Santorum, Gingrich, Romney, and Paul

Note to the GOP candidates

Santorum, Gingrich, Romney, and Paul
Santorum, Gingrich, Romney, and Paul

One of you will probably get your party’s nomination, but while you’re busy doing hatchet jobs on each other, I for one am getting thoroughly sick of you. At the rate you are shredding each other, the survivor will be in no condition to run a credible general campaign.

I suppose that’s fine with people who have known all along they will vote for Obama in November. But as far as I was concerned a year ago, any half-decent, half-viable Republican candidate had a good shot at getting my vote. That was then; this is now.

It was obvious from the beginning that your umpteen televised “debates” were nothing more than photo ops for you and publicity-grabbing events for the networks. (Did you catch CNN’s absurdly dramatic intro to last night’s debate?) One-liners, gotchas, sound bites, self-inflicted wounds, and audience participation. It’s entertainment, reality TV, not a serious race for the world’s most powerful office. Personally, I’m tired of it. I was tired of it months ago. I’m not listening, or at least I’m trying not to.

Mitt Romney, you ooze smarm. And I don’t know what your positions will be from one day to the next. You are indeed a weathervane; you shift to align with the slightest breeze. Furthermore, you went out of your way to hide/withhold personal financial information that you knew from Day One you’d have to release sooner or later. Admittedly I’d have been nervous too if I had both a Swiss bank account and tax-sheltered investments in the Cayman Islands; the public perception of such things is negative regardless of their legality. So zero points for reluctant disclosure. But what really gets me (after your condescending “Corporations are people, my friend”), what really tells me exactly what kind of person you are is your putting your dog in a crate on top of your car for a 12-hour drive. You have all the empathy, concern, and good sense of a fence post.

Newt Gingrich, your candidacy is a joke, right? You really think I’ve forgotten about your years as Speaker of the House, what happened then, and how it all ended? You really think your marriages and infidelities won’t influence my opinion of you? (Doesn’t matter whether that information should be public or not. It is. You can’t unring that bell.) I know you’re an intelligent man, a college professor and all, but you come across as pompous and insufferably arrogant. You need to learn the difference between knowing and being a know-it-all. And you need to learn some humility. It doesn’t matter if God has forgiven you; it’s the voters you have to convince.

Rick Santorum, I had almost started thinking you’re a nice guy — not voteworthy, mind you, but nice. Then came the day you explained your well-known right-to-life position by saying a pregnant rape victim should just “make the best out of a bad situation” because the rapist’s fetus is “a gift” from God. No way such a lack of compassion and reason gets my vote. I don’t want that kind of thinking in the White House. Not now; not ever. So just go home, resume your private life, and stow your religious beliefs in your own pew.

Ron Paul, you seem like a well-intentioned man and I agree with some of your positions, particularly your foreign policy. But at least I recognize that I’m getting older and my ideas aren’t always realistic and practical in today’s world. I don’t think you do.

President Obama, despite my frustration with what the GOP is offering, don’t consider my vote a slam dunk. I’m not at all happy with some of the things you’ve done and some of the things you’ve not done. A health care reform bill that requires people to buy health insurance but doesn’t provide an affordable public option seems fatally flawed to me and destined to cost far more than it saves. I also happen to think its mandate is unconstitutional. But you were determined to have your signature legislation and spent more than a year focusing on it while the nation’s economy was circling the drain. Sure, getting bin Laden was great. So was ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. But what about Gitmo still being open (and that new law you signed that lets you toss American citizens in there without a trial)? What about illegal immigration? You’ve got a lot of convincing to do to get my vote.

One more cautionary note to all of you: save your empty promises about what you’ll do if elected. Presidents don’t write the laws; Congress does. And Congress is a whole ‘nother problem.

It appears I’ll probably be voting for one of you five this year, and I’m not happy about it. But don’t jump to any conclusions. There were, after all, 16 presidential candidates on Colorado’s 2008 ballot.

10 thoughts on “Note to the GOP candidates

  1. I think you were a little hard on the Pres, Pied. Maybe it’s because you want to be even-handed, but honestly, look what he had to “work with”. Even the term is a joke because what he had to work with, the Tea Party, wouldn’t work with him at all. Their single-minded, openly-admitted top objective has been not the welfare of the country but the unseating of Obama! How can we expect him to get anything done with people like that? Even on the ACA (Obamacare) the GOP was the impediment in providing cost reduction – the Public Option that you acknowledged.

    I agree that he was wrong about Gitmo, but what he misjudged was not how badly the image hurts America in world opinion but just how vulnerable to demagoguery the body politic would be about bringing terrorists onto American soil for trial. You would think the underwear bomber had the power of Godzilla and King Kong for God’s sake.

    As for immigration reform, that would have been nice, but then there’s the Tea Party again. Even McCain who once sounded sane on the issue had to reverse course. Politics is like making sausage. Ug. As of now, considering the clown lineup you describe so well, Mr. Obama is on pace to get my vote.

    Nicely and amusingly written, Pied. Well done.

    1. I had to stop somewhere, so I didn’t extend my diatribe to Congress. Talk about a bunch of obstreperous, bickering children! I want to reach through the screen and strangle the GOP candidates every time they condemn the president for doing nothing the last two years when they know full well that, as you note, the GOP’s declared Number One purpose in Congress has been to unseat Obama and/or block his every move. Two years devoted not to doing their jobs, not to finding solutions for the country’s urgent problems, but to blocking the Democrats and the president at every turn. I hope they choke on their self-righteousness in November.

      The Gitmo thing is absurd. The prisoners there are mere mortals, just like every prisoner held here in the US. They are not radioactive, they are not plague-ridden, and they have no way to magically call in armies of their friends to break them out of prison (otherwise they’d have been out of Gitmo years ago). There are already more than 350 terrorists imprisoned in the US, according to an excellent article in Slate. Among those here in the Colorado supermax are Omar Abdel-Rahman, the “blind sheikh” who organized the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; Zacarias Moussaoui, one of the Sept. 11 plotters; Richard Reid, the shoe-bomber; Theodore Kaczynski, the “Unabomber”; and Terry Nichols, who helped plan the Oklahoma City bombing. I doubt the men mouldering in Gitmo, all of whom deserve trials by the way, are any worse. I want my country back, dammit, and it’s my unreasoning countrymen who are destroying it, not the terrorists.

      Illegal immigration is a huge problem, and I resent several successive administrations for having done nothing because they insist we must have “comprehensive” reform or none at all. All sides agree we need to seal the border, for example. Why can’t we at least do that much? Half a loaf, or even a few slices, is better than none, as I’ve written before. And why don’t we at least enforce the laws that are already on the books?

  2. Us libertarians are only laughing because we’re cried out. For years we’ve been ridiculed for our slippery slope analogies and even the historical evidence of their accuracy until we no longer have any qualms about voting for people with no chance of winning because all the alternatives haven’t a dimes worth of difference between them.

    This time around it looks like the Democrats and Republicans are too stupid to stop denying we’re the worlds most flagrant imperialist bankrupt socialist aggressors and are ready to continue nominating Obama/Bernanke/Lenin/Hitler wannabe’s and so my only logical choice will probably be New Mexico ex-governor Gary Johnson.

    1. Lenin? Hitler? I’ve always thought those allusions were the tactics of fear-mongering rightwing extremists …

      If I vote at all, it will probably be for Obama; I prefer to vote for (or against) viable candidates.

... and that's my two cents