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Marion On May - 23 - 2011

Word out today says Mitch Daniels doesn’t plan to run for President in 2012. With Mike Huckabee and Haley Barbour deciding not to make a go of it, that leaves only Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman in the “suit” category of believeable Republican candidates for the 2012 election.

So far, the only declared candidates have been PeeWee Herman’s twin brother (Tim Pawlenty),  a businessman who is living proof that bigoted assholes come in all races, religions, colours and creeds (Herman Cain), and the  (a)moralist Newt Gingrich. The other possibilities are strictly your lunatic variety – that eminent historian, Michele Bachmann, and that syntactical grammatician and all-round mean girl, Sarah Palin.

Oddly enough, the Republican party seems eerily calm at so weak a display of candidates. The winner of the nomination will be whoever can accumulate the number of delegates and super delegates, primary by primary, beginning next January.  All well and good to talk about who should be the nominee. In 2008, the nominee should have been Rudy Giuliani, but in the end, it was John McCain.

Those in the know say Huckabee was the potential candidate the White House feared the most.  He was Southern (always good for the rural South and the Midwest), articulate, from a pretty humble background, attractive to the Evangelicals, and on the face of it, a pretty nice and presentable fellow (apart from thinking we all should be forced at gunpoint to listen to the skewed historical teachings of David Barton).  Now, on the face of recent incidents, maybe those in the know might be contemplating Romney or Huntsman, but I’m not so sure.

Romney is associated with the prototype of healthcare reform which the Right love to call Obamacare, which is based on Romney’s plan effected in Massachusetts during his tenure as governor.  Huntsman served the Obama administration as Ambassador to China.  Such cognitives don’t bode well for the GOP nominee. Then, both men are Mormons, a religion at which the important base areas of the South and Midwest are most likely to cast a wary eye. Too many people still have trouble accepting Mormonism as a Christian denomination instead of a cult.

Take away the Romney-Huntsman factor and the morally conflicted dog whistler known as Newt, and that leaves PeeWee Pawlenty. Or Palin. Or Bachmann. Or Cain.

I recently came across someone who speaking about the dearth of strong candidates for the Republicans, who put forth the idea that maybe, just maybe, the GOP is giving the White House a bye for 2012.  Instead, their tactic would be to retain hold of the House and win the Senate.

Actually, that tactic makes sense, and it’s just the sort of sneaky manoeuvre someone like Frank Luntz would promote.

The GOP have a big enough majority in the House that they can expect to lose some seats, but retain a lesser majority.  The big prize is the Senate. With so many Democratic Senators retiring this year from states that lean red at worst and show purple at best, means they’re in with a shout at taking a majority. Even some of the Democratic Senators running for re-election are facing a climb up a steep hill – I’m thinking of Sherrod Brown.  Virginia is definitely going to be a major battleground, just as it was in 2006; make no mistake: the Senate battle there is really a battle for the political soul of the Commonwealth.

If the GOP capture the Senate and retain control of the House, they can afford to lose the White House. Such a stranglehold would render the President virtually a political prisoner in that he would become a minority party President. There would be no way a controlling party of “No” would agree to write or enact any sort of proposed legislation without major concessions on the Democrats’ part as the party now in Opposition, but retaining the White House. If Congress wrote and passed anything repealing any of the laws enacted during the President’s first term, the veto pen would come into play – but if big enough majorities exist in Congress, vetoes can be overridden.

We would, effectively, have a government of stalemate and gridlock for the next four years. With people’s short-term memories, it wouldn’t take long for the buck of blame for any and all inaction to stop on the President’s desk. Four years down the line, and we have the likes of Daniels, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and Crown Prince Jeb Bush, ready to take up the mantle. Serious, believeable and dangerous candidates. No dingbats. No batshits. No looneytunes.

This time, the battleground is in the Congressional districts and in the 23 states whose Senators are up for re-election. The GOP know that the President can beat any of their candidates with one hand behind his back.  How can you hope to beat the man who shot the Liberty Valance of the Middle East?  I suppose there is hope, the more the Teabaggers’ spiritual brethren of the Left, the Firebaggers, carry on stirring up rifts and divisions amongst the Democratic Left and whoever is claiming to be its base on whatever given day and hour, longing for the primarier to step forth and put a nail in the Democratic coffin; but really a GOP victory in claiming the White House would be a bonus.

That would simply mean that cultural Armageddon would begin four years earlier, as opposed to a gridlock delay; still, in the words of Meatloaf, for them, two out of three won’t be bad.

