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“Republican Race Is Being Led By A Buffoon”: The GOP Primary Is A Mess. Can Anyone Unite This Party?

Jeb Bush is starting to remind me of someone. Tall guy, former governor, worshipped his politician dad? That’s right, I’m talking about Mitt Romney.

It isn’t just the part about their fathers, or the fact that like Romney, Bush is the representative of the “establishment” and doesn’t get a lot of love from the Tea Party base, or even that he seems to share Romney’s propensity for reinforcing his most glaring electoral weaknesses. (Jeb spent much of the last week explaining how the Iraq War was actually a tremendous success and we just need to bring back the Bush Doctrine, which is a great way to win over the many voters pining for a rerun of George W.’s term in office.)

It’s also that Bush’s only path to his party’s nomination may be to duplicate what Romney did successfully in 2012: use his money (and dogged persistence) to hang around while one ridiculous clown of a candidate after another has their momentary flight then crashes ignominiously to the ground, at the end of which primary voters run out of other options and say, “Oh all right, I guess we’ll go with you.”

All things considered, it isn’t such a bad strategy. And given the sourness of the Republican electorate, there may be no other way to win.

If we look beyond the bizarre candidacy of Donald Trump, the 2016 primary race is looking a lot like the 2012 race. While there were some serious people in that one, just as there are in the GOP campaign today, the overall picture voters got was of a chaotic mess in which a bunch of people you couldn’t imagine being president got an undue amount of attention. Just like now, you had candidates who had been elected to Congress but who had no business running for president. You had amateurs whom voters found attractive because they were different than all those blow-dried politicians. And for a long time, no one was able to move into a clear lead.

At this time four years ago, the only candidates in double digits were Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Michele Bachmann. Many of that race’s most amusing developments—Bachmann’s demise, the steep rise then fall of Herman Cain, the same for Newt Gingrich—had yet to occur. Today, there are so many GOP candidates, and other than Trump most of them have the support of so few voters, that it looks even fuzzier. Look at the latest Fox News poll, which shows Trump at 25 percent, Ben Carson at 12 percent, Ted Cruz at 10 percent, and Jeb limping in at 9 percent. Three of those four people are never, ever going to be president. A Reuters/Ipsos poll has Trump at 21 percent, Bush at 12 percent, and nobody else over 8 percent.

The GOP race is being led by a buffoon who, despite his appeal to a certain kind of voter, is widely loathed by the public as a whole, barely pretends to understand the first thing about public policy, and still believes that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States. Meanwhile, the guys who are supposed to represent the future of the party, like Scott Walker and Marco Rubio, are struggling to hold on to the support of one out of every 15 Republicans or so. To call the race a mess would be too generous.

If the party knew what it wanted, it might be able to settle on a candidate who could give it to them. The problem is that it’s made up of people who want different things. There are sober people who just want to find the candidate who can win them back the White House. But there are many more who know a lot more about what they don’t like than whom they might support. For years now, the Republican Party’s leaders (both politicians and media figures) and its voters have been dancing a manic pas de deux of extremism, where the leaders tell the voters to constantly increase their demands and punish anyone who strays from ideological purity, and the voters respond.

No Republican politician could possibly satisfy everyone in the roiling cauldron of anger, suspicion, and disappointment that is today’s GOP. How do you unite a party when the prevalent theme of their internal debate in recent years has been how disgusted they all are with their own side?

You can’t. But someone is going to be this party’s nominee, and it’s likely to be the one who can keep a steady pace while the others flame out. Jeb Bush recently said, “I’m the tortoise in the race—but I’m a joyful tortoise.” It isn’t much of a plan, but it may be the best anyone has. And there sure isn’t a lot of joy going around among Republicans these days.

 

By: Paul Waldman, Senior Writer, The American Prospect, August 16, 2015

 

August 19, 2015 - Posted by | Donald Trump, GOP Presidential Candidates, Jeb Bush | , , , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. Maybe Trump can put forth the Cain 999 plan.

    Like

    Comment by btg5885 | August 19, 2015 | Reply

  2. I’d like to say to Trump, please don’t go away.

    Like

    Comment by renxkyoko | August 19, 2015 | Reply

    • I see a lot of the other candidates dropping out long before he does. He has the money and he is enjoying all the attention.

      Like

      Comment by raemd95 | August 19, 2015 | Reply

      • I just watched his town hall meeting in Iowa. [ ………..}

        I think he’s the real deal. Winning is a huge possibility.

        Like

        Comment by renxkyoko | August 19, 2015

      • Man is said to be only a little lower than the angels. If Trump is an example, they’d better start checking on the angels!

        Like

        Comment by raemd95 | August 19, 2015

      • He jumps from truth to the ridiculous, then truth, and so forth. There are some things that Democrats ( and Republicans) are afraid to touch and speak of. There is actually some semblance of truth in what Trump is saying, and that’s what scary about this guy.

        Like

        Comment by renxkyoko | August 19, 2015


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