Republican Disarray

So it's old Keating Five member John McCain. Is he too old? Is he too stupid? Is he too rightwing? Is he too hypocritical? Is he too insane? These are all good questions. If your answer is yes, give us your reasons? If your answer is no, then please, pray tell, why would you think such a thing? Inquiring minds want to know.

Republican Disarray

Postby Carol Johnson Duharat » Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:38 pm

Right now there doesn't appear to be an obvious contender for 2012. Certainly no one who looks good at this distance. McCain of course has had his shot, is too old, and has lost badly. My list of possibles: please feel free to add some I may have missed.
  • Sarah Palin
  • Bobby Jindal
  • Mike Huckabee
  • Newt Gingrich (long shot, but the field is so weak he may really get the nomination
  • Congressman Paul Ryan
  • Mitch Ryan (Indiana Governor
  • Mitt Romney
  • Jeb Bush
  • Paul Ryan of Wisconsin(Congressman)
  • Charlie Crist/Tim Pawlenty/Mark Sanford

There are clearly no stars in the Senate=a glaring deficit in the age of media. Senators can get national attention like Obama was able to do. The Governors are simply too moderate and reality based to win the nomination. If one of them were to win it anyway, then Obama may have to sweat some to get a second term. But if the base loves like Palin or Huckabee get it, Obama could practically phone it in.
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Re: Republican Disarray

Postby Ferguson Foont » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:52 pm

Watch out for Virginia congressman Eric Cantor, the current House Minority Whip. He can actually speak like a reasonably intelligent-sounding man (while saying the most unintelligent things), and he's good-lookin' t'boot. He has a little Kennedy-esque thing going.

A darker horse might be former Virginia Senator John Warner, who is currently unemployed, looks a little like those old pictures of Franklin Pierce, and who has gathered to himself an undeserved reputation for bipartisanship.

Personally I wish they'd run someone else who has recently become unemployed -- Denny Crane.
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Re: Republican Disarray

Postby Carol Johnson Duharat » Sat May 16, 2009 7:41 am

John Warner is both too venerable and moderate to win the nomination.

Indeed, just about anyone who could actually win is too moderate to win the 2012 nomination. Cheney (if he isn't cooling his heels at the ICC by then) and Rush Limbaugh are now the Republican gatekeepers, and nobody that other non-radical Republicans can vote for will pass the test.

Of course, that assumes that there won't be a fractured field that actually ends up nominating a nominee at the Convention or a brokered one where deals have to be made to get a nominee.
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Re: Republican Disarray

Postby Ferguson Foont » Fri May 22, 2009 1:01 pm

Republicans have never seemed particularly reluctant to nominate senile old coots. Remember, they nominated Reagan and McCain.
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Re: Republican Disarray

Postby Carol Johnson Duharat » Sat May 30, 2009 8:24 pm

However, there's senile and senile. McCain has already had his chance. Thompson fizzled out. Nobody else that has the slightest name recognition is interesting enough or vigorous enough to run, let alone win. Stevens, anyone?

Not only that, but facing an incumbent President Obama doesn't sound like a very promising race. Victory only seems likely if Obama really screws up-which seems very unlikely with his competence and ability to learn from his mistakes. So unless things go really badly, I expect this to be a race where only those with nothing to lose will put their hat in the ring as opposed to 2016 when it will once again be like 2008, an open race on both sides (Biden isn't expected to run)

Jindal may prefer to run for Senate first, enhancing his credentials and visibility. With a Senate term under his belt, he would have become a more seasoned politician and a national figure to boot as the only Indian-American in the Senate.

Palin will run if the investigators don't find something she can go to jail for. Reading between the lines at Mudflats (an Alaskan blog), she's already tired of being Governor of Alaska, spending days and weeks out of town, refusing needed stimulus money in order to burnish her conservative credentials with out of town political powers, creating SarahPac. She's neglecting several dozen Alaskan bush villages who are freezing and starving due to lack of assistance, the crisis with the volcano, the growing unemployment. If she doesn't run and lose, she can simply run out the clock on her term, then start running for President in earnest with a perfect winning record and a fanatical base of support.

Romney may well run and hope to capitalize on the fact he seems to be the only plausible nominee at this point. He is probably the only one that could get any real cross-party or independent support. Unfortunately, the Republican base is too fundamentalist to let him stick to vague generalities that appeal to many. They will want him to practically deny his Mormonism and embrace their version of reality, which doesn't really appeal to moderates and independents.

