The Republican Party’s search for a presidential candidate is a bit like a musical revue. As the star (Mitt Romney) goes up and down the chorus line, one after another dancer emerges from obscurity into the spotlight, dazzles the audience for a few moments, before sinking back into the anonymous mass. Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Chris Christie, and now, most improbably, Herman Cain.
I wrote this paragraph on October 17 for my blog on the website of the Daily Mail. I enjoy writing these pieces, and I especially enjoy the fact-free and nonrational criticisms I receive mostly from American readers. There is, however, one big drawback: They require me to pay somewhat close attention to the presidential campaign. For some years I have been averting my gaze from the embarrassing state of American politics, and since the election of 2008, which pitted the two worst presidential candidates in American history against each other, I have felt nothing but disgust for both parties. Now here I am, a graybeard who should know better, paying attention to the wit and wisdom of the speechwriters hired by Herman Cain and Rick Perry.
The only excuse I can offer is the general sense of despair among sensible people who still cannot quite believe we have someone of Barack Obama’s low caliber in the White House. His utter and complete failure as President—something any normal person could have easily predicted—is now manifest even to his most servile worshipers. Just a few days ago Chris Matthews poured out his despair to an interviewer:
What are we trying to do in this administration? Why does he want a second term? Would he tell us? What’s he going to do in the second term? More of this? Is this it? Is this as good as it gets? Where are we going? Are we going to do something the second term? He has yet to tell us. He has not said one thing about what he would do in the second term.
Matthews went on to explain that the President and his White House team hardly ever called, much less personally confronted, his party’s congressional leaders. What a surprise—a shy, inarticulate, passive person who doesn’t want to meet aggressive Democrats who will show up his incompetence!
I really do not wish to hear the Democrats’ complaints. They wanted him for all the wrong reasons—a nice, clean person of color, as Joe Biden so candidly described candidate Obama, who made them feel good about themselves. Now they want to feel good again by offering honest criticisms of the man they put into the White House. I think they should all crawl into the sewer where they belong and pull the manhole cover over the hole and station a garbage truck permanently on top.
In the early days of the 20th century, the Democratic Party was proud to be the party of Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion. Throughout most of my lifetime, however, the Democrats have been the party of tax-consumers and degenerates, outsiders and losers: illegal aliens, welfare dependents, women who want to kill their babies, and the army of unionized government employees and public-school teachers who are drinking the blood and sweat of the people who actually do productive work.
The most inspiring politician in America today is Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker, who stood up to the union parasites who take some portion of their government dole and use it to buy the politicians who raise their salaries. The next step, after depriving public-sector unions of collective bargaining rights, should be to deprive them—and every other tax-consumer—of voting rights. Only then shall we be able to reverse the disastrous and ever-accelerating slide into the abyss.
The Democratic Party belongs not so much to the tax-consumers as to the wealthy and powerful people who use them as a power base that enables them to treat the rest of us like lab rats. Not just the big union leaders, but also the great tycoons who, not content with merely making money, seek more and more power: George Soros, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Al Gore’s great pal, the late Steve Jobs. I have said it before and I shall say it again: If these people are so rich, why ain’t they smart? They obviously know how to make money, and Jobs even knew how to make stuff I frankly wish had never been invented, but why, when it comes to the most basic and simple facts of life, must they all—with the exception of Soros, who is simply evil—be so incredibly stupid?
If the Democrats belong to the party of tax-consumers and their exploiters, the Republican Party, at its best, should be the party of tax-payers, of people who have a stake in the country in the form of a business, a farm, or a marketable skill. American elections, then, should be a contest between those who want to lower taxes and those who want to raise them, between those who love their country as it has been historically and those who, like Barack Obama, call for continuing revolution against whatever the United States have been and are now.
In fact, it is not that simple. In the current crop of Republican candidates, only Ron Paul speaks for the taxpaying and law-abiding citizens whose efforts and sacrifices keep this nation of scam artists and loafers afloat. The others have their strings pulled by a variety of special interests: Mitt Romney, by big-business interests, particularly the “defense” industry; Rick Perry, by the Hispanic lobby; Michele Bachmann (and the rest of them), by the Israel lobby and the “Christian” Zionist zombies who gave George W. Bush eight years in which to ruin the U.S. economy; and, finally, Newt Gingrich, who has sold himself to any lobby that would buy his services.
