Monday, December 5, 2011

"What Were They Thinking?"

By Alan Caruba

The thing I fear most right now is having to write a column about the Republican Party in late November 2012 with the title, “What Were They Thinking?”

Let’s put it this way. No incumbent President since Jimmy Carter has had worse polling numbers than Barack Hussein Obama.

The question—the fear—on the minds of most Republicans these days is whether the Party intends to commit political suicide by choosing the wrong candidate to run against Obama and to add to their present agony, it has a litter of candidates who run the gamut from charisma-challenged to scarily brilliant.

Let’s review the choices.

Jon Huntsman, a former Governor of Utah, is in the race I’m convinced only because he harbors a deep animus for Mitt Romney, a former Governor of Massachusetts and fellow Mormon. Oh? You didn’t notice we have not one, but two, Mormons running? We do. No matter. Huntsman has so far managed to keep his tinfoil hat hidden in a box in the trunk of his car. Fortunately and wisely virtually no one is paying him any attention.

Then there’s Michele Bachmann. Frankly, I don’t want to have to listen to Nanny Michele for four years telling me to clean my plate because there are starving children somewhere in the world. She gained notice leading the Tea Partiers against Obamacare. Good for her. Now please return to the House of Representatives and leave us alone.

Rick Santorum is a very nice fellow and that’s his problem. He’s too nice. He doesn’t scare me or anyone else. In a dangerous world, I want a President who just might blow the hell out of some nation or other. He’s stuck on the abortion issue when the majority of Americans have, for better or worse, moved on.

The Cain Train officially derailed on Saturday, Nov. 4, and saved us from having to further give him any serious attention. I don’t much care that a bunch of dubious women claimed he was a sex fiend. I do care that Herman couldn’t find Ecuador or Chad on the map if his life depended on it. He had no experience working with a legislature or in politics except for losing one race in Georgia. He was and is extraordinarily unqualified to be the President of the United States

It pains me to say this because I love Texans and have many friends who live there, but Governor Rick Perry is not ready for prime time. Granted that Texas is big enough to be a small nation, most people outside of Texas are unaware that its legislature meets in regular session on the second Tuesday in January of each odd-numbered year for a session that is limited to 140 calendar days! Perry is charming and fairly bright, but even I could run Texas by drinking heavily for 140 days every other year.

I will not even linger over Ron Paul because he is a Libertarian and widely believed to have come from another planet. Paul gives “old”, “cantankerous” and “opinionated” whole new meanings when you put those words together in a sentence.

In March of this year I wrote about “the Newt-ster” saying that Newt Gingrich “intellectually, is head and shoulders above anyone else in the race. In terms of pure brain power, he has a real grasp of most issues.” Gingrich has a grasp of every side of every issue because, at one time or another, he has been on it. If, however, you had heard him speak to the Polk County Republican Party in Iowa last week you would know he would wipe the floor with Obama in a debate. For all his flaws—and who does not have flaws—he has an historian’s and working politician’s grasp of issues, big and small. Do I agree with him on all of them? No, but I think he could make the changes needed to turn the nation around and I believe he has a passionate love of America.

Which leaves us with Mitt Romney; old sure-and-steady, a man who has had the political misfortune of actually changing his mind over the years, largely because he ran as a Republican in one of the most Democratic States of the Union…and won!

Romney is an attractive, intelligent, and very well qualified candidate, having succeeded in the worlds of politics and business. Let’s also give him points for having lived a moral life as a good husband and father. He has made it this far without a single major gaffe, but Romney increasingly gives the impression of being robotic. He is locked into his political gameplan and talking points, and it has worked to this point. It may get him the nomination.

Of the two, Gingrich is just more fun to listen to as he speaks extemporaneously, citing Jefferson and Lincoln, quoting the Declaration of Independence, reminding us why the first Americans fought a Revolution. Gingrich has already made some history of his own, wresting control of Congress away from the Democratic Party in the mid-1990s. He could do it again.

The Republican Party made a spectacular mistake in 2008 when they choose John McCain. I think the Iowa primary will give Gingrich a win. I think the New Hampshire primary will give Romney a win. After that, money—lots of it—and organization will make the difference.

What matters above all other considerations is that the Republican Party must have a candidate who can send Obama packing. If that happens, America’s future will begin to improve in the late evening of November 6 when the election results come in.

© Alan Caruba, 2011


James Enfield said...

I still haven't picked a candidate yet, but I fear I must resign myself to supporting Romney or Newt...
Still, I turned 18 years old when Obama usurped the Presidency, and I will be 22 when he is thrown out. No matter who beats him, justice will be served.

Alan Caruba said...

James, the best thing about time is that, if you can endure it, most bad things go away eventually. For both of us, the top of the current list is Obama.

Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with you on ALL counts...

What tends to truly PISS. ME. OFF. is the fact that if THIS is the best field the GOP can muster, if these people are the *best and the brightest* America has to offer in the name of Conservatism, we, as a nation, are SCREWED..

Cederq said...