After that? While anything can happen, there seem to be no other potential powerhouses.
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Re: Republican Disarray

Postby Ferguson Foont » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:07 pm

If I had to predict the Republican nominee today, I would say it would be Eric Cantor, the current minority whip in the House. He is an absolute doctrinaire extreme right-winger, as bad as Boehner, McConnell, or Lindsey Graham. But he actually speaks with a false veneer of pseudo-intelligence, with less provocative bluster than Gingrich and so many others, and he has this whiff of Kennedy-ness about him that voters may find appealing.

More importantly, he has a very light record, which makes him a smaller target, particularly for the kind of smear tactics Republican candidates for their nomination employ against each other as practice for the general election. He is from Virginia, a genuinely pivotal state. His positives include looks, poise, seductiveness, and a certain degree of bold savoire-faire. His negatives from the Republican point of view are relatively insignificant, and mainly revolve around inexperience.

Their initial field in addition to Cantor will include Palin, Gingrich, Romney, and Pawlenty for sure, and possibly Graham, Jeb!, Charlie Crist (TWO former Florida governors! Who'd a thunk it?), and maybe Boehner, plus some more I can't foresee. They will definitely not come out of their primary contests with any unity and Obama ought to be able to mop 'em up -- they are being so obvious in their efforts to obstruct progress now that it is costing them any residual credibility they may still retain.

Palin is a joke and will never rise above the level of a joke. Gingrich is no darling of the cultural right, which they need. Romney won't do any better than he did last time. Pawlenty is looking very bad to actual voters, if not to Republican kingmakers, by his absurd resistance to the certification of Al Franken -- indeed, I am not so certain that his decision not to seek reelection is as much motivated by national ambition as by the knowledge that he would go down to a particularly ignominious defeat. Lindsey Graham could emerge as an early surprise frontrunner. Jeb! is handicapped by his last name, still a four-letter word. Crist is gay and this might come out more forcefully if he sticks his neck into a national contest against the vicious scorpions that populate his own party. Boehner might emerge as a contender.

But Cantor is personally more appealing than Graham or Boehner, and he has that extra added element of surprise if he makes a good early showing, something that propelled Obama right into the White House against even stronger odds.

Maybe we should focus on taking that guy down now, before it is too late.
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Re: Republican Disarray

Postby Carol Johnson Duharat » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:56 pm

Cantor may be all that, but he has a couple of handicaps that make him less likely than you think.

First of all, he is still in the House. America hasn't nominated a candidate from the House of Representatives since the 1880's when nominating a candidate took several ballots and a Representative with little national following could be seen as a safe, pliable choice. In those days, funding for campaigns was taken care of by the party leaders and someone could essentially drop into a prebuilt General Election campaign. These days, it's more of a do it yourself venture, where in order to convince donors to give you have to prove that you can draw more kinds of people than can be found in a small Congressional district. Which is why candidates need to be at least a Governor or Senator these days. Running statewide is a mini-Presidential campaign because states are so large and diverse. You gain experience trying to woo various religious, ethnic and social groups in a statewide campaign, not to mention immense media attention sufficent to bring you to the intense attention of major donors and the heads of various interest groups.

Unless you are a Congressperson from media powerhouses (LA or New York City), it is extremely hard to get real consistent national attention. Even his position in Congressional leadership really isn't much of a media magnet. A Governor like Palin or Pawlenty get way more attention and can usually claim to have accomplished big things. What can a Congressperson say he/she has done that is large enough to create a sufficient stir?
Last edited by Carol Johnson Duharat on Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Republican Disarray

Postby Carol Johnson Duharat » Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:13 pm

As for Palin, I think she will be the default choice unless the Republicans smell blood in the water.
She may be a joke to outsiders, but inside the Republican Party she has a fanatical following sufficient enough to get votes in a fractured or extremely weak field. The inmates have taken over the asylum, and unless somebody else gets more than sufficient traction with Southern fundamentalists, she could dominate a very weak field.

For I think that several people may sit out 2012 and wait until the open field of 2016 when they could face an unknown Democrat who wouldn't have the advantages of incumbency. They may even gamble that Biden would make a final stab at the Presidency even though he would be in his 70's ala McCain-probably not, but they would gamble on such a possibility, and be the younger and more energetic choice.
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Re: Republican Disarray

Postby Ferguson Foont » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:24 am

Palin will never be a serious candidate. I wish she would be because we could clean her clock with our eyes closed and our hands tied behind our backs, but she is not a serious candidate with any kind of actual chance, either for the nomination or for the general election, or even a serious human being even by the rather more lax Republican definition.

