Republicans usually go with their heir apparent, even though the candidate is often a weak leftover who didn’t make the cut four years earlier; think George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, and John McCain. For some reason, the loser has “earned” a shot … to repeat losing.
This cycle’s heir apparent, Mitt Romney, has done as much as he can to stand above the fray, except when he decides to go off script and create a YouTube LOL!/OMG! moment for the nation, like “corporations are people,” the $10,000 bet, “Bret, you’re all wrong,” and today’s “zany” remarks about his fellow contenders for chief nut job, as well as today’s stunning, “Gingrich is a rich man, a very rich man,” warned the candidate worth about $200 freaking million. Despite having solid organization, big bucks, and lots of insider support, Romney has uninspired the Fox-enamored masses who fickly seek someone more Foxtreme (Beck, Beck, Beck) and more consistent. The latter quality seems to be the most problematic in this era steeped in Tea, and quite understandably, the most sought after yet most unavailable, like the holy grail.
Rick Perry was great on so many issues, but was off base on important wedgies like immigration. Then a proverbial cat seemed to seize his tongue, giving him paroxysms of glossolalia-like responses. Between his hedges on wedges and his tongue-tied replies, Perry’s ship began sinking fast.
Herman Cain was a sweet option. He could talk. No, really! He could charge up the crowd and keep their attention, and he even seemed kind of sincere. He had a simple mantra – 9-9-9 – which, stupid as it was, didn’t bother the ditto-heads who were enrapt merely with its lack of mental demands. He probably could have ridden the 9-9-9 horse into primary glory, but then the ladies started appearing. One or two accusations were certainly of a plot hatched by the Obama-devil or the Romney-devil or the Perry-devil, but when the number exceeded the cast of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, he was toast.
Newt Gingrich is a pompous anus whose fecal reality will take little time for people to sniff out. Okay – whew! – now they’re getting it. That didn’t take long at all. Watch his poll numbers steadily corrode, a GingGrinch Christmas gift.
So who is left? Bachmann, amazingly dismissed as a crazed, ignorant twit already; Santorum who is likeable but insubstantial, like he’s always pedaling a tricycle – picture it; Huntsman who is hopelessly a 1990s type Republican; Gary Johnson or maybe Buddy Roemer… who? Yeah.
And then there’s gramps, Ron Paul, whose screechy, cackling voice alone so irritated Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation recently that Schieffer clearly couldn’t wait for the aural pain to cease, much less the mental anguish of a romp in Ronderland.
Yes, libertarian Ron Paul has that one quality that has been so scarce among the contenders, consistency. Call him a whack job (okay, I will) but he is consistent. He has been a whack job for decades. Certifiable.
The Foxified don’t like some of his positions, but by now they know they won’t get everything they want in their candidate. This guy is clean and consistent. He has dedicated supporters, solid fundraising, and a mature grassroots organization. He makes people think sometimes (‘yeck!’ cry the faithful, holding their heads in agony), and says some things that liberals affirm (‘double yeck!’ with a beastly howl), but the hypnotically stupefied will likely fall in line and follow this pied piper into his libertarian idyll, ignoring the dire problems, confounding science, logic, and reality, and faulting the wrong sources as they always do.
Remember, this is the guy who hasn’t been able to get the time of day from the media, no matter how strongly he polled, as delightfully portrayed by The Daily Show in this August clip.
After Paul snatches victory in the Iowa caucuses, places strongly in New Hampshire and South Carolina, his ability to prove his mettle will be decided in … Florida.
Florida is a big state with a slew of different media markets and lacking a native handle. Florida looks mostly like The Villages Republicans who hail from all over the national map, with Cornbelt crazies, New England Yankees, and Low Country Rebs all mixed together with everything in-between. Place strong in Florida, or even win, and the road ahead could well lead to a romp in Ronderland and top billing in the Tampa GOP spectacle next summer.
The GOP faithful want someone “zany,” Mitt, and Ron Paul is “zany” in spades. Mitt, you’re just creepy. They may not love Ron Paul, but what’s not to like? As with every family’s crazy Uncle Louie, the GOP simply needs to admit that he is part of the family, albeit a bit “off” – as if Republicans are any judge of sanity any longer.
My money is on Gramps.