Friday, August 12, 2011

The Sound and The Fury...

What we saw at last night’s Republican Debate in Iowa:

1. Newt Gingrich: I must admit that Newt has always been a favorite of mine, for some very good reasons. First, Gingrich is, like me, an historian. I’ve always felt that in politics, historians generally have an advantage; they have a vast store of knowledge upon which to draw when it comes to putting problems into their proper context and in analyzing/comparing current political and social conditions with what has occurred in the past. It has been said that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat its mistakes, and if there were anything we needed more than ever these days, it’s someone who can avoid the stupidity which brought this country to its current sorry state of affairs.

That kind of knowledge, and the ability to put it to practical use, is something we desperately need.

Gingrich is also a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and as such, can solve two of our biggest issues; the inability of Congress to get any productive work done – mostly for ideological reasons -- and the propensity of the American public to continually vote for Congresscritters who believe their job is to rush to the nearest television camera in order to spout talking points which largely consist of lots of words strung together into a series of non-sequitors, while simultaneously dodging responsibility for anything. It’s all about appearances and pretenses with the Modern, American Politician, and results are only measured in terms of whether or not they get to keep their cushy jobs.

While many (small ‘c’ intentional) conservatives blame our mostly self-inflicted wounds on individual personalities (particularly President Obama), it has been clear to anyone with enough sense not to stick their wet genitals into a wall outlet that it’s not the President (in terms of the office, not the man), but our business-as-usual-bought-and-paid-for legislative process, presided over by total idiots, that is the root cause of much of our current peril. Gingrich has been there and done that, as they say, and he’s particularly well-suited to guiding policy proposals over the rocks and shoals of the legislative process. And he has the faculties to do it intelligently and reasonably.

Newt is a pragmatic Republican, an adjective that has become about as popular as tainted pork in Right-wing politics today, and by that I mean principled compromise, not the Gun-to-your-head-I-get-what-I-want-or-I-call-you-nasty-names-on-TV sort of ‘compromise’ we tend to get. It is a quality – and mindset -- which is needed desperately in Washington these days.

Having been virtually irrelevant to the Republican race for several months, Gingrich finally rounded into form last night; that sort of forum, a debate, is exactly Newt’s greatest strength. On the republican side of the ledger there is simply no one better equipped to make the case for a GOP victory in 2012. Compared to Gingrich, President Odingbat is a hollow shell; the man who has no plan – for anything – and who’s only weapons are lofty-but-empty speeches, posturing, and whining, who looks like a five-year-old in his father’s suit playing make-believe in front of the bedroom mirror.

A Gingrich-Obama Presidential Debate would make for the most interesting television in American History, if only because it would be like watching a lamb (Obama) led to the slaughter, with a huge streak of comic relief as an added bonus; Obama’s presumed-and-wholly-manufactured-by-the-Press so-called ‘towering intellect’ stands about as much chance against Newt Gingrich in a stand-up debate as a window screen has of stopping an anti-tank rocket.

If Gingrich has a weakness, however, it’s that old line social conservatives hate his fucking guts because of his penchant for ditching wives and parking-lot quickie affairs. But, if push came to shove, they might find themselves quite ready and able to hold their noses and pull the lever for him. The alternative is far worse than that presented by a man who can be considered a Republican Bill Clinton: a brilliant politician, with real skills and conservative ideas, who just happens to have a less-well-known zipper-control problem.

If Bill Clinton can be considered a ‘success’ as President, Newt Gingrich can easily make Billy Jeff and Barry O, combined, look like Millard Fillmore after a hefty dose of Thorazine.

2. Mitt Romney: I’ve never been a great fan of Mitt, if only because he’s what ‘real’ conservatives (you know, the sort who insist that it’s the government’s job to put the Ten Commandments on everything) consider him to be yet one more elitist, Northeastern RINO (Republican in Name Only), a breed which has a bad reputation despite the fact that there’s probably more ‘real’ conservatives within their ranks than there are anyplace else (Rudy Giuliani suffers from the same perception, and they don’t come more small-government, low-tax, law-and-order conservative than Rudy).

A few weeks back Herman Cain, another of the contenders in the contest to see who gets to run against President Douchebag, told an inconvenient truth (sorry, Mr.Gore) about Romney, and got his ass handed to him in a fit of wholly manufactured outrage over religious bigotry;

Cain hinted that no Mormon could ever win a GOP primary in the South, where being a Mormon is the next, best, thing to being a convicted, serial child molester. Romney has also changed his ‘official’ position on Abortion more often than I change underwear. This opens him up to the criticism that he’s irresolute, opportunistic, hypocritical, and a liar.

