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:
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.
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.
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.
While most candidates realize the path to victory is to broaden their base of support, Newt has suggested that about 10% of the electorate should vote for President Obama.
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.
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?
How about the horror of having a president who brags about executing people - including at least one man who was innocent?
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?"