October 10, 2011

Republicans Best Choice In 2012 - None Of The Above


7 Candidates Spoke At Redneck Values And  Teabagger Summit of Bigotry in Washington This Past Weekend


The news magazine The Week, features an opinion piece by Democratic political pundit Robert Shrum, entitled “The GOP’s sad, intolerant 2012 field,” where he discusses the Redneck Values Teabagger Voters Summit, and the candidates who attended the Summit. He handicaps the Republican field, and comes to the conclusion that this underwhelming GOP beauty pageant, will crown Mitt Romney the nominee.

At the weekend's Values Voters Summit, Republican presidential candidates and conservative kingmakers proved that bigotry is among their chief values.

Instead the party marches to the tin drums of ideological extremism and angry fantasy, while its stiff and fragile frontrunner compliantly frog-marches to the right. Mitt Romney isn't setting the pace; he's trying to do just enough to placate a party where crazy now flourishes in many forms.

Last week's big event, blessedly for Rick Perry, was not a debate, but something called the Values Voter Summit — an inquisition on the religious Right where intolerance proved to be one of the highest values.

There, Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator resoundingly repudiated in his own state in 2006, denounced the president for not defending the Defense of Marriage Act — and then weirdly invited the audience to judge candidates by imagining "who they lay down with at night."

The Tea Partiers have fled Bachmann, first for Rick Perry and then for former pizza magnate Herman Cain. (As my stepson Michael asked, have they ever actually tasted a Godfather's pizza?) Perry in turn proved wanting and waned in the polls — and Cain soon will. But they have both reinforced the notion of an out-of-touch, out-of-bounds Republican Party.

The Washington Post reported that “A key bloc of GOP voters agrees only on disliking Mitt Romney,” the key bloc of voters being right-wing extremists and evangelicals, and those who attended the gathering of red-necks and bigots this past weekend in Washington, D.C.

The anti-Romney activists, many of whom identify with the tea party movement, say they are hesitant about Romney because they simply do not trust his conservative credentials, recalling his past support of abortion rights and a health-care mandate.

In today’s Huffington Post, “2012 Republican Primary Voters In Ohio Wait For Their Candidate,” reflects that Ohio Republicans are finding it difficult to unite behing one candidate.

The Grand Ole Pub in this Cincinnati suburb is a good place to find Republicans. It's not so easy, though, to find one who feels settled on, or even enthused about the party's current field of presidential candidates.

Patron Jim Goll sat near a portrait of conservative standard-bearer Ronald Reagan, and the walls are decorated with pictures of talk show hosts Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly and other political figures. It seemed that Goll and other patrons couldn't see any of the current field joining the Republican icons on the pub wall.

"They've all got some points that I like," Goll said. "If I could take all the candidates and put them in a pot and mix them together, that would be awesome."

What does this mean for the President? Every day it looks more and more likely that our President will be able to draw sharp policy contrasts with any opponent, and that his chances for re-election look brighter.

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