All of that, incidentally, hat would still be an improvement over the Obama-Reid-Pelosi cabal, but it sticks in the craw of Bible-thumping, ‘real’ conservatives.

Personally, I don’t hold with that thinking in this sense, only: if given a straight-up choice between Romney and Obama, many evangelical Southerners could quickly check their religious chauvinism at the door and stuff the ballot box for Romney faster than you could say “Sherman’s March to the Sea”. Romney doesn’t strike me as particularly ‘Presidential’ (then again, neither does Obama) except in the most-shallow sense: he looks as if he might have been the model upon which Mattel patterned Barbie’s metrosexual companion, the Ken doll. Such things usually only matter to voters who normally couldn’t tell the difference between a tax reform proposal and a pile of horse shit, which incidentally, probably accounts for 10% of the voters on either side of the aisle.

But Romney is an obvious improvement over what we have now, and you don’t need to be a political analyst or expert to see it. His flaws are, generally speaking, those you would expect to see in an ambitious man. In this way, Romney is no different than 90% of the politicians we’re currently saddled with, but that other 10% of politicians often has some genuinely attractive qualities about them; they’re committed to doing the right thing, no matter how painful, if only because that’s what’s required.

If there’s one thing that soured me on Romney (again) last night it was his continued ability to play the slippery eel when asked a direct question on an important policy issue. In this case, it was a question about state-run health care systems. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney was responsible for a ’reform’ of the state system that was the very model for the monstrosity known as Obama Care. Romney was asked specific questions about where the Constitutional authority to mandate that citizens buy insurance came from, and why his plan was essentially different from Obama’s, and he dodged the issue with that tried-and-tested, stock evasive maneuver: talk a lot about the 10th Amendment while demonstrating no understanding of it’s intent, but speak confidently in your attempt to slip the noose and make a lot of decisive-looking hand gestures. If Romney learns to just man up and say “yeah, you got me on that one, I was wrong, but here’s the lessons I’ve learned…” he’d go a long way to slipping that image and being a lot more trustworthy than mere appearances give him credit for.

On most other issues, I think Romney is right, or very close to being so, but it is this inability to be frank when stark honesty is required that troubles me the most about him.

3. Michele Bachmann: I really do hate to criticize Michele Bachmann, if only because most of the criticism she gets these days is totally unfair, politically-biased, and borders on the gratuitously vicious (although she doesn’t get the full Sarah Palin treatment from the Press, it is damned-near close), but after last night’s performance – and it was a performance – I think I have to chime in with my two pennies.

Bachmann is, quite literally, brilliant. I doubt you’d find many women in American politics in this day and age that could sport the same kind of intellectual firepower that Bachmann brings to the table (and when you stop to consider the likes of Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi and Patty Murray, it’s hard to make the case that she’s a blathering idiot). She suffers, however, from the same disease that most brilliant people usually contract: she often displays a lack of common sense.

She also doesn’t let any hint of a personal slight roll off her back, a quality that politicians sometimes have to have if they’re to be good leaders. You can’t let the opposition get under your skin and make it personal.

That was demonstrated by her determination to continue sparring with Tim Pawlenty, another Minnesotan who, in the grand scheme of things, has no hope of garnering the GOP nomination unless the rest of the field suffers simultaneous and fatal cardiac arrests. Worse, she was compelled to continue sparring with Pawlenty over arcane peculiarities of Minnesota State House, all of it over something a decade in the past.

All you heard out of Bachmann last night is that she ‘fights’. Don Quixote fought, too, you know, but like Bachmann, most of his battles took place on fields that became increasingly divorced from conventional reality; even if Quixote’s heart was always in the right place, it was clear that his head was firmly ensconced within his own posterior. Bachmann labors under the handicap of not knowing when to stop, of not knowing when to change tactics, of being unaware that, past a certain point, sheer tenacity may, indeed, win you a battle, but very often loses you the war. There has to be something beyond “I’m fighting for _______”, and there doesn’t appear to be that much more, here. As proof, I offer that Pawlenty shoved her legendary tenacity right back up her poop chute when he said (paraphrasing) “Sure you’ve fought, but what, exactly, have you actually won?”

And he was right.

