Posted by: readerjohn | January 21, 2012

GOP Endorsement

Okay, the title’s misleading. I’ve repudiated the GOP (without embracing the Democrats – which I won’t do as long as the sexual revolution has pride of place in their platform), and I’m not likely to endorse anyone, but I write to see what I think sometimes, so here goes. No claim of comprehensive coverage made, by the way.

Newt:

  • Is a very bright guy, but he’s 8 or 9 on a bright scale of 1 to 10, 11 15 on the glib scale.
  • Were I President, I’d have him on speed dial for brainstorming.
  • He seems to have adult Attention Deficit Disorder, leading to so many flip-flops that he’s got a lot of gall faulting anyone else as inconstant.
  • By his own account, he loves the country so much and works so very hard for it that he gets stressed out and tends to rut on consenting bimbos. It’s unedifying to go too far into this topic, but I’d say that it’s at least one consideration for me that voting for Newt, assuming his Christian faith is sincere, would be voting to put muh Brotha’ in the path of a serious temptation that’s a personal weakness of his.
  • Bellicose on multiple fronts. The single most blood chilling line of the debates: “Andrew Jackson had a theory about our enemies: kill them.”
  • Relatively undisciplined and mercurial.
  • His mouth could launch a nuclear war – unless his handlers muzzled him, in which case he wouldn’t be the Newt that has some people inexplicably enthused.

Summary: No way, José. I’m almost certain to abstain or vote Third Party if he’s the nominee.

Santorum:

  • I’m ardently pro-life, so he has been on my radar for a long time.
  • He, too, is bellicose. (In this election cycle, the only sane candidates are called “isolationist.” Has nobody noticed that our imperial wars are bankrupting us and killing our young men? Quem deus vult perdere, dementat prius. Oh. Never mind. They’re not young men from The Ruling Class, but rather are “cannon fodder.” But I digress.)
  • His social views (abortion, contraception, marriage, sexual revolution generally) are relatively extreme. But that they are extreme is a worse commentary on us than on him. I happen to share, or at the very least keenly sympathize with, those extreme views, and I appreciate that he not only holds them, but eloquently defends them. He “gets it” on these issues. Silver lining? This election’s mostly about the economy, not social issues. He might slide by despite his social positions.
  • Blue collar sentiments. I’m told they come across as sincere to blue collar folks. I’m in a sort of no-man’s land socially. I’m no 1-percenter, and I’m just one generation off the farm. But I can’t honestly say I’m in tune with the proles, either. But I can honestly say that a candidate who seems to be in touch with the proles gets bonus points with me, not because of electability concerns, but because I’m not not comfortable with power brokers or “movers and shakers,” who are too out of touch, especially these days. Common man does get screwed way more often than not, and a President who gets that is attractive.

Summary: Even though he got the endorsement of self-appointed Evangelical leaders on third vote, he might well get mine, too. But the bellicosity bothers me a lot. I’d like to think he has too much integrity to mouth such bloodlust just to be pandering, but mouthing it sincerely is scarier still.

Ron Paul:

  • For my money, at least today, he’s even better than Santorum on social issues because, as he said in South Carolina, he’d support a law to take abortion jurisprudence away from the federal courts, thus effectively repealing Roe v. Wade  and giving the abortion issue back to the States. I don’t savor that, but I think it’s the right answer constitutionally. The states did not strip the unborn of their right to life (with a handful of early exceptions); the Supreme Court did.
  • I cannot tell where he stands on too big to fail. I hope he’d bust ‘em up, but he hasn’t exactly said that so far as I can tell. See here, here and here. As of two weeks ago, another writer thought he was AWOL on this key issue (as are all other Republicans now that Jon Huntsman has withdrawn).
  • He’s not bearish enough on the economy. He’s heavily invested in gold and silver mining stocks, whereas I’m unconvinced that those have intrinsic value (versus historically persistent countercyclical value). [Can you say "Oh, you're so provocative, Tipsy!" I thought you could!]
  • I don’t get, and don’t really buy, the gold standard. Ditto abolishing the Fed.
  • Does he really want to be President, or is he a stalking horse for Rand Paul in 2016, or a mere shaper of the debate?

Summary: my likeliest protest vote, but I’m almost as unsure of his temperament as I am of Newt’s.

Mitt Romney:

  • Mormon Church would use his Presidency as a calling card in their proselytizing efforts. (Do not try calling me out for a religious test. Voters, including me, can impose any test they want for purposes of their own vote.)
  • I don’t know if he actually has any politically salient principles, so often has he pivoted on political issues.
  • Absolutely tone deaf about money and social class. He thinks $375,000 per year (probably his lowest is the last 30 years) is barely squeaking by, while I remember that a $100,000 Publisher’s Clearing House jackpot could set me day dreaming for days not all that long ago.
  • I assume that he has sabre-rattled since that’s a GOP litmus test, but he’s been relatively quiet about it, hasn’t he? Maybe he’s insincere? A world at war isn’t a very good place for scrubbed young Mormon “Elders” to go on missions.
  • His best comment to date was along the lines of “I’m a numbers guy. Seat me at a table with piles of budget papers and economic numbers and I’m in my glory.” If the election is going to be all about the economy, that’s pretty darned attractive.

Summary: to my surprise, maybe.

Bottommost line: I’m still likely to be looking for a third party candidate, but last time they tended to be even crazier than the two majors. This may be another year when I hold my nose to vote.

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