Send in the clowns
No seriously, a troupe of clowns might add some intelligence and class to the Republican presidential-nomination race. As it stands, we have:
Mitt Romney, who is going to get nominated because he’s kept his damn mouth shut, even though he’s a Mormon, which apparently is somehow more worrying than…
Rick Perry, who has explicitly endorsed, in gubernatorial capacity, evangelical Christianity (personal note: I have nothing but unpleasant feelings about evangelicalism). Oh, and he has failed the “keep-your-damn-mouth-shut” test. Not just failed, more like faceplanted in gravel. “The three agencies that, when I get there, are gone–Commerce, Education, and uh…let’s see…the third one…I can’t [remember].” That was a hilarious moment, but did anyone actually hear him say that he wants to abolish the Dept. of Education?!
Newt Gingrich, who may or may not be actually running. Didn’t he say he wasn’t running not too long ago, and now he’s out talking about ending child labor laws? Hey! Fire all the janitors and replace them with elementary kids! I am not kidding. This man wants that to happen.
Michelle Bachmann, your friendly neighborhood anti-science, anti-feminism, pro-theocracy, unashamedly bigoted candidate who thinks “Not all cultures are equal” and global warming is a voodoo hoax. I realize that the page I’m about to link to is biased, but just read the quotations. The only thing that could make those things okay is if she turned out to be an undercover candidate employed by the Daily Show. Seeing as she is an actual elected Congresswoman, I’m pretty sure she actually believes these things.
Rick Santorum. Don’t Google him.
Jon Huntsman, who is apparently in the running? He, like Romney, is a Mormon (listen, to each their own, but I am astonished that people actually believe the claims of Mormonism) who has enough sense to keep his mouth shut. Apparently, these candidates’ popularity directly correlates with their insanity. Good sign for Huntsman, but I seriously suspect he’s too moderate for the Republican Party nowadays. Anyway, I’m suspicious of a candidate whose “issues” page only lists four issues, all of them advocating “American exceptionalism.” American exceptionalism is a pretty transparent code phrase for “America is the best at everything and fuck the rest of you.”
Ron Paul: “Not racist, but very popular with racists!” Well, okay, maybe he’s racist too. In any case, he seems to think this country is at a place, socially, where we can do away with civil rights laws and have totally harmonious race relations. Yeah, um, no. Paul is a libertarian in the extreme sense. He wants to do away with regulations, agencies, just slash it all because a country of 300 million people should be capable of fending for itself, right? Fending for the rich and powerful, maybe, but social supports are in place for a reason. That reason is that it’s a good idea to keep your citizenry alive. I don’t see that Paul realizes this. He’s really popular on the Internet (among white supremacists, anarchists, and male-dominated communities), and to his credit, he does seem to employ a measure of critical thought. Except the whole creationism thing. Creationism and rational thought are fundamentally incompatible, sorry.
Herman Cain…oh, Herman. Repeatedly accused of sexual assault, recently bragged to a crowd that he was so relieved that a doctor of his wasn’t Muslim, oh-so-cleverly quipped that for President “we need a leader, not a reader,” and proponent of the “9-9-9” tax plan, which places an incredibly heavy burden on the poor and doesn’t do a damn thing about the loopholes provided to the rich. I really hope he’s secretly an actor trying to see how ridiculous you can be and still be a viable candidate, but I know better than that.
Back in 2008, I thought the worst thing that could happen in 2012 was a Sarah Palin presidential run. Now, of course, she’s found it more profitable to be a reality TV star (well, her show was canceled after one season, but she had a show) and a Fox News talking head. (Fox News: Because Facts are Bad For You!) We might not have to worry about her this year, but somehow, astonishingly, even worse candidates have slithered out of the woodwork. You know, people say that “if ___ is elected, I’m moving to Canada!” Well, I have no plans to move to Canada, because if any of the above are elected, I’m going to get a lot of perverse enjoyment out of the resulting clusterfuck. And then I’ll cry, once I remember that the clusterfuck affects me too.
Oh, and for the record, I’m not thrilled about the prospect of voting for Obama. I hesitated to vote for him last year but did anyway because he wasn’t running with Palin (that’s very similar to running with scissors). I hope something changes if he is reelected, though. Although the Democratic Party is pretty solidly centrist, and Obama the Kenyan socialist Muslim (seriously, what?!) is too conservative for my taste, centrism doesn’t have to imply apathy. If the Democrats actually stood up to the Republican bullies, we might not be veering sharply toward a far-right theocracy. I mean, we’d still be going there, but not as fast.
Here’s what I want to see from a hypothetical Obama 2nd term. A universal healthcare option. Legalization of same-sex marriage. End the “war on drugs.” De-privatize the prison system. Finalize a solid plan to un-fuck the budget. Laugh out loud, publicly, the next time someone seriously brings up the birth certificate thing.