Bachmann was ‘against’ raising the debt ceiling. She came out on the losing side. Bachmann was against Obama Care, and she lost that one, too. Bachmann was against TARP, Stimulus, you-name-it-she-was-against-it, and always comes out on the short end of the stick. This is not, strictly speaking, Bachmann’s personal failure, and it is important to make the case that, as President, she would put the country on a 180 course, but all she’s doing is highlighting her failure and not pushing the case that she can be successful.

In short, she’s giving the impression that she picks her battles unwisely and then fights them badly. You need to show some successes if you want to be elected to the highest office in All The Land, and you need to show the ability to actually stand FOR something, rather than just reciting the long list of things you’ve always been AGAINST, emerging from the trenches battered and bloody, and a loser, for all your efforts.

And having had her failures presented to her by such a milquetoast who couldn’t find his own ass with both hands and a road map – Pawlenty – was bad form. It was even worse form to continue to, tenaciously, rise to his challenge. She was unable to recognize that Pawlenty is no real threat to her candidacy, and then gaffed by getting sandbagged like that and then being totally unaware that she had been.

On the lowest-common-denominator side of the ledger, Michele Bachmann simply scares the fertilizer out of people with that Thousand-Yard Stare of hers. That doesn’t really matter to me, but it does matter to the brain-dead masses that we expect to exercise careful consideration – despite any evidence that they actually do --in our elections. You know, these are the same people who are compelled watch Jersey Shore, even when they detest everything it stands for, just so that they can sit in front of the television, tut-tut, and talk themselves into thinking that they’re morally and intellectually superior to Snooki.

All things considered, I’m beginning to believe that Bachmann is simply the Bizarro Obama; in many ways, she’s a mirror opposite, possessed of all the same weaknesses as our Travelocity Gnome of a President – she’s a super-scripted marketing campaign with few real political skills and no means with which to prioritize issues, or think on her feet, with a skin so thin it’s measured in microns.

4. Tim Pawlenty: if the GOP nomination process were a deliberate exercise in picking a candidate you’d feel comfortable leaving your alcoholic, room-temperature-IQ, nymphomaniac daughter alone in a locked room stacked high with aphrodesiacs, Pawlenty would probably win. Hands down. The man shows absolutely no sign of having any balls, whatsoever.

Pawlenty’s candidacy, however, is not about winning, if you stop to think about it (although he wouldn’t be too upset if the thing fell into his lap). Pawlenty is one of those ‘hear our voice candidates’ that predominates in some precincts of American politics. His ‘job’ is not so much to win, as it is to give certain subsets of the voting bloc the idea that their views are being heard and taken seriously, when they most assuredly are not.

Pawlenty represents ‘Middle America’, a variant of Republican party voters that is under the mistaken impression that somehow the people who live between the Appalachians and the Rockies are better people, possessed of an uncommon good sense, virtuous to a fault, still representative of the American pioneer spirit, with a generous dash of Norman Rockwell, and a hefty pinch of Near-Calvinist Christian Morality thrown in for good measure.

The truth is that this sort of voter is no smarter or dumber than any other, and this is borne out in their typical choice of candidates for political office. This block always selects candidates who have a perfect church attendance mouth all the proper platitudes about social issues, get their pictures taken with Franklin Graham as often as possible, and who then go off to Washington to become Mitch McConnell, or worse, John McCain. They get trapped by The System.

It’s the familiar parable of the young country girl lured away from home and hearth by the slick-talking city huckster who speaks to her hopes and dreams, only to find her moral virtue endangered in The Big City. In those stories, the young country girl often escapes a fate worse than death (unspeakable sin) by the skin of her teeth. Pawlenty is so obviously one-dimensional, however, that one figures his teeth might have little to no skin at all. He is, in effect, the perfect dispstick for measuring the depth of the surface.

These are the people (The Middle America is Better Than The Rest of You Voters) who kept Mike Huckabee in the last GOP whiparound for far longer than was necessary, or even decent. They aren’t bad folks, and mean well, and they, too, have a right to be heard and represented, but the fact that Pawlenty is in the race probably means that another, better-qualified-by-temperament-or-experience candidate has been pushed out of the field because there’s too many dummies standing in the spotlights.

In the end, a Pawlenty candidacy serves very little useful purpose: he’s not going to win the nomination; his lack of ‘fire in the belly’, and his inability to tear into another candidate – except Michele Bachmann, and sheesh! She’s a GIRL – even when the other candidates step into his crosshairs, makes Pawlenty look weak and inefectual. He just might be too mild for his own good, whatever his other qualities (whatever they might be is hard to tell) really are.

