May 24, 2011

Death Wish IX: The GOP Presidential Field

Subtitled, for you Latin scholars out there, with what should be the GOP motto in the 2012 primaries: ‘incredibilis vos socius pro nostrum equus fimus iterum’ **

The Death Wish Nine:

1. Tim Pawlenty
2. Mitt Romney
3. Newt Gingrich
4. Rick Santorum
5. Gary Johnson
6. Herman Cain
7. Michele Bachmann
8. Sarah Palin
9. Anybody Else?

(Yes, I’m leaving off gay Republican Fred Karger, former Obama ambassador Jon Huntsman, and that other guy for the sake of brevity.)

Not a Triumph of the (George F.) Will: Mitch Daniels and Tim Pawlenty. But it’s not to be as Daniels, Junior Bush’s former budget director, who turned a $236 billion surplus into a $400 billion deficit, and the financial genius who ‘privatized’ the Indiana Toll Roads for a lump sum payment of $3.6 billion in a 75-year lease that will pay $133 billion to the Australian/Spanish firm of Macquarie-Cintra, has decided not to play, taking his name out of contention. That’s a shame as laugh-lovers will be denied the spectacle of a Daniels/Pawlenty ticket in 2012, AKA the Ambiguously Gay Duo of GOP politics.

Speaking of Pawlenty, he just tossed his hat in the pig feces swamp May 23rd by boldly announcing in Iowa that he will end ethanol subsidies as president. Next he’ll tell the Republican voters of New Hampshire that he plans to take away their guns, and then head to Wisconsin to inform the handful of GOP voters left there of how much he hates cheese and the Green Bay Packers. Apparently Timbaugh, saddled with the same no-Tea-Party, moderate Blue-State GOP governor baggage as Mitt Romney, has decided to show his hairy-chested manliness by metaphorically slapping potential voters across the chops a few times. It’s an entertaining approach, at least, and he may get the nomination just by not being as space-cadet nuts as everyone else in the GOP race.

Speaking of Mitt Romney, he has the mounds of money, confident male underwear model leer, and party contacts to be the frontrunner, but he’s bent over backwards so many times to accommodate the crazy right he looks like Richard III in reverse. Mitt’s the likeable guy nobody in the GOP likes, and it seems his ‘fire in the belly’ has turned to acid reflux — which is why he’ll be quitting after he fails to come in first in the New Hampshire primary. The Money Men in the GOP have apparently decided his goods are too tainted by long exposure to sunlight, so they’re looking elsewhere, and many of the Christopublican rank-and-file aren’t enthused that he’s a Mormon.

Then there’s the popped 1990s bubble of Newt Gingrich, who hangs himself with his own tongue every time he opens his mouth. ‘Champaign Newt,’ who’s collected millions of bucks in his risible alter-egos of ‘Adulterous Defender of Family Values,’ ‘Professor of Fictitious History’ and ‘Knuckle-Dragging Conservative Intellectual,’ has diligently shoveled so much crap for so long that he’s incapable of giving a straight answer anymore. When asked about his respectable Republican-Cloth-Coat account at snooty Tiffany’s that amounted to $500,000 in charges, Newtie mumbled awkwardly and danced around a forthright answer, this following on the heels of his embarrassing, even for a Republican, 24-hour about-face on Paul Ryan’s mad plan to eviscerate Medicare. Although Newt apparently doesn’t think his personal hypocrisy matters, convenient for a man who has made a career of sanctimonious lip service to moral precepts he doesn’t actually practice, GOP primary voters may have a different opinion. He, too, will quit in the snows of New Hampshire and no doubt find a way to blame liberals for his rejection by his own party.

Rick Santorum is such a lugnut even some Christopublicans who fear mass bestiality breaking out in the streets should a gay couple marry can’t stand him. In a year when economic issues far outweigh the perverse moral concerns of mouth-breathers like St. Santorum, he’ll fade out in Iowa; broke, miserable and about as popular as Fred Phelps, the virulently anti-gay pastor of the far-from-Christian Westboro Baptist Church. Of course by 2013, Rough ‘n’ Ready Rick, out of politics, will divorce his wife and emerge from the closet, professing his enduring love for a German Shepherd/Dalmatian mix named Rollo.

Then there’s the former GOP governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson. No reason to tarry much on this entry; Johnson shows flashes of sanity and decency that will automatically invalidate him for the Republican nomination. He’s out in Iowa as well.

Godfather pizza-peddler Herman Cain, who I understand was a black man at one time, has enough grease-coated cash to stay in until South Carolina, and maybe beyond. In the same cynical GOP race-pandering that made Michael Steele head of the RNC, party bigwigs think they might have a chance in 2012 by putting Cain in the Veep slot with Pawlenty heading the ticket. Cain will appease the hard-right and nab a few stray African-American votes while Pawlenty desperately tries to convince general-election voters that he really doesn’t believe all the things he said he believed in during the primary campaign without looking like an outrageous liar and hypocrite. But, in the wake of the GOP debacle in the Rust Belt states and Paul Ryan’s ‘kick grandma from the train’ Medicare voucher plan, the chances of this working are about the same as Donald Trump keeping his hair in place during a high wind or speaking the truth in two consecutive sentences.

