Now that the New Hampshire primary is over and we can all see where this is headed, I thought it would be a good time to stop and take stock of what exactly the field for the Republican candidates looks like. I suppose a lazier writer (and you would have to search pretty extensively to find a writer lazier than myself) would just say “it looks like garbage” and end the post there. And that writer would not be wrong. But since I leave the short, pithy posts to Sarah, I thought I’d take a few minutes to give a little depth to my analysis and show you precisely how fucked the GOP is right now in a presidential race that they should theoretically have some traction in.
First, let’s touch briefly on New Hampshire. There were absolutely no surprises here. We all know that Romney is going to be the nominee, and have known that for almost a year now. Why we’re even going through with this sham of a nomination process is beyond me, except that the two parties are worried that if they let a year go by without trying to run a presidential election the millionaires and corporations of this country would forget how to dump billions of dollars into campaigns, which would be disastrous for politics as we know it. Even the second and third place showings of Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman, respectively, are no big surprise. Even though it’s a red state, New Hampshire is still in New England, which means they’re going to go for electability first and the most reasonable-sounding candidates after that. It’s therefore not shocking – but still hilarious – that Texas Governor and queer-bashing dickbag Rick Perry got less than 1% of the vote. Where’s your god now, Rick?!
Things will, of course, be different at the South Carolina primary on January 21. Where New Hampshire voters are fairly moderate and generally intelligent, South Carolina voters are from South Carolina. Mittens will still win, but we can expect far-right religious nuts like Santorum and Perry to do much better. I’m sure the good ol’ boys in the Palmetto state will have a real conundrum on their hands over Santorum: he’s radically ass-backwards enough in his beliefs to please even the reddest neck, but he’s a papist! Perry seems the more obvious choice, but we’ll see how it pans out. Just so you can throw it back in my face later, I’ll give you my best guess of the results:
- Romney: 27%
- Perry: 20%
- Santorum: 18%
- Gingrich: 10%
- Larry the Cable Guy: 8%
- Paul: 5%
- Huntsman: 3%
That’s right, I honestly and sincerely believe that Larry the Cable Guy will place better than both Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman, even though he’s not on the ballot and has expressed absolutely no interest in politics of any sort. Early polling suggests that South Carolina is looking for a candidate that can “git ‘er done”.
What should prove interesting about this race is watching just how much Newt Gingrich can sabotage his own party during the campaigning for this one particular primary. Newt’s getting clobbered out there already, and he’s pissed about it. I mean, really pissed. He’s basically gone on record as calling every one of his competitors a cheat, a liar, a filthy dog-fucker and a bad conservative. While dog fucking is the third most popular leisure-time activity in South Carolina, the negativity in Newt’s campaign has really reflected poorly in the rest of the nation, where we have had about all of the divisive politics that we’re going to take, thank you very much. And everything he throws at Romney right now is not going to just magically disappear when Mittens is making his run against Obama later this year. But it’s clearly more important to the Gingrich campaign that the nation knows that nobody puts Newt in a corner than that the Republicans take the White House back this year. Good on ya, Newt, I find your priorities to be in precisely the right place.
Enough of this primary talk, though; I would like to examine each candidate individually and lay out precisely why they’re quite possibly the worst set of options any party has ever fielded. And just to keep this article at a reasonable length – and show just how fucking awful these people are – I’m only going to use news articles from the last seven days. Let the bloodbath begin.
As I’ve said many times before, Mittens will be the GOP candidate this year unless the experiments that Dick Cheney has been conducting in his basement finally pay off and he manages to raise Ronald Reagan from the dead, unleashing his neo-conservative and flesh-starved corpse on America. And in this age of Tea Party anger and economic collapse, the Republicans even seem willing to overlook the fact that Romney made his billions running a company that, basically, buys companies and streamlines them or closes them, reaping monetary gains through a process that I am far too much of a socialist to understand; basically, his job was destroying American jobs and he was really, really good at it.
And it is with this in mind that we should view Mittens’ gaffe this week, in which he told a crowd “I like being able to fire people”. You should follow that link – the video is only a few seconds long, and it’s totally worth it to hear the awkward, stunned silence that follows the statement. Now, people have discussed how Romney is so rich that he’s completely out of touch with most Americans (the famous $10,000 bet with Rick Perry comes to mind), and this really seems to be proof-positive. Who the fuck runs for the presidency in a country experiencing record unemployment and gets in front of people and discusses his love of firing people? I don’t give a rat’s ass what the context was, that was just about the bone-headedest possible move anyone could make. And this, ladies and gentlemen, this is the GOP’s best hope.