5. Herman Cain: I LOVE Herman Cain! What’s not to like? He reminds me much of my Uncle Walter; a self-made man with a head for business, possessed of a down-home and welcoming style that makes you feel as if you’re in the presence of the biggest, cuddliest, smartest teddy bear you ever did see. He’s Teddy Ruxpin to Obama’s Skeletor. When Herman does get serious about things, he tends to be direct, which is indeed refreshing considering what we’re normally used to from our politicians, but he suffers from a major deficit in terms of clarity.

Personally, I believe this is because Herman isn’t a professional politician, and this is, after all, a contest between professional politicians (whether that’s a good or bad thing, I leave to your judgment). What Herman Cain has is good ideas, and perhaps some really, really good ones, but he’s not a great communicator. He also appears to have but a tenuous grip on issues and subjects which aren’t related to economics, and this makes him look like anything but what he is: a get-things-done dynamo with a working brain. This is all-too understandable; we’re talking about the government, you know. Many have said that the United States government can be made efficient, cost-effective and pro-active rather than inefficient and reactive -- if you just ran it like a business -- but this is simply untrue. The skills required of the entrepreneur and CEO are ill-suited to the purposes of running a vast bureaucracy who’s main goal is justifying it’s own continuing existence while expanding it’s power and reach deeper into the lives of private citizens, and not in delivering services in a timely and cost-effective manner for a profit.

The American Government creaks and rattles the way it does because it’s primary aim is not compatible with the Profit Motive; it exists to mostly to do things that no self-respecting businessman with the same sense God gave to a retarded Irish Setter would consider doing, secure in the knowledge that it’s work need neither be profitable nor productive, or sane, and that no matter what, the paycheck still comes in.

The American Government exists, in large part, to dispose of excess wealth in a way which raises no one’s real standard of living, while mostly giving the appearance that someone is ‘in charge’ and ‘doing something’. This is simply too deeply at odds with the ‘run it like a business’ mentality to be successful. Government doesn’t need to be responsibly managed; it needs to be restricted.

The fact that Herman was asked so few direct questions last night was also an indication of what the Press – even the FoxNews Press – thinks about his chances. They could turn out to be wrong about Herman Cain (stranger things have happened, like a complete douchebag with a super-thin resume, and three autobiographies written by someone else being elected President), but being lovable and an expert in one, narrow aspect of American Life is not what the masses – who have to be convinced, against all evidence to the contrary, that their President knows everything -- consider ‘Presidential’.

But, if you ever needed a good Secretary of the Treasury, or Fed Chairman, Herman is probably your man.

6. John Huntsman: Give me a break. If Huntsman wasn’t already suffering from the handicap of being a Mormon (see Mitt Romney, above), then he’s laboring under the additional weight of being as interesting as three-day-old, unbuttered toast. Try to imagine someone that uninteresting, that uncharismatic, that bland, on your television screen every night for four years – at minimum – and you’ll quickly see what I mean.

Huntsman just does not scream ‘leader’, whatever his true virtues might be. In this way, he’s much like Pawlenty; there’s not much ‘there’ there, and you wonder if his candidacy isn’t another of those which reflects a very narrow portion of the GOP electorate (in this case, Huntsman, a former Governor of Utah, which is sort of like being President of the Glee Club, is the scion of a wealthy business clan with a penchant for Corporate Raiding, with some international experience as Ambassador to China. This all fairly screams ’Free Trade!’, something which has been one of the bugaboos of the GOP for the last 30 years. There is no such thing as Free Trade anymore, and what Free Traders really want is someone who will allow them to relocate their operations to China and South America -- with lower taxes, to boot -- all that much faster).

If Huntsman didn’t already have enough problems in his Sisyphean quest to become President of the United States, he’s further added to his burden by shooting himself in both feet by coming out in favor of Gay Marriage. Yeah, that’ll get you the nomination in a GOP wedded to a Southern Strategy of Get-the-Godbots-out-in-force since the days of Nixon.

7. Rick Santorum: if I have to look at Rick Santorum one more time, I just might have to vomit violently and then reach for a can of Drano, in a desperate attempt to settle my stomach.

