Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues

I See Crazy People

Republican presidential candidates are picture...

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    I saw crazy people throughout the GOP candidate debates.

    Each time, all present had a case of the crazies except for some debate moderators, like Wolf Blitzer, who was universally lauded for his handling of time, issues and the gaggle or show-offs who mugged for attention. Fox News didn’t come close to that level of expertise: Brett Baier barely could manage the Gang of Seven and Megyn Kelly was way in over her head. Chris Wallace may fancy himself a top-drawer TV journalist but is a far cry from his old man.

    And don’t forget the crowds–the zanies who applauded everything, even contradictory statements from the platform. Whatever happened to conviction among the Republican base? They were ready to settle for anyone who might beat Obama, however ignorant of issues or bizarre in behavior: all they had to do was declare themselves Republican, whatever that means anymore.

    If ever a so-called prospect wasted the nation’s time, it was Herman Cain, a total nutwing that the conservative base decided, however briefly (and only because Cain blew himself up in such spectacular fashion), that ol’ Herm was a serious alternative; this is a mystery known only to God and my guess is the Big Guy himself was stumped over that one.

    Rick Perry strutted in amid the pack and stuck out his chest as if he were in the Swimsuit portion of a Miss America contest. We knew right away that there’s a guy who, when God offered him brains, thought he heard, “trains,” and declined the offer. Perry never grew up, mentally or sexually, and the only state that could elect such a governor is Texas. The little nickname he earned early in life that’s supposed to mean “adjusting” one’s blue jeans, really refers to the habit, in stupid boyhood days, of grabbing one’s own crotch as if to declare to all the girls–and male competitors–that he thought his was the biggest and all other comers were to stay away. So, clearly, in his formative years, the three most important things to Rick were girls, sex–and, uh, he can’t remember the other one.

    Newt Gingrich’s fantasy is to deem himself an “intellectual,” a designation that the Fox News brain trust repeated in hopes of scaring off Romney. Maybe Newt dreamed of being the Michelin Man and is sore that he’s now mistaken for the Pillsbury Dough Boy. The litmus test is to watch him and ask if you want talking at you everyday for four to eight years on the evening news. Add dear Callista, his darling third wife (who knows?–maybe there’s more) to the equation and the answer goes from “No” to A Thousand Times No.

    The criticism that Obama is a “lecturer” and too “professorial” as a communicator is to ignore Newt’s prowess in that regard. When asked why he worked for Fannie Mae for big bucks, Newt reckoned that we were all dumb and would believe that his role was solely that of an “historian” for those crooks. I’d like to see his thesis on that study project.

    Rick Santorum hung around long enough in the debates to repeat himself ad infinitum, ad nauseum while reminding us of all the children he has sired. Debate audiences dozed off when his turn came but his “surge” in Iowa is now proof of George Burns’ dictum that if you live long enough you’re bound to make a comeback. I for one don’t trust a man with a name like his who didn’t change it long ago; John Stewart of the Daily Show reminds us often to Google the word, santorum, and thereafter try not, as Pogo said, to larf.

But the Santorum Surge brings pause as to why Michele Bachmann can’t get one: she’s been as consistently on message; was born in Iowa and serves a neighboring state (Minnesota). Is it because her eyes are too far apart and you can’t tell if she’s looking at us or the moon? Of course, her attack gun is never aimed at Romney because she wants to be his running mate, but he’s too smart for that.

    You have to love Ron Paul, who flutters onstage like the fairy godfather in a grade school play. Suit jacket askew, he begins each response as if formulating a thoughtful notion, then bursts into a breathless paean of idiocy, bringing wild applause from a crowd that is not quite sure what he said or what it would mean if this little crank was in the White House. Ron lives in a Bizarro world where every good idea is trumped by its antithesis. He and Kim Jong Il would’ve gotten along well together, trying to top the other’s crackpot notions of foreign policy in a world that requires top-notch diplomacy.

    We know the GOP currently harbors the shallow end of the conservative gene pool when a guy like Jon Huntsman couldn’t win a vote if he were a Baptist instead of a Mormon. He’s thoughtful and sensible, though not the brightest bulb in the ceiling–but neither was Gerald Ford and, hey, he got to be prez.

    This leaves the Mittster, the Flip-Flop champion of all time but, after all, you have to be a mental contortionist to survive among Crazy People. Long ago I predicted that he and Obama would end up vying for the Presidency (see my Ichabod post: “Why It’ll be Obama and Romney”) and was pilloried by conservative friends who are now begging my forgiveness. I mercifully sentence them to combing Mitt’s hair and shining Barack’s shoes (get it?).

    A quick survey of the GOP’s wannabes is to realize that, were Obama to have any of their failings, he would be deemed totally unqualified for office: too many wives or girlfriends; no idea where Becki-Becki-Stan-Stan is or how to pronounce it; or given to petulance or anger. It’s amazing how Obama keeps his cool amid clowns, each of whom is less than half the man he is. There is an adage that we know how late in the day it has become when pygmies cast such long shadows.

    FDR “invited the hatred” of his enemies, and how cathartic that must have been to an era trapped in its own political logjam. We also know that Obama can never do that: to be an angry black man would unleash the worst in his peculiar opposition which, regardless of denials, is in good measure racist.

    So I’ll say it again, but in short form: when Romney’s the nominee and free of having to placate the vacuous Republican “base,” he and Obama will engage in publicly enlightening debates that will remind us of the real and legitimate difference between liberalism and conservatism in modern times. Then we’ll  know we have a real choice and the voters will decide.

    But neither will be shooting from the hip, comparing himself to Winston Churchill (like Newt), defending oneself against charges of womanizing (like Cain), or grabbing his crotch (a la Perry). The real loser will be Fox News, at a loss for what to do with a GOP candidate that doesn’t pander incessantly to the lowest common denominator.

    Obama will win the election, but we’ll have a real Republican Party again and Tea will go out of fashion as a hat accessory and return as an alternative to $5 coffee at Starbucks.   

    And I’ll stop seeing Crazy People.

4 Responses to “I See Crazy People”

  1. Check William Galston in TNR “What the Republican Primary Season Has Revealed About the GOP”

    It’s very tempting to dismiss the Iowa caucuses as much ado about almost nothing: As Iowa goes, so goes . . . Iowa, and little more. But, despite its inherent myopia, the early part of the 2012 primary season has managed to be clarifying. Indeed, by combining the most recent survey evidence, we can learn a great deal about the state of the contemporary Republican Party.

    Put simply, its dominant concerns are economic—especially the federal budget deficit. It distinguishes between candidates’ stances on the issues and their leadership/presidential qualities, and it gives a great deal of weight to the latter. The party has a grudging respect for Mitt Romney (a plurality in Iowa regards him as having “strong principles”), and it has concluded, rightly, that he has the best chance of beating President Obama next year. (Fully 41 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa now believe this, as do 63 percent of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire.) At this point, then, Romney has to be regarded as the odds-on favorite to win the nomination.

    That’s not a crazy party. It’s a party on a path to win.

  2. I agree with your judgments about the “crazies” we’ve been observing in the Republican debates, and I hope that your predictions about what will happen in 2012 will prove to be accurate.

  3. I agree with your judgments and hope your predictions become reality. BUT John, I can’t believe you referred to God as the “Big Guy”, even tongue in cheek.

  4. I really like the “when pygmies cast long shadows” comment. My own analogy for this crazy bunch is “how many more clowns are coming out of that car?” My guess is that you are right, but there is always the possibility of a dark horse and there are some seriously reported rumors that plans are underway to draft Jeb Bush.

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