage, abortion, etc. Obviously, Iowa has a lot of the latter, and they are not wild about Romney.
 
Hopefully. Four out of 10 voters in NH are listed as "independents," not affiliated with any party. Unlike many of the other GOP candidates Huntsman is consistently preached a message of bipartisanship. Almost mimicking 2008 Obama.

Huntsman does not seem to be hung up on the social issues that Iowa voters hold so dear to heart: he has talked little about same-sex marriage and abortion.

Completely agree with the GOP divide.

Do you think Bachmann will show up on a GOP ticket? She is wickedly good at grabbing hold of an issue and propagating that until they back her. This could be good for the "inevitable" nomination of Romney who turns off the far right.
 
Redstate--

Interesting point about Bachmann as a potential VP candidate! That would be a good fit for Romney, and they both are strong campaigners (I think she is under-rated). There would be the inevitable comparisons to Sarah Palin...
 
Bachmann is definitely underrated she raised staggering $13.5 million for the 2010 House race, an amount that was more than any other House member.

As far as comparisons go, Bachmann did take the wind out of Palin's sails when she stole the support of the Tea Party.

Even before Bachmann announced her presidential bid she was known as "Palin with Brains." She was a federal tax attorney with a master in law. While Palin only received a BS.

Further, throughout Palin's campaign she had so many "insert foot in mouth" moments. Bachmann's campaign has not been plagued by this problem.
 
Very true, Red State. I disagree with Bachmann on lots of things, but she is no dummy. Plus, her Master of Laws is from William and Mary! That's where I got my BA and IPLawGuy got his BA and his Master of Space degrees.
 
I would add that Bachmann's biggest weakness is the correct perception that on social issues she is an extremist relative to the broad middle of the spectrum.
 
Romney is a Mormon. Try as they might, Middle America just isn't ready to accept that Mormons worship the same Jesus as they do because Mormons have extra reading material.
 
As, according to Osler, do Episcopalians.
 
It's true. There aren't many purists out there...
 
Never in my memory are so many Americans living bare bones and with little hope of improving their lot.
In poor towns and big cities we have record numbers of children and their families in poverty, short of nourishing food and the hope of bettering themselves. This has not been a topic of concern in the Republican debate, along with issues like the environment, health, education, government backed research, etc., etc. There are important issues facing this country and many wonderful republicans who I have supported in the past addressed the country's real concerns. The strange new republican candidates are desperately trying to appeal to their most vocal constituents ; the wealthiest,the largest corporations and the social and religious extremists.
Meanwhile, we have a democratic president who has co opted most of their past policies. He has moved to the right and is more like Teddy Roosevelt in his approach to governing. This and the presence of the tea party has forced any responsible potential candidates to skip this year.
The best thing for the republican party and the country would be for all republicans to walk away from these bozos and take the year off. This might force their party to return to thinking about responsible governance.

The most telling moment to me was was when an Iowan republican responded when asked which was more important 1) the country recovering or 2) defeating President Obama. Their response without hesitation... defeating the President. The folks on the outs today need help and our country needs better. Dad
 
Dad for President!
 
If Ron Paul and Howard Dean (equally goofy yet charming candidates) could marry (which not too many Republicans would be happy about, really a Vermont guy who is not so sure about Jesus!) would their baby, if they could have one which I suppose they could not since neither has a womb, but less just say they chose to adopt (again Republicans might be offended with the Vermont lineage), then would their child be named Paula Dean?

Spot
 
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