Santorum is your typical ‘by-the-numbers’ social conservative (small ‘c’ intentional), who’s only talent, apparently, is for reciting his long and boring resume of Senatorial achievements, which mostly consist of being the ‘author’ or ‘co-author’ of meaningless resolutions and sponsoring highly-suspect bills that somehow made it through Congress, much to our common woe. Conservatives are often accused of wanting to ‘turn back the clock’, and Santorum might be living proof that there just might be some truth to that allegation. He’s a product of the Republican Revolution of the mid-90’s that ‘ended welfare as we know it’, and then managed to connive at increasing the size of the Federal Government with the money ‘saved’.

And he gets snippy (sorry, Mr. Gore) if he doesn’t get his chance to regale you with his litany of 20-years-past questionable achievements, too. I don’t know how many times Santorum complained about not getting enough face time during the debate, even trying desperately to break up the catfight between Pawlenty and Bachmann just so that he could tell you what he did in 1994. Again.

He’s a drum-beater, and worse, he only has one groove. While I can certainly admire the former-Senator’s commitment to the cause of Life, and agree with him in his positions on most social issues, it doesn’t appear to have occurred to him that we’re not living in 1995, anymore. The central issue of our time is not whether rapists get the electric chair, or whether Gays can be frog-marched to the Concentration Camps, it’s that the country is flat-ass BROKE, up to it’s collective armpits in government-created debt, and trying to recover under an economic system which is rich in people who can move money around ledgers and evade the IRS, but otherwise deficient in providing the conditions under which the goal of creating productive, profitable WORK for it’s citizens can be reached.

I’ve been saying this to my social conservative friends for many years now, and they just don’t get it; the government’s job is not to ensure that The Lord’s Prayer is inscribed on condom wrappers, or to put Christian values back into the Public Schools, it is to create the conditions under which people can exercise their Constitutional Rights free of unjustified interference from itself!

Government cannot, in any real sense, bring about the moral revolution social conservatives hunger for so; its ability to do this very thing is limited by the Constitution (something that all social conservatives claim to love so much. Trust me; social conservatives hate government when it comes to their guns, religion, keeping their own money and civil liberties, but would be the first to applaud if the same government created a Gestapo-like police force empowered to peek into people’s bedroom windows to make certain they weren’t engaged in sexual acts that violate Scripture) so that any changes undertaken by government intended to promote that moral revolution take place mostly about the margins of American life.

And in this time of economic crisis and national bankruptcy, a candidate whose only message is that he wouldn’t terminate the rape victim’s unwanted pregnancy because that would violate his Right-to-Life ethos, and that he’s wedded to an unworkable program of History-Repeating-Itself-and-a-Tax-Cut-Too in the form of high-minded-but-otherwise-useless Senatorial Crapspeak, is exactly the WRONG kind of candidate to run in 2012. Mostly because the priorities are different; the Extreme-Right-to-Life-Anti-Gay-God-in-every-heart-Flamethrowers-and-RPG’s-for-everyone mindset is anachronistic in a country where everyone is thisclose to starving to death in the streets.

The issues that Santorum represents, while important, are entirely within the realm of those things that prosperous, comfortable, confident societies often deal with only when they are otherwise secure, and have the spare time and resources to devote to them. This is not one of those times.

And besides, the Social Conservatives have always been wrong in one major respect with regards to their agenda: Morality Movements, generally speaking, work far better on the individual level (you save souls one at a time through personal contact, personal example, and instruction) and fail miserably when you try to combine the tenets of a strict moral code to a process – i.e. politics – which requires compromise. There’s a reason why Social Conservatives are often disappointed and distrustful of government when it (predictably) fails to reorder the world according their tastes; you can’t hammer nails with a screwdriver.

Santorum may be a likeable guy, smart as a whip and dedicated to his causes, but he’s fighting a decidedly secondary engagement on the wrong battlefield with a strategy that makes no sense given the challenges we currently face.

8. Ron Paul: Committed Libertarians rejoice! You’ve finally found someone who can come close to explaining the unique amalgam of fiscal conservatism, liberal social policies, and unbalanced ratio of personal-liberty-versus-personal-responsibility-contractual-society-everyone-just-mind-their-own-business-and-legalize-pot mentality that has been elevated through sheer determination, obstreperousness, and the Cult of Ayn Rand, into something approaching a viable political philosophy!

Unfortunately, your spokesman is a garden gnome. A second-rate Ralph Nader who has but three solutions to every social, economic and political ill: strict Constitutionalism (except where that becomes inconvenient), Abolish the Fed, and Isolationism. Ron Paul, strictly speaking, often makes a great deal of sense, but he is infected with the same strain of mental constipation as most Libertarians: they fail to realize that we’re a nation of 300 million mostly-idiots who often can’t distinguish between their brand of ‘enlightened’ self-interest-transferred-to-the-collective, belief in the primacy of the individual, and most of the platform of the democratic party (small ‘d’ intentional), and often don’t want to. Many are incapable of listening to the (regretably) pedantic-and-convoluted explanations of just what the real differences are.

