Thursday, November 17, 2011

Five Republican Would-Be Saviors Flame Out in Hilarious Ways

I quite like this article if only for two reasons. The writer, in the first two paragraphs alone, says all there is to know about the current state of US politics and that of both parties.

And secondly, I'm far from unappreciative of the writers style. Some great little one liners included.

The Great GOP Primary Crash and Burn: 5 Republican Would-Be Saviors Flame Out in Hilarious Ways

The GOP's "anyone but Romney" strategy has backfired.
By Brad Reed
November 16, 2011

In a normal democracy, a competent opposition party would have no difficulty in defeating Barack Obama next year.

After all, unemployment is still around 9 percent, economic growth is sluggish at best and the Democratic base feels disenchanted with the hope and change they voted into office a mere three years ago. A competent opposition party shouldn’t have to nominate a superlative candidate in this environment; instead it can win by simply nominating someone with decent hair, who can string together words in a language vaguely resembling English and who has no obvious debilitating mental illnesses.

For Republicans, this generic good-hair, able-to-talk, not-overtly-insane candidate is Mitt Romney. But there’s just one problem with this scenario: The Republican base hates Mitt Romney. The reasons for this are pretty obvious since Romney’s work establishing a universal health care system in Massachusetts provided the main blueprint for Obamacare, the healthcare law passed in 2010 that the GOP base feels is the ultimate symbol of an overreaching and tyrannical government. And that’s in addition to Romney’s assorted flip-flops on issues such as abortion and gay rights that have given social conservatives fits over the years. In fact, Multiple Choice Mitt is such a notorious opportunist that his entire political career can be summed up by paraphrasing a classic Snoop Dogg song: “Take a stance when it’s popular, but drop it when it’s not, drop it when it’s not.”

So the Republican base has spent the past year looking for someone, anyone, who can be the anti-Mitt Romney in the GOP primary. The problem is that the GOP has been unable to find even one half-normal human to stand in against him. The result has been a hysterical roller-coaster of a primary season where new candidates rise rapidly as GOP “front runners” for a month before flaming out in spectacular and hilarious ways. In this article we’ll chronicle the assorted saviors that Republican voters have fallen in love with for brief periods of time before quickly recoiling in horror upon realizing they’ve become smitten with a unelectable lunatic.

Failed Savior #1: Donald Trump.

How he rose: Ugh. Remember this? Trump’s major appeal to the GOP base was akin to G.G. Alin’s appeal to teenage boys: They loved him because he would say whatever the hell he wanted no matter how many media squares would get offended. Want to publicly question the validity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate? Trump went there. Want to speculate that Obama was hiding his birth certificate because it listed him as a Muslim? Yeah, that was Trump territory, too. Want to imply that Obama only got accepted into Columbia and Harvard Law due to the dread specter of affirmative action? Trump was your guy.

The result was that Trump depressingly surged to the head of the GOP pack in April, according to a CNN poll. But the Donald’s rapid rise in the polls was only matched by his epic crash less than two weeks later.

How he fell: It became more difficult for Trump to publicly crow about his birther credentials after Obama actually released his long-form birth certificate. Making matters worse, the release of Obama’s birth certificate came just days before Trump attended the White House correspondents’ dinner where he was roasted relentlessly both by the president and by comedian Seth Meyers.

This sort of public humiliation took away a lot of Trump’s mojo since he was no longer viewed as an all-American bad boy with the guts to speak truth to power. Instead he was seen, correctly, as a clown. He announced that he was not going to run for the presidency shortly afterward.

Failed Savior #2: Newt Gingrich

How he rose: The very idea of Newt Gingrich being a legit presidential candidate should be enough to violate at least 23 different laws of quantum mechanics and collapse our universe into a tiny puddle of cosmic gloop. But the GOP field in 2011 is a warped incarnation of Andy Warhol’s vision of the future where every has-been right-wing crank is allowed to nationally humiliate himself for 15 minutes.

At any rate, Newt’s entire appeal, if it can be called that, was that he’s supposed to be a “man of ideas.” It doesn’t matter that most of his ideas involved going to war with Iran or privatizing Medicare -- in the current GOP field anyone who put on shoes without causing themselves critical bodily harm is considered a visionary. So Newt was to be the primary race’s leading intellectual, which is about as useful an honor as being named the world’s most well-hung eunuch.

How he fell: He was Newt. That’s pretty much all there was to it and it was entirely predictable to anyone who knows his history.

Let’s go over the grisly recap: Newt got in trouble during the very first week of his campaign when he sought to flash his “Man of Ideas” credentials by critiquing Paul Ryan’s Satanic Randroid plan to boot seniors off Medicare and force them into the private insurance market. For many conservatives this was like standing up in the middle of a church and shouting out, “Man, this Jesus dude ain’t all that, people.”

Newt had to backtrack pretty quickly after this heresy and he did indeed back away from his statements in the only way he knows how: Through shameless bullshitting. You see Newt can never just say he's sorry and be done with it. No, that’s something that shows weakness and if people start thinking Newt is weak then dark-skinned foreigners all over the world will start pointing and laughing at him and implying that he is lacking in the manhood department. So instead of apologizing, Newt went on the attack against the media by saying it was now out of bounds to accurately quote his criticism of Ryan’s plan.

No, seriously, he actually said this: “Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood, because I have said publicly those words were inaccurate and unfortunate.”

And just as the nation had stopped laughing about this, Gingrich flack Rick Tyler added insult to injury by putting out a statement portraying Newt as a noble paragon in the style of Ulysses and William Wallace who would lead America to its former standard of greatness through the sheer force of his magical ideas.

“A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught,” wrote Tyler of the torrent of mockery directed at his boss. “But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won't be intimidated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces.”

Whoooa, slow down there, Homer. I don’t recall the part in the Odyssey where Ulysses decides to divorce Penelope when she’s struck with an illness so he can go shack up with a hot young Siren.

Failed Savior #3: Michele Bachmann

How she rose: Ah, why not? With Trump and Gingrich out of the picture, Bachmann was there to fill the “anyone-but-Romney” void for a brief time. Bachmann had all the credentials the base was looking for: A born-again Christian who supported outlandish conspiracy theories and who called Obama anti-American before it was cool. So over the summer Bachmann got her brief period in the spotlight and regularly came in second place in many national polls. Go to page three.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with your introduction.

"Americans may not like voting for high-fallutin’ intellectuals much, but we thankfully still have enough sense to support candidates that are marginally smarter than ficus plants."