Last week, we learned that the Democratic presidential wannabes are just that–wannabes. This week, we’ll see why the Republicans aren’t doing any better, at least not with this soused pundit.
Let’s start with the current favorite–if the polls are to be believed–Rudy Giulliani. If, as seems likely today, Rudy and Hillary Clinton win their parties’ nominations, then we face the very real prospect of a left-leaning nanny-stater moving into the White House. Then again, maybe Hillary would win. The fact that Rudy leans left on most social issues doesn’t bother me one whit. The fact that he’s backing off those stands, does.
Which brings us to Thompson. Fred or Tommy, it doesn’t matter which. At the rate these primaries keep getting pushed up, Iowa might have to hold its caucus as early as next week. Nevertheless, one of the Thompsons ran such a lackluster campaign that he was forced out even before Earlier Iowa. And the other Thompson might as well be. Fred Thompson’s current schedule calls for him to wander around some non-specific farming-related event once or twice a week, and sometimes maybe saying a few words. I think he spends the rest of his time practicing his Gruff Face in the campaign bus’s bathroom mirror. It’s really quite a face, but it’s not enough to get my vote.
Just what is Mitt Romney selling, apart from Mitt Romney? His positions have “evolved” on everything from abortion to… well, pretty much everything that separates the majority of Massachusetts voters from the majority of Republican primary voters. And pretty much everything separates those two voting blocks, including the occasional well-aimed fire hose. The very idea that Romney thinks he can straddle that divide should make you wonder if there’s any one place he really does stand.
Is it possible to make fun of John McCain without impugning his unimpeachable war hero record? I spent half of 1996 doing just that to Bob Dole, so why not? McCain is the half-author of the McCain-Feingold Incumbent Protection Act, which he spent half his career trying to get passed. His life’s work thus finished, I can’t think of one good reason to promote McCain to the Oval Office. Once there, I’m afraid there’s no telling which item on the Bill of Rights he’d target next.
The remaining guys I can’t vote for, for the same reason I won’t show up at a rugby match in a tuxedo: You know nobody else will, and it’s not the kind of place to take a stand.
Colorado representative Tom Tancredo, my home state favorite, isn’t even the favorite here in his home state. Tancredo is one of those one-issue candidates. His Big Thing is to close the border with Mexico, I think also with Canada, and he usually sounds angry enough to order a naval blockade on Puerto Rico, just in case. That Tancredo doesn’t poll over single digits should tell you that his support his limited to homeowners who have never had any landscaping done and don’t eat lettuce.
Then there’s Sam Brownback, who was either the senator from or governor of some smallish state, perhaps one with lovely scenery. He once weighed more than the entire stunt crew from Star Wars: Episode III. There’s a chance I’m thinking of Mike Huckabee, who is also a conservative Republican from someplace nice, and going nowhere. Both men are, I’m sure, well credentialled, in the sense that hardly anyone has ever heard of them.
I’m pretty sure that Duncan Hunter is an actual separate person from Brownback and Huckabee, although I’m not at all certain which order his name goes in. He seems like a nice enough guy, but I can’t figure out what he thinks he has going for him this late in the game. Although to be fair, by the time you get this far down the list of Democratic contenders, you’re left with the looney likes of Dennis Kucinich. But even Hunter Duncan would have to admit that “Not Nearly So Crazy As My Lefty Doppelg√§nger” is hardly a winning slogan.
Speaking of nuts, we’re left at the bitter, spittle-encrusted end with Ron Paul, the distinguished Congressman from Texas. And by “distinguished,” I mean, “You can pick him out of a crowd like the guy in the chicken suit on opening night at the Met.” Paul tries to pass himself off as a libertarian, which is difficult given that he’s against abortion and for closing the border. But more annoying than Paul is his throng of supporters (Dave and Billy), who stuff the ballot boxes of every online poll Paul’s ever appeared on. They’ll be here any minute to complain, loudly and with many typos.
I suppose I shouldn’t abandon all hope. There is still plenty of time, nearly weeks, before the primary season starts in earnest. And who knows — maybe one of these guys will make me think twice. I mean, Rudy does seem awfully strong on terror and transvestite rights. But since we still do have time, I’m going to pursue a more important matter this evening in which both my choices are attractive ones: Gin or vodka?