Trying to explain Libertarianism to someone who lacks the ability to listen and then think coherently is sort of like trying to teach a chimp to write in legible, flowing script: there is an exceedingly remote possibility that you just might succeed, but more often than not, the chimp just gets frustrated and then violently jabs the pen in your eye.

Add to this the fact that many ardent Libertarians are effete snobs, unable to relate to the huddled masses they truly wish to keep at arm’s length, and you can see why the movement suffers so, despite the fact that it probably can – suitably modified for the realities of the American style of government – work reasonably well.

Ron Paul, for all his earnestness and directness, is simply your crazy uncle who. inexplicably and without warning, rises from his seat and starts rambling about the Bilderburgers, Council on Foreign Relations and The Illuminati conspiracy during Thanksgiving Dinner, unaware and unphased by the fact that no one has the slightest fucking idea of what he’s on about, and we’re all diverted by the need to get Aunt Betsy’s attention, so as to ask her to pass the gravy.

And what we saw last night might not even be ALL the GOP candidates for President, either; noticeably absent, but still on everyone’s mind, were Sarah Palin, Gov. Rick Perry, Rudy Guiliani, Jeb Bush and a small army of lesser GOP lights (mostly one-issue advocates) who may, still, get into this race. It’s getting very crowded up on that podium, and one is left to wonder if the GOP, infamous in it’s ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, might not be doing itself a serious disservice by presenting such a variety of candidates, despite the idea that the variety on display is, indeed, the very sign of a healthy political party.

It all certainly stands in stark contrast to the monolithic mindset and ideology of the modern Democratic Party.

But here’s the downside: when President Obama is about as popular as an AIDS-and-Cow-Shit sandwich, and shows all the political skill of a deaf-dumb-and-blind-quadruple-amputee gearing up to play a piano concerto, you have to wonder if having all these choices isn’t maybe self-defeating? What often happens in GOP politics, and especially during Presidential primaries, is that divisions open up between ‘wings’ of the Party – this is, of course, only natural – but the temperament of a good many GOP voters is such that the divisions often become so personalized as to preclude unity when it’s most necessary. You only need to recall the division within GOP ranks over the recent debate on the Debt Ceiling crisis to bear this out; you were for the Ryan plan, or Cut-Cap-and-Trade, or Cuts-Only-No-Taxes, or the Freeze-at-Current-Levels-and-Then-Cut-Gradually Plan, and always decidedly against Compromise, so that when a deal was cut – and compromise was the end result – you felt betrayed by Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell, and forgot to consider that what was wrought was perhaps the best you could have hoped for under the circumstances.

This was exactly the sort of phenomenon that helped to hamstring John McCain last time around, as he was not so much the consensus candidate as the Only One Left Standing, not withstanding the fact that he was a rotten candidate to begin with. McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as running mate was a frank admission that McCain alone did not inspire enough confidence to get the job done in an arena of highly personalized and sometimes conflicting priorities and personalities.

Having too many choices often leads to making bad choices. Too many cooks spoil the broth. And while it is still early in the process of deciding which doofus can beat an infinitely-beatable empty suit and yet still only manage to scrape by regardless of all the political advantages you start out with, this may still come back to haunt the GOP come next November. Then again, winnowing he wheat from the chaff is what these things (debates and straw polls)are all about, anyway, so perhaps that dais gets a little less crowded, and the differences much more delineated, in the coming months, and the whole thing sorts itself out in a most satisfactory manner.

But don’t be surprised to hear today – and for many months yet to come – about nothing but GOP infighting, the confusion sown by the Tea Party, and the inability of the GOP to find it’s ‘true’ voice amongst the din of all those disparate instruments from your typical libtard media types – you know who you are, Chris Matthews! – who will have a vested interest in making that narrative come true, and try to make the contest solely about personalities, if only because their side loses on the facts and on common sense.

Judging from what was on display last night, you can make the case that there are some who haven’t the proverbial snowball’s chance in Hades, but you cannot make the case that the GOP is devoid of ideas and solutions, regardless of the sometimes circus-act-like atmosphere.

This post also appears at the Insane Asylum.

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