Categories: Elections, GOP, News & Politics

19 Responses so far.

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  1. KQuark says:

    Marion I think your implication that the right wing GOP would be happy to have congress without the presidency is spot on. That way they can force the president to take unpopular positions just to stay relevant and when the policies don’t work blame him for blocking most of their agenda.

    Face it Republicans just don’t have a politician anywhere close to Obama and they know it. Obama is as close to a teflon president as the Dems have every had because most people simply like him.

    BTW I saw the head of the biggest teabagger group interviewed and teabaggers still amaze me. This ahole when question said he did not want guvment run healthcare so the interviewer asked him if he liked insurance companies running healthcare better. Then this brain dead teabagger droned on about taxes and said hid did not want guvment or insurance companies running health care implying that it should be people’s choice. Huh how stupid is this idiot. How is any individual going to pay for their own healthcare unless they want 19th century healthcare. It’s just amazing how these teabaggers are so absolutely nihilistic.

  2. Khirad says:

    Actually, this Mark McKinnon talking up of Perry (whom I’m sure he would want no part in such a campaign *wink*) is scaring the bejeezus out of me. Americans are suckers for that folksy, macho shit from Texas (as we already know).

  3. funksands says:

    I honestly feel that the GOP couldn’t care less if they control anything. Their constituents already control all of the money and most of the political power, so why would they care if Dems hold the majority of the offices?

    I think they enjoy being the minority party, while controlling the majority of the media, business, and political messaging.

    No blame while still proceeding with their business plan.

    • AdLib says:

      Ask yourself why billionaires need more money or power? Why didn’t they stop at being millionaires and just retire? How much more can $1 billion buy you than $100 million?

      It’s all about serving one’s own greed, that is the only principle behind these people. And greed is never sated, greed always wants more for the sake of having more.

      The Repubs fight nasty and hard to get as much power as they can get, handing it off to their corporate masters for huge rewards and everyone’s greed is served.

      Greedy people don’t like anyone in their way so I don’t agree, the Repubs don’t want the Dems getting in their way of robbing the public further to enrich themselves.

      Again, as odd as it may seem, as evil as some of the Repubs may be, they are only brilliant about gaming democracy and deception. They are not so talented or interested at understanding or empathizing with the public.

      The GOP’s major flaw is that they see the public as ignorant losers and patronize them that way. In good times, such condescending and manipulation can be very effective. When times are tough, the public can’t be convinced that losing their home while billionaires get more tax breaks is good for them.

    • funksands says:

      But that still doesn’t change the fact that all they have left are sociopaths, which does tend to limit their options on a national basis.

  4. escribacat says:

    Great analysis, Adlib. Makes my stomach a bit queasy. Hopefully, the Ryan budget and the Medicare scare will be the poison pill that keeps the senate blue.

    • AdLib says:

      Thanks Escribacat! I do think that will be the case. And it won’t hurt to have Obama’s coattails bringing more Dems into Congress, if he wins as strongly as I/m hoping he does.

  5. Abbyrose86 says:

    I’m actually thinking this makes a lot of sense and would be something they would do.

  6. jkkFL says:

    I’m kinda torn between both opinions. I do feel the GOP has given up on the ’12 Presidential Election, and has decided to focus on the House and Senate. I am Hopeful that the chaos in the states will result in a sound defeat for the GOP in both- but I am concerned about short memories and misleading (Koch) campaign advertising.

  7. lynettema says:

    Food for thought that will make your blood run cold.

  8. AdLib says:

    I agree with much of your article though I am bewildered by the assertion that much of the GOP seems calm about there not being a strong candidate. All we’ve seen is the exact opposite, desperation and frustration, urgency in recruiting Daniels and Christie, Karl Rove and John Boehner attacking Trump’s candidacy, cheerleading for Mitch Daniels and Jon Huntsman and a general plea and wishful thinking that a savior will appear.

    The Repubs are in disarray because they have become a party that can only oppose, not lead. When national elections aren’t solely a referendum on how awful the other party is and they have to convince people to vote “for” their candidate instead of “against” the terrible Dem socialist party, it’s a problem.

    They can succeed locally, deluding and deceiving those in particular communities and states who use anger and allegiance instead of critical thinking to choose who they’ll vote for. But finding a presidential candidate who’s more than a hollow cypher for corporations or consolidation of power, that isn’t distasteful to a national electorate, that’s a tough one for today’s GOP.

    As to conspiracy theories, such as the Repubs intentionally wanting a weak candidate so they can focus on winning the Senate, they are nearly always proven to be completely unfounded.

    The Presidential ticket drives voters to the polls and often has coat tails which influences which party wins more congressional seats. Intentionally putting a loser at the top of one’s ticket makes no sense.