Gingrich really is a phenomenon. Now that his third wife has, so he says, converted him to Catholicism, he is the candidate of Catholic family values. I know a lot of Catholics do not read the Bible, but even the most rudimentary catechism includes the Sixth Commandment. But facts or truth have never mattered to Gingrich. After leaving Congress with his tail between his legs, Gingrich moved quickly to set up the Center for Health Transformation, attracting the support of the big insurance companies, who not surprisingly liked his idea for universally mandated health insurance. Gingrich now has the nerve to criticize Mitt Romney’s program in Massachusetts, for putting into practice Gingrich’s system. It is as if Governor Romney has bribed the current field of candidates to enter the race in order to make him look good.
Speculation aside, two perfectly defensible prejudices are motivating Republicans these days. The first can be summed up as “Anyone but Obama,” and the second is like unto it—“Nearly anyone but Romney.” From the start, nonetheless, Mitt Romney has been the man to beat, but not because he arouses any enthusiasm. Quite the contrary, even Romney’s supporters are lukewarm. (I am borrowing again, though loosely, from an authoritative source, my Daily Mail columns.)
Romney is the frozen TV dinner waiting at home if you forget to stop off and pick up something better. To his credit, Romney is an experienced manager, fairly glib, and handles himself well in debates and interviews, but he is boring, almost as boring as John McCain and Bob Dole, and like Dole and McCain, Romney thinks the party owes him the nomination in the same way the world owed him a living from the day he was born.
His life of privilege is perhaps his greatest drawback, greater even than his religion. Americans do not like rich people who think they are smart because their daddy made money. We also do not like the entire Northeast, because it is full of smart guys who look down their noses at “flyover country.” That is why, when New York City is on the verge of default or New England’s electricity is knocked out by a snowstorm, the rest of the country smiles, sinking back into an easy chair, and pours another beer.
The American dislike of Yankees has always been an obstacle to the political ambitions of Northeasterners. Not only did John Quincy Adams fail to win either the popular or the electoral vote, but he actually came in second to Andrew Jackson. The most recent New Englander—though not a Yankee—to win the presidency was John F. Kennedy, though he probably did not actually win. Not only did his booze-smuggling father buy significant primaries, but pals like Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, Texas Sen. Lyndon Johnson, and a whole army of Mafia dons stole the election in key metropolitan areas. Since Kennedy, Northeastern candidates like Mike Dukakis and John Kerry have gone down in flames.
So here we are. The GOP’s fallback—whom nobody wants—is a prissy New Englander, who can barely pretend to be a normal American. One by one Republicans have been trying out alternatives to the Mormon TV dinner that awaits them at the end of the day, but these alternative, one by one, turn out to be more like toxic waste than a decent meal or even takeout Chinese. Their names alone should send shudders up the spine of any campaign manager.
Conservatives outside of Texas had some hopes for Rick Perry, but most Texas Republicans with whom I have talked were convinced he is not ready for prime time. Perry is now making hay out of his failure in the debates. He’s a doer not a talker, who’s good with a teleprompter. “Vote for me,” he seems to be saying, “I’m a poorer speaker even than Obama!” More recently it has been lovable Herman Cain, whose inexperience and ignorance is matched by a kind of zany effrontery that initially endeared him to conservative Republicans who will vote for any politician who tells them the lies they wish to hear. But now, coming up in the stretch and neck and neck with the front runner, is once again Newt Gingrich.
Loyal Republicans are really at a loss. We cannot expect them to support Ron Paul, after all. Why, Dr. Paul would cut taxes, rein in the Federal Reserve, reduce the size of government. Surely, nobody wants that! Ron Paul would be another Calvin Coolidge.
This is not the America I was born in, and it is disgusting to think of what my generation has done to this once decent country. With few of the amenities of even a third-rate European nation—frankly, Serbia (where I’m going in a few weeks) is a great deal more fun—America’s only assets are wealth and power. As we become poorer—a development that seems inevitable—we shall have to rely on our power. If we cannot defeat China in the global marketplace, I suppose we can still nuke them.
I wish I were joking. Of course, we shall not actually have to bomb China, but it is pretty easy to predict that a failing superpower will rely on its power of intimidation to maintain its position. A few nonnuclear strikes at Iran might set the Chinese straight, much as our bombing of Belgrade sent the signal to Europe and, more particularly, to Russia that we were perfectly willing to fight a third world war on European soil.
So that, in a nutshell, is why the Republican Party should fire all its leading candidates and come up with something resembling a normal human being with sufficient political experience to make him electable. I hate to agree with the New York Times’ house “conservative” David Brooks, but at this point Romney is the only Republican candidate.
We simply cannot stand four more years of this failed President. The peace-loving hippies in this administration have tasted blood in Libya (sorry to set all that stuff in your head swirling, Herman), and I honestly don’t know what desperate move they might make. Saber-rattling warmongers are dangerous leaders, but far more dangerous, particularly in times of crisis, is the group of sissies and feminists who now have the defense and security of the United States in their hands.