I’ve gone on and on and on about Santorum’s basic lunacy and his complete unfitness to run for office in this country. After his attack on pornography, I thought he couldn’t do anything more to surprise me. Oh god was I wrong. As if going after porn wasn’t enough of an assault on things that Americans hold dear, this week he took a swipe at birth control:
One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country…Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.
Are you fucking serious?! 86% of Americans think that having birth control available is good, and 98% of women in this country have used some sort of contraception in their lives. This is not just espousing an unpopular view, this is directly going against the opinions of 86% of this fucking country. What next? Is he going to take a hard stand against candy, puppies and Tom Hanks? How can Santorum possibly find something less controversial to make a controversy about? It’s like the guy really doesn’t want to be president and is working as hard as he possibly can to make himself unelectable.
Here’s the thing: I kinda like Huntsman. I mean, sure, he’s still pretty conservative, but compared to these other assholes he looks like Bobby fucking Kennedy: he proposed a bill to allow gay couples to enter into civil unions as governor of Utah, and though he’s against gay marriage and abortion, he refuses to sign a pledge to end either. But his strengths as a human being are precisely his weaknesses as a Republican candidate: he’s too moderate for GOP voters, particularly in the cousin-fucking belt (formerly known as the American Southeast). In point of fact, a recent poll of South Carolina voters showed that in a hypothetical election, Huntsman would place behind the god of sarcasm, Stephen Colbert. That’s right, the very liberal comedian would beat Huntsman in the Republican primary in one of the most ass-backward conservative states in the union. Sorry, Jon, you’re just too reasonable.
I think we’ve pretty much covered Newt’s problems already. He has a pretty terrible public image between his multiple marriages (and the frankly scandalous ways they ended), his having worked for Freddie Mac (they paid him to consult with them, not to be a consultant – an important distinction!) and his recent transformation from mild-mannered Bruce Banner into the Hulk. But he did do something this week that really tweaked me, and I want to mention it here:
Should the Catholic Church be forced to close its adoption services in Massachusetts because it won’t accept gay couples, which is exactly what the state has done? Should the Catholic Church be driven out of providing charitable services in the District of Columbia because it won’t give in to secular bigotry? …The bigotry question goes both ways and there’s a lot more anti-Christian bigotry today than there is concern on the other side, and none of it gets covered by the news media.
Oh, poor fucking Christians! God knows, they’re so deeply oppressed in this country. All those gay, Muslim and openly atheist presidents we’ve had have really eroded the Jesus lifestyle over the years. To answer the question directly, though, the Catholic church was forced to close its adoption services in Massachusetts because they were using public funds to run them, and using public funds to run a service that discriminates against anyone – even the homos – is forbidden by the equal protection clause of the Fourth Amendment. If they want to continue to adopt children out to cannibals and child pornographers as long as they’re heterosexual couples, they are going to have to do that with their own money. You as a historian should know that, you simpering pile of fuck.
Shockingly, Rick Perry has been pretty quiet lately, simply sitting back and watching his ass be handed to him in every primary. It’s fine, nobody really wants to hear him talk anyway.
Ron Paul is wisely sticking to his guns after his respectable finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire. His chances of actually getting the nomination are approximately the same as the chances of Rob Schneider’s new sitcom being any good at all, but there’s always the hope that having him in the race will force the debate in new directions. Paul is talking about ending the war on drugs and pulling out of Afghanistan, subjects that are very popular among a vast swath of this country’s voters, and the rest of the candidates treat him like he’s a crazy old man whose Alzheimer’s has driven him to say the sort of crazy things the rest of us keep quietly locked up inside us. But Paul’s beliefs have barely changed in his long political career, and that’s to his credit in my book.
I mean, I wouldn’t vote for the fucker in a million years, but he’s consistent.
This is it, folks. This is the sad state of what’s going up against a sitting president this year. There is no reason on earth Obama shouldn’t have had a decent fight on his hands: the economy is still in the shitter, he’s actually expanded on many of the Bush-era policies that he decried on the campaign trail, Gitmo is still open and operating freely, and he couldn’t get a decent healthcare bill passed with a Democratic majority in both houses. By all rights, he should be fighting for his life right now. But the GOP have really done a stellar job insuring that we will have Obama in office for another four years.