She might posture for a while like she has some kind of chance, but in reality she doesn't. I am not sure that McCain would have won had he chosen more responsibly, but he'd have certainly had a better showing. She will NEVER be president, and indeed I wouldn't put a bet on her staying out of jail by the time the primaries roll around. She has behaved very cavalierly as governor of Alaska and has shown a criminal degree of favoritism toward her cronies. She can whine all she wants about a "left-wing conspiracy to get me" but her acts are truly despicable.

The playing field has changed regarding the previous jobs held by nominees. Remember, except for Kennedy, no sitting Senator had been elected president for a VERY long time, but BOTH parties nominated one last time 'round. Such predictions remind me of those TV sports commentators who quote statistics like (to give a particularly whimsical example), "The Redskins win 67% of the time when their first score is a field goal."
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Re: Republican Disarray

Postby Josiah Bartlett » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:53 pm

Well haven't things gotten interesting in Florida. Crist is out of the running for anything in 2012 and he'll be having a pretty tough time in 2010 as well. Perhaps he and Rubio will get into a real death match that neither survives.

Could it really be possible that Florida could have two Democratic Senators?

As for JERK!, he just got bloodied with his teacher pay legislation that Crist vetoed. It would be fun to watch him get the nomination in 2012 and have his family, the party, and all his wealthy donors pour everything they have in his campaign in an all out effort to beat Obama only to have Obama mop the floor with him and bankrupt all his supporters.

Of course I know to be careful what I wish for.
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Re: Republican Disarray

Postby Carol Johnson Duharat » Thu May 06, 2010 6:21 pm

It's certainly possible. Although race may still a factor in Florida, depending on the all-out battle between Rubio and Crist, Kendrick Meek could spend all of his energies wooing voters with a positive message of unity for Florida.

Rubio and Brown are being pegged by some as being contenders for 2012-against sound advice. Neither have the political savvy or dynamism or experience of an Obama, and a run could shortcircut any political career.

If I were advising a sane Republican, my advice would be to skip 2012. By 2016-2020, the irrational teabagger movement will burn itself out or moderate, allowing for a humbled Republican party to reinvent itself as a multicultural conservative phenomenon like the Tories under Cameron. Palin will be gone back to the tundra, some of the crazy retreads will also be retired or out of politics, and the Koch's, Sun Myung Moon's, and other reactionary folks funding the Republican message machine dead. There will then be no obstacles to reforming a Party long in need of reforming.
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Re: Republican Disarray

Postby Ferguson Foont » Mon May 10, 2010 12:46 pm

I haven't done enough maintenance on this forum lately. There was no proper place to put these posts. I must rectify that. Alas that now is not the time.

Poor Good-Time Charlie! He's having just a TERRIBLE time with the Republican Party as presently constituted, not just in Florida but elsewhere. But he was always a squidge too liberal even for the Republicans of yore. What happened to Bob Bennett in Utah -- now THAT'S really something. If the Republican Party has become too right-wing even to accommodate that guy, who stands significantly to the right of Atilla the Hun, well, they may find a problem when it comes to the general election next November even in places where Mormonism and other strange superstitions run rampant (Kentucky springs to mind here).

This Astroturf-roots movement that they call the "TEA Party" (remember, "TEA" in this case is an acronym standing for "Taxed Enough Already," a little ploy instigated under the table by the insurance industry originally to whip ignorant bumpkins into a rabid frenzy over health care reform) has grown out of their control and is beginning to eat those nearest to them. Nature abhors a vacuum, and the absence of any intelligence, facts, logic, or restraint within that movement is sucking in everything standing nearby, like a black hole and its event horizon. To think that their spiritual and intellectual leader is Sarah Palin! It boggles the mind.
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Re: Republican Disarray

Postby Carol Johnson Duharat » Sun May 23, 2010 8:35 pm

And what's scary about this is that America needs a rational right like it needs a rational left. But 40 years of pandering to the resentment over Civil Rights has left the Republicans straining to get the votes of older and older, less and less rational, and fewer and fewer Americans. As a result, it has increasingly lost states-New England is gone, Virginia will go in a few more years, North Carolina is starting to wobble, and the Midwest is going from light to possibly sky blue. California is hopeless and New Mexico is going. How do you win the Presidency and Congressional majorities with that formula?

The press is predicting a 70 seat gain for the Republicans in the House. Where? Back in 1994 Republicans were competitive in New England and in the North, California and the West. All gone now,, along with the las Democratic Seats in the South. So the number of seats that can be picked up are small.
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