Another Republican name in the game for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination – Thaddeus McCotter, who, as reported by the Chicago Tribune, is a “guitar-playing five-term congressman from Detroit’s suburbs known for his eccentric sense of humor and independent streak,” has thrown his hat in the ring for the GOP nod for president in 2012. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-mi-mccotter-2012-mic,0,718572…. I’m not sure what part of his policy positions is “independent,” because it appears that only the names change: McCotter is another anti-choice, anti-gay-marriage, anti-stem cell research dude, with a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee, a 100% rating from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for his pro-business (translation: anti-worker) stance, a 100% rating by the Christian Coalition for his “pro-family” voting record (scandal to come, I’m sure), rated “A” by the National Rifle Association ’cause he’s another whackadoodle gun-lover, with a 7% rating by the AFL-CIO, indicating a Walker’ish anti-union voting record.
Please tell me this consistently hard-right hack isn’t the GOP’s dark horse.
The field of GOP candidates is looking like a clown car. I’m losing count, but I think McCotter makes 16 candidates officially in the race – they all kind of run together, but Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann, are all, at various times, in various polls, the front-runners. The candidacies of Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Fred Karger, Andy Martin, Jimmy McMillan, Tom Miller, crazy pro-lifer Randall Terry, and Vern Wuensche generally elicit a one-word response: Who?
Polls still show a mish-mosh of schizophrenic support for the GOP candidates, although Romney still leads the pack at 24.3%; Palin and Perry, neither of whom are candidates yet, trail at 12.8 and 11.3, respectively, Cain stands at 9.7 and Bachmannn at 9.0. What kind of a field is this, that the second and third most popular candidates aren’t even candidates? The fact that Palin and Perry are polling so high indicates that the field is being narrowed to the hardest right “family values,” Christian, anti-abortion candidates possible.
I, personally, am waiting eagerly for the brawls to start between Bachmann and Palin. Where will it occur, I wonder? On Twitter, Facebook? Will they start posting nasty messages on each others’ walls, or engage in Tweet-beefs? You know it’s coming: Sarah Palin can’t stand to be upstaged, and Bachmann is starting to horn in on Palin’s base. It’s hard to tell which one of them is more of a know-nothing, and which of them is more of a pants-on-fire liar, but, at least for the moment, Bachmann has upstaged Palin in the idiocy department . . . yes, hard to believe, I know. Bachmann can barely open her mouth without a gaffe: Comparing herself to John Wayne Gacy, not knowing who the Founding Fathers were or even what they did (she thought John Quincy Adams was a Founding Father, and that the Founding Fathers ended slavery), and claiming the opening shots of the Revolutionary War were fired in New Hampshire rather than Massachusetts. She has so many pants-on-fire lies that when you fact-check her you have to wear full fire-fighting gear. And then there are her claims to be a fiscal hawk – she has yet to explain the federal money she received in farm subsidies for her husband’s family farm, and another packet of federal cash her husband received for his “Christian-based” counseling clinic. Not sure how the Tea Party is going to be able to square those facts with their agenda of no government money for anything . . . oh, wait, I know – par for the course, they’ll no doubt simply deny the “facts” are facts.
Aside from driving his Iowa campaign staff away, Herman Cain has done at least two remarkably stupid things lately: First, he’s taken a page out of Sarah Palin’s book, where any quote of his that sounds stupid is simply “gotcha” media (he referred to the media as “idiotic,” which is pretty close to Palin’s “lamestream”), and he’s gotten into a beef with Jon Stewart. It’s well-documented that, while scoffing at the 2700-page healthcare reform bill, Cain did say he wouldn’t sign a bill longer than three pages . . . but he was mad that the media quoted him. And when Jon Stewart mocked him on the same subject, Cain accused Stewart of racism. Now, call me crazy, but I’m thinking that someone who has clearly stated he wouldn’t appoint a Muslim to his administration – well, let me amend that . . . he wouldn’t have any Muslims who want to kill him (which, in his mind, is all of them) in his administration – is on pretty thin ice calling someone else racist. http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/06/13/244287/live-blogging-the-go… Not only that, he thinks the 14th Amendment granting birthright citizenship should be outright ignored and even repealed, and, when asked if the children of illegal immigrants who are born in America should be citizens, he said, “I don’t think so.”
