Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The 2016 Presidential Field Is Making Me Sad

It seems that Hillary is having the path cleared for her.  I don't know if Elizabeth Warren will be able to resist calls to run for President, personally, I think she sounds like a better Senator and agenda-setter than presidential candidate.  Martin Malley?  Bernie Sanders?

And so Clinton, with all of her husband's DLC, Third Way baggage, is likely to be the Democratic nominee.  If she can get beyond the Mark Penn/Larry Summers Axis of Weasel that surrounds her, she could be a very good president.

But looking at the GOP field gives me the heebie jeebies.

Mitt Romney? Do we really need to go down that road (that ends at a car elevator) again?  Yglesias tries to make the case for Romney, but really all it does is boil down how ridiculous the 2012 field was and how ridiculous the 2016 field is likely to be.

Mike Pence?  He was a conservative radio host, before becoming a far-right GOP House member and then becoming a right wing GOP governor.  According to the late Doghouse Riley, Mike Pence might be the dumbest elected official in Indiana.  That usually doesn't play well over a year long campaign.

Jeb Bush? Do we really need a Bush-Clinton tilt again?  Do we really need a third Bush in the White House?  Could the GOP accept his immigration heterodoxy?

Rick Perry?  Hey, love the glasses.  But he's still dumb as a box of rocks.

Ted Cruz? While he might make an interesting insurgent candidate, Cruz is so reviled by the institutional party they won't let him get the nomination.  This is still the party of Nixon when it comes to campaigns. They will cut his balls off.

Rick Santorum? While he's the putative "next man up" having finished second last time, he's so devoid of both charisma and the milk of human kindness, that I always expect his skin to fall off to reveal a robot programmed by the Family Research Council.

I'm sure we will see a host of other guppies pop up from time to time.  But there is only one GOP potential candidate that I think has a shot at taking down Hillary, and that's Rand Paul.  However, Paul is also just kind of a bizarre person.  He has skeletons in his closet and he's also occasionally heterodox enough to get party leaders to cut his nuts, too.

Barack Obama lit a fire in 2008.  It was pretty remarkable.  That is not who Hillary Clinton is (and why she lost).  The GOP is hampered by the fact that people hate their policies and the electoral college is structured against them.  The only way they win is if you get 45% voter turnout.

American politics is sad-making.

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