Mr Caruba,
I meet Newt Gingrich one time at a Republican fundraiser and at that time I was a registered Republican, I can't say I agree with you on this, I consider myself a fairly astute man and I wanted as urgently as I could, go wash my hands and my ears out, my impression? A sleaze above all the other sleazes out there

Kevin Cederquist

Alan Caruba said...

Kevin: Would you rather have the opportunity in the next four years to shake OBAMA'S hand and have to listen to his lies? Granted, Newt may not have impressed you much, but what matters are his knowledge, experience and leadership. Time will tell.

Alan Caruba said...

Fred: In a perfect world, any one of a dozen others should be running for office.

My commentary simply looks at the field we have and, in fact, my view of Newt from last March has changed, given the present circumstances.

I am just glad Herman Cain is gone. The sooner Ron Paul leaves the field, the better. The others, except for Newt and Romney are toast.

Ronbo said...

I hope the Newtster wins the GOP nod, because I believe he has the potential to be another Lincoln.

...And this country is gonna need Lincoln II to get us out of the corner we have painted ourselves.

Yes, I know the Newtster has taken some positions that are 180 degrees away from reality, like sitting on a divan with Demo Diva Nazi Pelosi for the greater glory of the Big Lie of Global Warming.

But what am to do? My favorite Sarah Palin is not on the ballot and Oliver Cromwell has been dead going on 400 years.

Dave's Daily Day Dream said...

Alan, you write: "He’s stuck on the abortion issue when the majority of Americans have, for better or worse, moved on."
I disagree with you on the notion that the country has "moved on" on this issue. They are simply uninformed. Planned Parenthood has received more than $321 million so far this year from taxpayers whilst killing more than 300,000 unborn children. If the American public would give some thought to this holocaust of the most innocent, they would move to stop this unconstitutional spending and send those elected representatives who continue to support it back to their districts.

Dave's Daily Day Dream said...

Ron Paul is good at "stirring up the pot" and that's exactly what the people need to experience. Once hard questions are asked and real answers demanded, then, and only then, will we move forward.

Guy in Ohio said...

I wonder how many wonderful people of Presidential caliber are sitting in the wings, wanting to step forward and serve their country, but scared to death of exposing themselves and their families to the meat grinder that is our MSM? We've allowed our media to be hijacked by the left, and I often wonder if there is any way we'll ever be able to restore the balance.

One thing is certain ... as long as the media remains as biased toward the left as it is, it's going to be difficult to coax "normal" conservative people into politics. This imbalance, and the fear it injects into our political process, could easily bring our Republic to its knees, and that's a damn shame...

Donna Harris said...

I live in Utah, and thought Huntsman would be a good governor. I was never so glad as when he went to China as the ambassador and had to step down. His successor has been trying to undo Huntsman's damage since. My least favorite has been a 4 day work week for state employees, closing state offices on Fridays. Why? "Global warming."

What??? Huntsman really is just riding on his daddy's money.

Romney did a great job with the 2002 Olympics. He's turned around seemingly impossible situations.

I still hold concerns that he won't be able to turn us around, but at least he won't be driving the country off the cliff as fast as the current POTUS.

I hope.0

Lime Lite said...

Alan - I have to agree with you on all counts. As an outsider looking in, the only one who has impressed me to date is Newt. Romney reminds me of a snake-oil salesman - there is just something about him that doesn't quite add up. He has a very cunning smile and comes across as plastic and rehearsed. Newt, for all his faults, at least has American interests at heart and is wise. He knows the constitution. Will he make mistakes - undoubtedly, but he is the best person for the job at the moment. I think he needs to take a young conservative (eg. Marco Rubio) as his VP so that he can hand the reins over to him in 8 years time. said...

Hi Alan, you're at the very top of my "bookmarked" list for a very good reason - you have the uncommon ability to identify the big picture for any given concern (like Newt) then clearly and persuasively speak the truth within - like Newt.

At any rate, my choice is Newt for all the very same reasons you have listed. Nonetheless, I will vote for and fully support ANY Republican should any other prevail over Newt. Our choice is either Liberty or Tyranny. It is that simple.

Cederq said...

Mr Caruba,
Shake obama's hand? Never in a million, million years, be crass and spit in his face and snub him? everyday for a million, million years.

Kevin Cederquist

Alan Caruba said...


Rich Kozlovich said...


I have shared my thoughts with you on this before. I still wouldn't trust Newtie if he told me that day was light and night was dark, and I do have serious concerns regarding his greenie ideas and his ability to flip and flop without seeming to do so.

As a historian he has clearly read Machiavelli’s The Prince and practices the principles laid out there with the greatest of ease, including the need to appear publically righteous with his recent religious epiphany.

I heard a lady that attended that 'secret meeting’ of conservative leaders with Newtie on Bill Bennet’s radio show this morning talking about that very thing. That was his most amazing piece of brilliance. We are now obligated to forgive him for all of his transgressions and accept him. Oh well…..I guess everyone will just have to hold their noses as the alternative is too unpleasant to contemplate.

And to my fellow Ohioan....I agree!