The Republican Party, as ever but especially with regard to having a viable candidate for the 2012 Presidential election, is empty as a pocket. The obvious choices, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, have nothing to offer the electorate. Instead, they harp on reversing the legislative accomplishments of the Obama administration. This is the epitome of not addressing the present and the future, but living in the past. This is government wishing and working towards a time that has come and gone. This is the GOP barring any semblance of innovation, growth, financial recovery and international respect from identification with the United States of America.
First off though, I admit that I have written little recently about President Obama. Since the end of last year, when he managed to finesse a solution to the tax cut question (yes, he had to compromise by keeping the cuts in place for the wealthy in order to prevent higher taxes for the middle class. This is a policy that is hard to swallow, but swallow it we will. It probably will come back to haunt us very shortly.), get DADT repealed (followed up this month by an order to the Department of Justice to refrain from defending DOMA) and sign the START treaty, he has not needed my help! Thank you very much, but he is doing just fine on his own. Guided by his new, less showy, staff in the West Wing, he has honed his leadership skills. Using his political experience and maturity, his ongoing analysis of the problems at hand, his sharpened focus and his patience with trying his best to get the answers right, he IS getting done what needs to get done. Above all, President Obama has vision backed up with an committment to better the American people.
I see no such leader on the Republican front. I am just not feeling it. I am also not reading, hearing or seeing any substantive efforts by the GOP to address the problems we face today that will affect our tomorrow. In November, the GOP regained the majority in the House and told America that a new day was coming once those representatives took their oaths of office. Hello? Where is that new day? Led by the ever-tearful John Boehner, the new House has undertaken a bid to outlaw the new health care reform, to reinstate tighter restrictions on abortion and other reproductive rights, to undo the collective bargaining rights of our people and to fight tooth and nail to keep DOMA in place. Where is their understanding and acknowledgement, exemplified by a real platform, of the exigencies of America today? To endlessly cling to their mantra of free-market principles with little regulation does not help our situation. Moreover, their political dedication to dated, medieval ideals always includes a restrictive basis on social policy.
Newt Gingrich is the epitome of lack of vision, focus and follow-through. One day he announces that he is establishing an exploratory committee for the 2012 election and the next day, even the next hour, he denies such a plan. Gingrich is all bluster and not much substance. Remember his Contract With America during the Clinton years? He swept on to the scene as Speaker of the House with his grandiose plan, managed to shut down the government and when his short-lived fame had run its course, he was gone, off to turn his fame into real bucks. Now he’s back, but still with no viable agenda for America other than bluster. He has not been an effective leader and I see no indication that the situation has changed.
Most offensive however, is his recent re-dedication to faith as a last resort tactic to salvaging his presidential aspirations. Be sure to read the link. It is a great article. Gingrich’s personal history is a mess, having been married three times. His moral behavior during those marriages has been that of a bottom feeder. For example, at the same time he led the troops to impeach President Clinton for his sexual forays in the White House, Gingrich was having an affair with his mistress (now Wife #3) while still married to Wife #2. Now he asks us to elect him to the highest office in the land because his conversion to Catholicism has made him a new man. Ugh. To me, this rediscovery of religion is just another political ploy that exemplifies his lack of focus and his emphasis on the moment. Religion is often used as a last ditch effort, a false means to recoup, get a clean slate and even ask for forgiveness and redemption, by public figures to erase all their corruption, hypocrisy and greedy ambition that often typified their lives so far. Empty as a pocket.
Mike Huckabee is just as deceptive as is Gingrich. Huckabee spoke this week and gave credence to the false belief that President Obama was raised in Kenya. His aides later said that Huckabee misspoke, and meant to say Indonesia. Liars. Huckabee spoke of the Mau Mau movement in Kenya. Certainly he knew that took place in Africa and not Indonesia. This was an intentional slur on Huckabee’s part to give validity to those who will do everything to malign our President and oust him from office, including lying about his birthright and citizenship. Despite Huckabee’s midwestern, unpresupposing, down-home demeanor, make no bones about it: this misstep was absolutely calculated and deliberate. After all, in lieu of an agenda based on our country’s needs today, it is just so much easier to retake the helms of leadership by vicious, pernicious and false accusations. Presidential material? Empty as a pocket.
Finally, Mitt Romney is just not a contender. He did a fantastic job running the 2002 winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, the Office of the President is not a comparable venue to the winter games. Romney is also grasping at straws for a platform that just does not exit within the rank and file of the GOP. This week, Romney criticized Obamacare when in fact, a large part of that legislation is based on the health reform plan Romney put into effect when he was Governor of Massachusetts. Romney is just another Republican lightweight trying to find the easy way to the Presidency. Empty as a pocket.
George Will has written a great piece on Gingrich and Huckabee. Do read it here. The outlandish and eccentric antics of Gingrich and Huckabee in making a run for the Presidency is frightening. Are they just stupid, lazy and overly ambitious, or are their political behaviors representative of delusional disorders? Here is an excerpt from Will’s article, specifically on these two “candidates” and generally on the emptiness of the GOP:
So the Republican winnowing process is far advanced. But the nominee may emerge much diminished by involvement in a process cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons.
I cite this scary, negativity with relation to the 2012 elections as a cautionary tale. The off-course, intentionally malevolent behaviors of the GOP’s supposed “mainstream” candidates can open the way for real trouble in our national politics. Have you considered the more “outsider” candidates, such as the ticket of Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann? Both of these women are contemplating a run in 2012. One is crazier than the next. Palin clings to the GOP’s age-old, tired and fall-back position that free markets, social conservatism and fundamental religion will solve America’s problems. Bachmann takes that platform to even more ridiculous heights. Both of them: empty as a pocket.
The danger is that a fringe candidate just might seize our Presidency. When such political wannabes have financial success in the real world, coupled with an adoring public, they seem to jump to the next level of hedonism and narcissism and assume that there would be no one better than they to lead this country. The voting public unfortunately, grabs on to the candidates coat strings as a pathetic means to imbuing themselves with some of the luster they believe these public figures embody. These potential Presidential candidates are as empty as a pocket, but their media access and financial success have, they believe, bestowed them with “diamonds on the soles of their shoes.” Their desire for wealth has been supplanted by their desire for power. This the real danger.
Whether the GOP presidential nominee might be Gingrich, Huckabee, Romney, Palin or Bachmann, we must be vigilant that none of them gets that chance based on using diamonds on the soles of their shoes, for themselves as well as the American electorate, as a cover-up for empty pockets.
Tags: Barack Obama's successes, Gop has a reactionary platform, Gop has no agenda, Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee intentional lies about Obama's birth and childhood, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich reliance on morality despite his own lapses, Sarah Palin