    It may be hard to accept that the GOP has degraded to the point where they have such slim pickings for Presidential candidates but it is the case. And, those holdovers from the old GOP who chose not to run such as Huckabee, Daniels, Barbour, etc., see the writing on the wall. Obama is tough to beat especially after taking down Bin Laden and having to run so far right to win the nom of today’s GOP will necessarily make winning a national election less likely.

    Sometimes a degraded party is just a degraded party.

    • choicelady says:

      I have to agree, AdLib. I think there is another factor in play here and that is the complete and total (utterly mystifying) self-delusion of the GOP. Despite the plummeting polls, the recalls, the massive upheavals in Medicare-based town meetings, the GOP continues to believe the “people” are on their side.

      My fave photo of ALL time is a parakeet pecking at the tail of a large, black cat. The caption: “For one brief, shining moment, parakeet thought he’d won.” I think that’s true of the GOP -- they think they’ve won a permanent change to their views.

      No. They have not.

      While of course we have to worry about the lying that will emerge in 2012 from House to Senate to Presidential elections, I think they cannot recover. Even with the lamestream media not doing their job, I strongly suspect that they will lose many of the seats they took in 2010 because across the boards the victories were very broad but also very shallow. They overstepped themselves, have paid NO attention to people who elected them, and they’ve solidly LOST the independents and decline to state voters. The liberals and progressives are beginning to be shocked by the outcomes of their own failure to vote, and I think much of the world has turned 180 degrees from where we were in that by-election year.

      The single biggest fear I have is the RW capacity for massive corruption -- corrupt actions that will make Swiftboating look like a canoe paddle in a pond. I hope the Dems are strong enough, prepared enough, and smart enough to anticipate what could come in a variety of ways -- false scandals, market manipulation, even some “terrorist” action all designed to make the Dems look incompetent.

      But overall I think people now “get” the GOP and have had a belly full. They bought the “we want our country back” mantra, but it turns out that the “we” is the Kochs and their ilk, and yeah -- they want it back, OK -- so we can’t have it.

      I think if we keep up the drumbeat about the lying sacks of shit the GOP really are, if we keep reinforcing Dems including Blue Dogs who CAN be persuaded to do better if we are present with them, then we will prevail. But as always, my drumbeat is -- we all have to be involved. Our LIVES depend on it!

      • oldpol2 says:

        The other thing to consider is the complete over reach by the new Republican governors. They are, as we speak, turning many states into mini dictatorships. I would hope that these machinations would be enough to fire up the constituencies in each of these states and put the fear of God into nearby states who are observing these overthrows of democracy. Although I feel it’s a safe bet that many of these maneuvers are not being covered by Fox news. I would see it as a necesssity to make sure all voters realize what is happening under their very noses.

      • AdLib says:

        Very well put, CL. My take on the GOP is not that they think the people are on their side, more that they take for granted that voters are idiots who can be easily manipulated with tons of ad money and they’ve got the Kochs and Corps behind them. So, they seem to approach things like this, “We’ll grab all we can then spend millions convincing the suckers out there that it’s for their own good, always works.”

        I fully agree that the GOP has turned off for this cycle, many who put them in control of the House in 2010 and all the advertising in the world can’t reverse that trend. They will lose a lot of seats, especially the newbies. I mean, just look at what’s going on in NY, in a rock-ribbed GOP district where a Dem hasn’t win for 50 years, a Dem could win tomorrow.

        Yes, the RW and Corps will be firing on all financial barrels to get their puppets elected but this election is going to have a very simple theme from the Dems, “The GOP wants to take Medicare away from you, if they win, they will. If we win, we won’t let them.” That’s not a message that hundreds of millions can bury.

        Still, we shouldn’t take anything for granted and should work harder than ever to make this election echo 2008, keeping the Presidency and the Senate and try to take back the House.

        The wind’s at our back again, let’s unfurl those sails!

  9. agrippa says:

    I agree. The GOP may have given up on the Presidency for 2012 and do plan to concentrate on Congress: hold the House and get control of the Senate. That will give then what they want: gridlock.

    The GOP does not want to govern. It wants power ; power to keep out the Democrats. To the GOP, the best governing is in the states of the Old Confderacy. I think that those states are their model.

    I agree about the “firebaggers”. They are the sort of Jeremiahs who will “speak the truth to power” and run like the devil from any chance to to get power. Power corrupts; if you have you will have all those sorts of wishy washy things like think through complexity and make nuanced decisions. Maybe even have to do that ultimate corruption: compromise. It is far better to be a pure prophet

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