Republican Casting Call For The Seven Dwarfs Continues
I don’t know if any of you have ever directed a play or a film but there is a step that both have in common that is always a problem, casting the leads. Sometimes you know who your leads are (if you have a repertory group or a lot of money to hire a high profile performer) but more often you have to hold auditions.
Sometimes you have to hold more than one set of auditions if you just can’t find the right person for the part. This seems to be where the Republicans are with their nominating process for president. It was always going to be a “Seven Dwarves” field, after all, they do not have an incumbent and the last person to have the nomination from that party is not running.
Still they seem to have a problem even getting all seven cast. Halley Barbour dipped his toe in the water and decided it was too cold. Donald Trump was never really going to run, but he flirted with taking the role and got the Republicans all-hot-in-the-bothered about the prospect. Newt Gingrich is going to run but it looks as though that will last about another week, maybe 10 days.
(Here is a hint for all aspiring nominees, never, ever, ever say “right wing social engineering” at least don’t say it as if it is a bad thing. Just a word to the wise, eh?)
Sure there are serious candidates in the field. Mitt Romney has shown that he can raise a lot of money and lets face it he has been running for this job for the last 5 years at least. There is also Tim “As interesting as a blank sheet of paper” Pawlenty. He has the chops, so far to straddle both halves of the Republican base, but that is mainly because he is so bland and boring that no one is willing to be offended by him.
So far no one who actually has a chance of being president has really caught on fire with the Republicans and so they are looking to another round of auditions to see if someone with the “right stuff” will pop out of the wood work.
Yesterday saw Texas Gov. Rick Perry floated, by the bloated Limbaugh, as a Republicans choice. Sure he has the reality impaired Republican voters on his side, but it is going to be pretty hard for someone who flirted with secessionist language to credibly run for the top office of the nation. He’ll face all kinds of questions about nullification and allowing states out of the Union if he does run.
Then today we hear that Rep. Peter “Muslims bad, Irish good!” King of New York is being urged to run for president. There might be some space for a nationalistic anti-Muslim candidate, after all there are a lot of wanna-be Jack Bauer’s out there who’d love to stick it to Muslims. While that might play in the primaries it would freaking kill him in the general election as the question would get asked “Given the importance of and turbulence in the Middle East, can we really afford a president who thinks most Muslims are terrorists?”
Then of course there are the rumors and suggestions of Governors Daniels and Christie getting in the race. I think that Mitch will probably run, but I think that Christie sees this as a losing year and wants nothing to do with the title of “failed Republican Presidential nominee” , after all he sees how uncomfortable that suit is on Sen. McCain.
The real question is why is this going on? In a party that usually nominates by primogenitor, why is there such a churn of the starting field of candidates? I have a theory on that.
We all know that the Republican/Teahadist base is bat shit crazy. The social issues combined with a lack of understanding as to what the government actually does topped off by a mentality that there are simple solutions to complex arguments makes them a morass of conflicting desires. They are the energy of the Republican party right now.
But there is another wing to the Republicans, the business side of the party. These gals and guys are the pragmatists. They don’t give a good god damn about social issues as long as things favor business and the moneyed classes. And they know that they can’t have what they want unless they actually win the presidency.
The money folks take a look at people like Herman Cain and Michele Bachman and they get the urge to shit a brick. They know these folks can fire up the nuts, but they also saw that candidates like that can get their asses kicked in the general election (e.g. Christine O’Donnell, Sharon Engle). If these folks are going to lay out big cash to help buy an election, they want to be damned sure they will get the winner and that the winner won’t be so crazy they do more damage to the moneyed interests than good.
All this leads to this extended audition period. The nuts have their side show candidates and even though there are folks like Pawlenty and Romney who are acceptable to the business wing of the Republicans, they have not impressed any of those people with an ability to win the election. After all a boring candidate is going to be eaten alive by a president who still, for all his disappointments and failures, is a great campaigner and a very inspirational speaker.
Who will emerge as the acceptable business candidate? It is impossible to say. There are problems with those folks too, since they will have to say things which endorse the insanity of the base if they want to get the nomination, but they can’t be too far in the stratosphere if they are going to have a chance to win a general election.
In the end the Republicans may have a directors nightmare; casting call after casting call where instead of Gary Oldman you get a line of Gary Busey’s. Still when you already have cast Crazy, Meany, Boring, and Paul it is hard to find Sane-y, Smarty and Winner for the rest of the dwarves.
The floor is yours