So This Is Leadership

     It is as if the Republican primary season is a kind of pageant of clowns paraded before us for our entertainment, until we realize that the person the Republicans eventually embrace could be the clown leading—so to speak—the free world. A few have already strutted their time upon the stage and made their inglorious, sometimes hilarious, exits. Mr. Pawlenty did not even make it to the first round, taking a roundhouse on the chin from pugilist and right winger extraordinaire Michele Bachman, who herself predicted victory in Iowa and came in about last, and soon slouched toward stage right. One wonders whether such impoverished prognosticating ability is the result of her living on another planet or simple lying. Rick Perry came as a whirlwind, and—oops—departed, tail tucked between his rear Texan legs, still trying to remember which departments he was going to get rid of. Oops—forgot. Why didn’t he take that high school debate class? Then it was Herman Cain capturing conservative hearts, answering any and all questions with 9-9-9—that is until the ghosts of sexual harassments and philanderings past rather literally disenchanted his previously charmed following. Gee, who would have thought that those little peccadilloes might come out if you were running for president? Jon Huntsman actually seemed to understand foreign policy and have a modicum of rationality, at least politically, and thus he was summarily dispatched as gravely unqualified.

     As of mid-February, four still cling to hope and continue to slip and slide in the mud pit for our amusement. We may begin with Newt “Moonbeam” Gingrich’s lunacy, which is apparently quite literal. We can only hope that if his lunar colonizing fantasies should become public policy, he will be the first colonist to leave earth’s bonds and that he and Calista have a fine old time raising several litters of little Moonbeams, all joyfully setting high jump records among the craters. He will be on the dark side, naturally, where the prying eyes and chiding tongues of the fourth estate cannot go. But at least he’s a monogamist, serial though it may be. Poor old Mitt apparently believes…well, let’s just pass over that business about the angel and the ancient golden plates written in Egyptian that were dug up in Joseph Smith’s New York back yard a while back. Let’s move on to pandering, Mitt’s acknowledged forte. Mitt has raised pandering to such an art form that he has to ask his campaign manager every morning what state they are in so as to determine what his core beliefs are for the day. While courting those Michiganders, he sure wished he had not pontificated a couple of years ago about how GM should not have received a bailout—most of which it has now repaid—and should have been left to go bankrupt. As Master Chameleon, he’s hoping to slither and buy his way out of it. Go Super PAC! Soon he will be betting Rick Santorum $10,000 that he didn’t say it. Meanwhile Santorum has made a religion of religiosity, and, to borrow from Twain, gives a fine speech where the truth is not a concern. Actually all three have a well-honed skill in that department. Santorum does not even need to express his opposition to abortion; he goes apoplectic just thinking about the evils of contraception—but of course he and the other Republicans don’t want the government in people’s personal lives. Rick’s view of contraception is reminiscent of Charles II’s observation that Roman Catholicism is no religion for a Christian. Santorum would be fine if we actually wanted to retreat to the fourteenth century. After all, the Inquisition and all those burnings at the stake had their good points. Dr. Paul, on the other hand, has studied the teachings of Dr. Mesmer and persuaded the adoring eyes of modern youth and other naïfs that reality is an illusion, and nirvana is inexpensive and just around the corner, if we will only get rid of the Fed.

I say let’s bring back monarchy.

John R. Rachal
February 21, 2012