Meanwhile, Tea Party Queen Bee Michele Bachmann has yet to declare, but her avid desire to make Big Money should she lose her House seat next election will compel her to run, at least until the Republican Big Daddy, the moneyed elite that own the party, take the keys away. She’ll probably win Iowa, then be quickly forgotten after she utters yet another imbecilic interpretation of the Constitution or is caught in a low-cut slinky dress shooting craps in Las Vegas and drunkenly groping a man not her husband.

That brings us to Sister Sarah of the Steppes, you know, ‘America’s Tweetheart’ who just loves Alaska so much she did a hideous 13-episode ‘reality’ TV show about it. Seems she’s moving ‘Real America’ into a humble $1.6 million mega-mansion in Scottsdale, Arizona, because that whole huntin’ an’ fishin’ ‘Grizzly Mama’ thing just didn’t work out for her professionally-manicured nails. (Maybe now she’ll be the ‘Gila Monster Mama.’) Like Little Bush, she managed to unite her home state — she’s hated by both the right and the left up there — and Obama is more popular in AK than Palin these days. She’s not really running for president, just stretching out the drama to keep up waning media interest and the concomitant cash flow attached to her declining fame. After all, if she ran she’d have to give up her million-a-year job at Fox, spend some of her own money on campaigning, and give speeches for free, and it costs a bundle to keep a mansion with a pool going.

As for anybody else, Chris Christie, the Republican answer to Tony Soprano, is smart enough to understand that he’d be in for a presidential drubbing in 2012. He will confine himself to his New Jersey playpen, awaiting his removal from office in the next election, thereby depriving us of a potential Christie/Pawlenty ticket that would resemble a resurrection of Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel at their comedy height.

Jeb Bush? Really, has enough time passed for a Bush scion to enter the race without the eruption of widespread laughter followed by the look one gets when bile rises unexpectedly in the mouth? I think not. Aside from his inept older brother’s running the country into a ditch, Jeb has way too much unwashed laundry in the hamper to risk a presidential run in 2012. He’s aiming at 2016 and hoping the public memory of his family’s battering of the American Dream has subsided by then.

Some of the wingnuttier pundits have even suggested Paul Ryan, the man who was booed and chastised by a hand-picked audience in his recent ill-conceived visit to his home district in Wisconsin to sell his misbegotten budget that would actually increase the deficit it is supposed to curtail. Democrats would no doubt cheer and even contribute money to a Ryan presidential candidacy: with the polls saying that 80 to 90 percent of America loathes his Medicare voucher plan, the author appearing daily on the news trying to sell his nightmare would guarantee a landslide to Obama and the Democrats in 2012. Forget the presidency or V.P. slot, Ryan will be very lucky if he can retain his seat in the House.

Only a fool would make a prediction this early, so I’m calling Pawlenty/Cain as the GOP sacrificial lambs in 2012.

** Translation to English: ‘Incredible, you fell for our horse manure again!’

© 2011 RS Janes.


  1. Remember we’ve still got a dinner riding on whether Sarah officially announces & I’m on the line for another if she doesn’t win five contests.

    Letterman hit Jeb Bush with a potential campaign slogan. “Vote Bush, maybe this time will be different.”

    Still, with all the factors swinging his way in 2008 President Obama didn’t win by that much, and swinging only a few States could spell a big difference. We have not begun to see the effects of the nearly limitless money available to the Republicans. So in the words of the immortal Han Solo, “Don’t get cocky, kid.”

    Comment by db — May 24, 2011 @ 7:13 am

  2. Believe me, db, I’m trying not to get cocky but, really, look at the stinking Kitty Litter Box that is the GOP field — can you think of one candidate who is presentable in the polite company of the independent voters a Republican needs to win the presidency who can also nail down the GOP nomination?

    And it brings a soft glow to me cynically hardened heart that the Dem just won in the reddest district in NY state — I thought the GOP would surely rig that one. Plus, I’ve been entertained as various Republicans float across my TV screen in the wake of the disaster in NY’s 26th, desperately trying to dig their way out of the unholy mess Ryan’s batshit budget plan put them in. The latest Luntz Talking Point: the GOP is just trying to ‘save’ Medicare for future generations — yeah, the same way US Marines in Vietnam ‘saved’ villages by burning them to the ground.

    What with the GOP disaster in the Rust Belt states; the GOP cold-hearted reaction via Eric Cantor to the devastation in the Bible Belt states; and the wholesale national rejection of Ryan’s attempt to dump Medicare, I think Republicans are going to have a hard time getting elected in even some safe districts, except in the Deep South. We may be witnessing a realignment as drastic as the 1930s. As an old-timer cracked: “Shit, if Medicare is socialism, give me some more socialism.”

    BTW, our bet is still on — Palin’s a publicity whore, but she loves money more and if she runs for anything, I think it’s more likely she’d take a stab at Kyl’s senate seat in AZ, or maybe even governor. Arizona’s about the only state where she still has any popular approval to speak of.

    Comment by RS Janes — May 25, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

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