Sunday, December 4, 2011

Is This Any Way To Run A Major Party?

The implosion of the latest non-Romney de jure, Herman Cain, was quite a spectacle. The rapid rise and equally rapid decent of the former Godfathers Pizza CEO was one of the more bizarre moments in a primary process rife with dadaist moments. Mr Cain was a hot mess, to put it mildly. But Pizza Guy was not alone. This whole sorry process began weird, stayed weird to the present, and looks to continue to be weird right into at least New Hampshire.

The first notice that lunatics had taken over the asylum was the flash in the pan that was Michelle Bachmann. She rose to prominence in the dog days of the Iowa summer. The Moron Media went ga-ga when Bachmann nabbed the utterly pointless straw poll of the 2011 Iowa State Fair. That poll has a history of being as predictive as a dart throw by a blind man in raging wind storm. But how the media flogged that story for all its worth. Bachmann became the putative front runner, queen for a day. Unfortunately for her, the reign as queen of the prom melted away on contact with the first debates. All her candidacy manage to do was fricassee the presidential aspirations of Mr. Excitement, Tim Pawlenty.

T-Paw's anemic showing in the Iowa beauty contest was pathetic beyond belief. The man polled slightly above flesh eating bacteria.  Bachmann was the cool kid on the block; at least until people started looking under the hood.  It was Bachmann who started the un-Romney merry-go-round spinning. She rose and fell, an August bloom that died with the first frost of September. She managed to do this without one single voter casting one single vote.

Next up was the manly man, and Texas stalwart, Rick Perry. Perry picked up most of the supporters that deserted Bachmann, and then added a few of his own. Perry was swimming in cash, always a good thing to have when running for high office, and had many rich supporters were ready, willing and able to add to the piggy bank. But then, like a old skipping vinyl record, the debates came round. To say Perry was not ready for the debates is like saying a man only clad in his underwear is not ready for a sword fight. Perry's utter lack of discipline, his epic affliction with foot-in-mouth disease, showed everyone who cared to notice what an utter dim-bulb the Texas governor was. There was only one debate where Perry did not manage to step on a huge rake of his own making. Republicans saw this and their hearts sunk. There was no way this man was going to survive a toe-to-toe with Barack Hussain Obama in the general. It would be like tossing a newborn kitten to a starving wolf.

Thus,  Perry was DOA from self-inflicted wounds, again without a single vote cast. The next lucky contestant was Herman Cain.  That Herman Cain was issued a ticket on the Republican turn-o-matic was a thing that should have given pause. The man had nothing, absolutely nothing to recommend him as the leader of the free world.  All Herman brought to the table was his own excessive self-regard. Any rational national party, performing even the slightest due diligence, would never had let a man like Herman Cain near the primary process. But the TEA Party lead Republicans are no longer a rational outfit; they are an ideological jihad. Only a Party wholly subsumed by an idea fixe could have let a man like Herman Cain become a front runner. His policy proposals barely made the grade as bumper-sticker material. As actual real world solutions they were laughably inadequate. Cain's belligerent ingnorance on matters great and small played well to the TEA Party faction, but would have been radioactive in the general election. Cain finally died an ugly political death when his trousers issue came to the fore-- he couldn't keep the damn things on. The coupe de morte was the revelation of a thirteen year off and on affair with an Atlanta businesswoman. Herman resigned the fray, and yes dear reader, without a single vote cast for him or anyone else.

So we now stand at the Yule season, winter is upon us. Right after the last of the New Year's egg nog is settling in our tummies, Iowa will have an actual vote on the matter of who is the next Republican nominee. But thanks to a process that would give the Marque de Sade pause for being too cruel, four candidates will no longer be in the running. This for a caucus that has a history of being non-representative, a bad indicator of who the final candidate for either party will be.

Is this any way to run a modern political party? The critical debates were watched by a pitiful number of voters. The polls that doomed Bachmann et. al. were an even smaller cross section of the voters. Yet thanks to all these machinations, real results have happend. Two candidates have bowed out, two more are just lying on the floor, waiting for the inevitable mercy killing. One candidate, a man left for dead only six months ago, has rocketed to the front. The other, is still plugging away, is still unloved by almost three quarters of his party's voters. What an ungodly mess.

If Obama does pull off a reelection victory, you can look to the present mess of the Republican Primary process for one clue why that happend. It's been a clown car from start to finish. Obama only has to remind the voters of what the Republican nominee said to get the nomination to scare off the independents for pulling the lever for the Elephant.

If Obama does obtain reelection, look to the Republicans to reform their process once again. Most likely 2016 will not see the freak show that was 2011-2012 debates. Or at least the debates will be held a lot later in the process. Political pundits and ink stained journalist will have to go back to the typical summer fair of fluff and nonsense. Come to think of it, that was the  2011national Republican primary process in a nut shell.
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