Gingrich . . . well, what can we say about Gingrich except that his campaign staff bailed on him and he buys his high-maintenance wife a lot of jewelry at Tiffany’s. Guarantee that if he were elected president, his wife – unlike Michelle Obama -wouldn’t be shopping at The Gap. And, maybe I’m being a little harsh here, but when his own campaign staff doesn’t even like him and resigns, it doesn’t bode well for a national campaign for President. I suggest running an ad on Craig’s List.
Ron Paul, Mr. 6.7%-In-The-Polls, has been strengthening his conservative street creds by Obama-bashing in general, Obama-bashing on Libya, and throwing red meat to the teabaggers. Paul believes absolutely everything is unconstitutional, including Medicare and Social Security), and – at least for a while – Paul figured his bread and butter was to run on an anti-Romney campaign. I haven’t heard him say anything lately, though, about how unfair the Civil Rights Act was to white property owners – somewhere along the line it must have dawned on him that he has to win a national election, and those positions, while dear to Republicans, are not so palatable to any sane, thinking person.
Following the second Republican debate, Think Progress noted, “Pawlenty finally shows some of the decisiveness that everyone has been waiting for. Unfortunately, it comes in response to the question ‘Coke or Pepsi?'” Poor Tim Pawlenty. All he wants is a little respect . . . and here he is, sitting at 5.5% in the polls behind the Bobbsey Twins, Palin and Bachmann, Islamaphobe Herman Cain and even Rick Perry. He, too, is trying very hard to beef up his hard right street creds – Pawlenty, along with Bachmann (of course), Santorum (of course), Ron Paul and Newt signed the strict anti-abortion pledge being required of all GOP candidates who want to be on the Kool-Aid-drinking rolls. Romney, Cain and Huntsman have not yet signed it – although Romney looks a little like a weak link as a holdout.
We don’t save the best for last, we save the craziest for last – in the second Republican debate, Rick Santorum used some good old boy gunplay language, saying, “I’ve taken the bullets” on the abortion issue. Considering that his own wife had a troublesome pregnancy – and said she would have agreed to an abortion to save her own life for the benefit of her other children (although I’m sure Santorum would say it was just entirely, totally different in his case, eliminating a live fetus at 19 weeks to save his wife’s life), Santorum takes a pretty damned hard stance against anyone who would have a legal abortion, even going so far as to say doctors who perform abortions should be brought up on criminal charges. I mean, really – have any of these people heard of Roe v. Wade? Of course, in partnership with forcing women to have children they don’t want, Santorum also advocates a plan to change the food stamp program, which the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found would “throw millions of low-income families off the rolls, cut benefits by thousands of dollars a year, or some combination of the two.” Once again, Santorum demonstrates the hard right’s position: Life begins at conception and ends at birth. And with respect to gay marriage . . . well, he’s of the Bill O’Reilly “soon we’ll all be allowed to marry frogs” mindset. Gay marriage, to Santorum, is the end of civilization as he knows it: “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.” And if we let gays marry, well, everything is on the table – we’ll all be encouraged to mate with reptiles.
I’d say the Republican ideologies are pretty well represented, all and all, within the main stable of candidates. Ridicule the stimulus with one hand while taking it with the other: Check. Let the U.S. default on its debt by not raising the debt ceiling: Check. Corporate welfare: Check. Criminalize abortion: Check. Throw poor people off public aid: Check. Ban gay marriage: Check. End birthright citizenship and dismantle the 14th Amendment: Check. Slice and dice Medicare and Social Security: Check. Make Muslim-bashing a national sport: Check. Dispute that the Affordable Care Act helps anyone: Check.
And, of course, everything is President Obama’s fault . . . check.