November 30, 2007

The Tattlesnake — Huckabee and Paul Prosper While GOP Field Implodes Edition

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion — RS Janes @ 9:08 am

It was inevitable that Rudy and Mitt would start snarling at each other like two starved pitbulls chained up in the yard overnight and the Bile Factory has been cranking overtime as Giuliani tried to ‘Willie Horton’ Romney by accusing him of appointing a ‘liberal’ judge that let a guy out of jail who later committed murder, and the Mittster snapped back that Mayor Il Duce is no solid Republican family man, considering how many times he’s been married to hookers he casually picked up in Times Square. At the last GOP debate they brandished daggers, even over the New York Yankees; no fatal thrusts, but each one was bleeding from shallow cuts. Rudy is showing the hot breath of desperation here; he was trying to run an ‘ignore the small change’ campaign and beat up on Hillary, as if he were already the nominee, but he’s losing badly in Iowa and New Hampshire; his staff is now even having trouble herding the deluded into his soporific speeches. (“I just came in for the free donuts.”) Romney’s still polling ahead in both states, but his support is seriously eroding with Christopublicans as they discover bright, shiny religious fanatic Mike Huckabee, weird Chuck Norris ads and all. Besides, I have a feeling regular folks on the campaign trail only slap Mitt on the back to make sure he doesn’t have a key there; at least Huckabee appears to be a warm-blooded mammal, descended from apes or not.

After all these months of campaigning, Romney’s still a flip-flopping drone who doesn’t connect well with Republican audiences; a watercress sandwich with the crust cut off, too bland even for the GOP faithful. His personal fortune, and his behind-the-scenes Bush family backing, are the only things keeping him in the race thus far.

Meanwhile, Rudy can barely fill a coffee shop with his supporters and, like the winter weather that is descending on Corndog Country and the Live Free or Die Laughing states, he is a refreshing change at first, and then merely tedious and annoying. Soon, his dwindling audiences will remember to bring shovels, but not for the snow. Bernie Kerik’s BFF is also about to be slapped by another problem — a very well-funded media campaign by the NYC firefighters bringing down to Ground Zero-rubble Rudy’s claims of heroics and leadership on 9/11 that will be pretty hard for the GOP primary voters to ignore. And the sleaze continues to ooze out regarding Mayor Medici’s misuse of city funds, especially those earmarked for the handicapped and housing. Aside from that, he’s still nominally a liberal on social issues, although his recent bughouse comments about voting for McGovern in 1972 when he thought Nixon would be the better president — especially considering what happened after Dick was reelected — served only to make him look pretty damned stupid. As presidential fodder, Benito is entering the last act of one of those operas he craved in high school; one where the hero tragically dies of self-inflicted wounds. One more negative: Look at Rudy in profile — with his bald pate and hair plumped up in back, doesn’t he remind you of Dracula from Francis Coppola’s film? No wonder mothers hold their children tightly in the presence of the Artless Dodger from Flatbush.

Over in far right field, John McCain has become a laughable woo-hoo who is backing a war and a president even many Republicans don’t favor and has made a career of pretty much offending every group in the GOP at one time or another. Blinky looks old, weary and distracted, as if he doesn’t believe in his candidacy himself, and what GOP voter wants a president who denigrated religious nuts six years ago and then courted them in 2007? ‘Raw Ambition’ is effectively stamped on his forehead and he is trusted by no one. He also can’t handle money; look at the millions that poured out of his pockets to Rovian ‘consultants’ to cinch the lead spots for Giuliani and Romney. Besides, ‘Twitartha’ Chris Matthews likes him, which automatically condemns McCain to the junk heap — everyone Spit-Machine Matthews lauds always slides to the bottom, it’s kind of like the old Sports Illustrated cover curse.

Did someone say ‘Fred’? TV’s Arthur Branch is off making notes for his forthcoming book “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” a diary of a short, miserable political campaign that failed. Reporters idly track the yawns at his speeches to entertain themselves the way kids used to count license plates on long family road trips; I mean, the man has to beg for polite applause from Mayberry-nice Iowans! That sound you hear is the flutter of resumes flowing out from his campaign staff. The Thompson balloon is just about to pop, but it’s so deflated and fatigued few will notice when it does. Those Republicans who counted on Thompson to fill Reagan’s shoes might as well dig up the embalmed remains of the original; at this point, he’d get more votes than Fred. Back in Hollywood by the end of January.

Meantime, Ron Paul is clipping along, raising money and the hackles of the GOP elite. Though dubbed unelectable by the Washington Punditrocracy, and therefore mostly ignored, out on the streets he’s firing up the GOP hoi polloi and engendering enough concern to warrant an attack by Republican-establishment courtesan Mona Charen, fresh from her fax machine with the direct line to RNC HQ. She, naturally, walloped him as a racist Nazi kook, but that doesn’t seem to matter to his devoted supporters, most of them, unlike the enervated GOP as a whole, young and energetic enough to get out and vote. He will surprise in the early primaries.

And let’s not even waste time with the coach-class vanity candidacies of Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter — no one can find their supporters, least of all themselves, and both may very well lose their Congressional seats in the rising Blue Tide of the next election. That chilling thought by itself will send them scurrying back to their home districts by February.

That leaves former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is benefiting greatly from the Rudy/Mitt knife fight and recent increased attention from the media as his numbers click up. With Rudy’s ‘electability’ joining the alligators in the NYC sewers; white bread Mitt nothing but a dull butterknife; McCain a passenger on a dead-end streetcar named Desire, and friendly Fred collapsing into a bag of wrinkled wind, who’s left except consistently-Christopublican Huckabee and mostly Libertarian Ron Paul?

If I had to call it now, I’d say Iowa: Romney, Huckabee, Paul; and NH: Huckabee, Paul, Romney.

Unless, of course, the votes are not honestly counted, always a distinct possibility when Republicans are involved.

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