Tuesday, January 03, 2012

flavors of the weeks

i'm not one to get into political arguments, but ever since my "citizenship in the nation" merit badge, i've believed that it's important to be involved in one's politics to some degree. and i've begun following politics more and more as i've gotten older. during the intense 2008 elections, i did what i could to read the articles and watch the debates. but i've never paid as much attention to the races for the candidacy as i have this season. part of me wishes i would have, because i'm really curious if every round is like this or if this race has been an amazing/embarrassing catastrophe.

i consider myself somewhere in the political middle and i tend to lean towards the right, although i voted for obama. i'm not particularly displeased with him but if the republicans can put up a better option, i may vote red. strangely, the republican party has been like a girl on the rebound, grabbing candidate after candidate and getting bored with them after a few weeks.

michelle bachman won the iowa straw poll this summer, an award which meant that, if the republican party were cthulhu, she will be the first to be eaten. she pushed far to the right wing, speaking to please the evangelical bases and weirding out the rest. she hasn't been heard from since her victory in ames, iowa.

that was ok, because on the day of the straw poll, texas governor rick perry announced his candidacy and immediately the party loved this good lookin' cowboy. he shot to the top of the polls and was in the debates front and center, placed next to the perennial leader, mitt romney. like the hunky high school jock, perry couldn't hold up under the pressure of being asked questions and burned out in so many miraculous ways that i can't pick my favorite.
1. this one
2. new hampshire (perry starts at 5:02 on there. and for the record, this one is my favorite)
3. and.... um.....

ok, i can understand them all flocking around perry. sure, he was george w. bush 2 (and that's "squared", not "two") and there are a lot of republicans that really get into that. but they had sense enough to think there might be someone better out there. what's fascinating is that they just moved down the line in the debate queue and grabbed the next guy they could find. that guy was herman cain.

i was rather incredulous when i found out that cain was leading the polls. the romney-perry battles made sense: the cool kid against the smart kid. and it was a little awkward watching the remaining six stumpers at the debates, since they all seemed to be there for decoration, hoping to make this look like a competitive race. but when they grabbed herman cain, someone who, a few weeks earlier, had me wondering why he was even trying to run, this began to get kind of embarrassing.

good for him for getting a chance but that's only worthwhile if you're qualified and just need the chance to be heard. he fell apart under foreign policy questions and then had plenty of harassment scandals and decided to drop out of his presidential run by quoting the pokemon movie.

this has me wondering where the republicans would go next. simple: they went to the end of the line and grabbed newt gingrich. dag. at this point, they'll go with anyone to the homecoming dance, including the kid who graduated a few years ago but is still hanging around for some weird reason.

all this time, jon huntsman has been working hard to campaign in new hampshire, passing up the first caucus (today, in iowa) and hoping to win the next state. it kept him out of the media spotlight which, with the way things have been going, is an ok strategy, i suppose.

by now, i'm sure tim pawlenty was a little frustrated. he dropped out after coming in third in the iowa straw poll, feeling that that showed his support wasn't where it needed to be. the republicans have gone far lower than third place already.

ron paul's numbers have been consistent and consistently growing and he's done great in the debates, sticking to his beliefs and speaking openly and honestly. the republican core doesn't like him, in part because he plays by his rules, not theirs. i really like him, but i don't think he has the tact needed to be the head representative of our country. but i'd be proud to vote for him as the representative of my state.

what's odd is that they've been looking for someone to beat mitt romney. that's the guy that everyone else in their party likes, the guy who's numbers have been consistent throughout the running, while everyone else has skyrocketed and exploded. it really makes no sense; he's qualified, sensible, and performs excellently in the debates. but the whole last six months have been a search for anyone other than him. while the far right is frantically looking for any alternative, the truth is that romney could easily grab some of the right plus the moderates and even some of the moderate left who voted for obama last time but aren't decided on him for round two yet.

proving that this race is so crazy it can't be made up, newt faded in less than a month and now, as the first official caucusing is happening in iowa, rick santorum is actually getting his turn. he's been ignored and pushed to the sides for the last four months and luckily got his three weeks of fame right before the music stopped.

my wild hope is that the extreme right wing, who have been acting like the cheerleader of the republican teen girl squad, will break off and nominate a tea party candidate, thereby freeing the rest of the party to do what they really want to do but have gone along with the bossy ones. i think that, as the states go through their individual caucusing, casting their votes rather than what the red zealots are shouting, mitt will solidly come to the front. romney can take the mid-right and the moderates and give obama a real challenge this summer.
otherwise, the president and his campaign staff are going to have a comfortable coast through 2012 and into their second term.

so, iowa, i'll check in with you later tonight. for now, i'm off to a hockey game.

editor's note: we acknowledge that our citations are almost exclusively from the daily show. after following their coverage all summer, we feel that they are more accurate and unbiased than any of the major news channels. besides, after long day at the viz lab, we really appreciate the endorphins.

1 comment:

Mark A. said...

Well put.
www.jon2012.com :D