A national political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of, with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in.
So now the race for the White House has begun. A Kentucky Derby field, eventually diminishing to a Preakness and a Belmont horse race of Republican politicians all of whom have a new prescription of their vision for the future, of course tempered by political expediency, PAC money and a host of other issues, not the least of which should be how they will govern. But the real issues reaching the American public will really be the distillation of focus groups, advertising slogans, negative ads, and last but not least the torrent of money from the Koch Brothers, and Sheldon Adelson, who are, shall we speculate, interested in advancing their bottom line through bought politicians (through unlimited campaign contributions.)
All this a result of the disastrous Citizen’s United case, conservative Republicans justifying it all by claiming that it has unleashed millions to the Unions thereby balancing the equation. In fact, it has not. The flood of PAC and super PAC money has corrupted the system, lengthened and polarized gullible voters with a flood of advertising from both sides of the aisle, 95% of which has no substance.
On top of all that, we have the warmonger class, the chicken hawks, here at home asserting that Iran should be bombed now and that if we do not bomb them now, we will be faced with a nuclear armed Iran, itching to explode the streets of Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem—to wipe out the Jewish State, interposing an Armageddon, an existential threat to the entire world. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, among others are beating the drums as loudly as they can. And, of course, denouncing any deal as another Munich, if you want to buy the argument of the false equivalence of Iran being another Nazi Germany.
CNN is already chomping at the bit, filling its 24 hour news cycle with repetitive irrelevancies such as Hillary’s hair color and the utterances of crazy people like Ted Cruz, who, I am assured by people who knew him at Princeton, was a brilliant debater. He had, supposedly, the ability to take a side in an argument, it did not matter which, and argue the other side into submission. Except he often outsmarted himself and came in second. I hope, of course, that he has not the ability to fool most voters who should see through his creepy façade. He even looks like Joseph McCarthy.
As I have written previously, the American Electoral system is a creaking remnant of the 19th century, except it was better then, because party bosses picked the candidates, and we were spared two years of primaries, talking heads and assorted other imbeciles who have no idea where it is all going, but sit on pundit panels prognosticating and picking out who will prevail.
Rand Paul, for example, has now moved from being a libertarian isolationist to a semi-hawkish statesman wannabe. This past week he sat with a bunch of Orthodox lunatics from Brooklyn, possibly telling them he is actually a member of the IDF and the Mossad, and also arguing at the same time that it was a mistake to take out Saddam Hussein and Mummar Quadafi. I am not making this up. This is not an acceptable position to the conservative base, but presumably he is already thinking about the general election.
Mike Huckabee is campaigning on his God and Jesus platform, clearly believing that the rapture is on its merry way, and that Jesus will return to the holy land and save Jews, who, incidentally will not qualify for heaven without converting to the true faith.
Jeb Bush, trying to overcome the baggage of his brother’s destruction of Middle Eastern power balances, and the invasion of Iraq on WMDs that did not exist, proclaiming "mission accomplished," is not quite sure which path to choose. He says his brother was a good President, but he also is stuck with the mess W. made, having to overcome the production of a lot of maimed and disabled Americans who have families that do not want another war at a cost of another three trillion dollars that might be better spent repairing our 19th century infrastructure. In addition, the science challenged, religiosity litmus test position of his brother’s administration in the appointments at the NIH the CDC and other government scientific agencies of religious sycophants does not help big brother (no pun intended) to convince Americans that another Bush is suitable for office. Tragically, though, he is the best the Republicans have.
Chris Christie, an arrogant, pompous, scandal encased leviathan of political ambition, does not seem to be made of Presidential timber, an office that requires a temperate, even well-ordered ability to relate to the voter. Not one that is inherently abrasive, who tells people to "shut up" if they happen to inquire about a position or even a personal family issue. Or, not to mention, a bridge scandal and political revenge baked into his obnoxious persona. And now, the kicker, his three staff members who have been indicted yesterday over the George Washington Bridge scandal, and may yet implicate him as a vengeful, retribution seeking dude who very well knew what was happening or at least created an atmosphere that allowed it to happen. Good riddance.
Scott Walker, who enraged working people for shutting down protests for a living wage, a man who disparaged the teachers union and other elements of Wisconsin society to advance his right wing political agenda. He mentions nothing about income inequality or that the top 1% now control 90% of the wealth.
Rick Santorum, a religious zealot, who does not understand the secular trend of American 21st century life, is considering another run, but he is yesterday’s news, thank goodness. He thinks women should stay home and bear children, not much else. He is a latter day Christian ayatollah and pretty stupid at that. His understanding of the new demographic of America is staggeringly ignorant.
Rick Perry thinks that there is a conspiracy to take away everyone's AK-47 assault rifles and is "studying up on Foreign Policy." Perhaps this time he will remember which country is which and which government department he will abolish. It certainly will not be the Defense Department.
And let us not forget the Donald, who this week blamed the Baltimore riots on the President, referring to him as African-American, but in a demeaning context. Can one imagine Trump as president “if he decides to run?” He has a fix for the Baltimore situation, but does not say what. Presumably he will unleash his concierges, headwaiters and croupiers to calm down the looters and rioters, when he emerges from his solid gold apartment on 5th avenue, leading his legions. I hope they are at least his Miss Universe contestants.
Last but not least, there is Marco Rubio, a panderer who will say anything to get elected. The thought of him becoming President is frightening. He talks about 21st century ideas, but is firmly stuck in the 1960s. Gay marriage? No. A woman’s right to choose? No. Religion in the schools? Yes. Immigration reform? Maybe. Trickle down economics that have not worked? Yes, for sure. Repeal Obama care? Yes. Any admission on the administration's progress on unemployment? No. Any admission that the Auto industry was saved? No. Any acceptance of climate change as a threat to future generations, or that his home state Florida may soon be under water? "I am not a scientist.." Well what about the 99% of climate scientists say so? "I am not a scientist, so I do not know." How about is your steak cooked enough? "I am not a chef."
On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders, a socialist who caucuses with the Democrats, but is an independent, seeking the Democratic nomination. Bernie, you are seeking the Democratic nomination, are you a Democrat? "No, I am an independent." Bernie, you need to be a party member if you want to win the nomination. If you want to win the lottery, buy a ticket.
Hillary and Bill are going to make a fine President and First Gentleman if they can overcome their integrity issues. Whitewater, Benghazi, and now we have the email “scandal.” I do not think they will make Mount Rushmore, but they may be the best choice we have. At least they have some ideas that might make the country functional, or semi-functional, depending upon one's point of view.