The GOP’s electoral strategy requires Ron Popeil, not Abraham Lincoln. Now that I think about it, the GOP may have found exactly the man they are looking for.
From the very earliest stages of the race, Herman Cain showed no partiuclar aptitude for campaigning, nor any real mastery of the issues. In fact, in true “we don’t need no fancy book-learnin” GOP style, his breezy and arrogant incompetance was part of his appeal as a candidate. You see, only left-wing liberal elites know things. Real leadership is from the gut. Or something.
It wasn’t Herman Cain’s total lack of policy understanding that lead to the implosion of his candidacy. The blame for the Great Cain Collapse belongs to a torrent of embarrassing scandals involving a handful of borderline criminal sexual assualts and a 13-year extramarital affair.
Remember, this was at its core a vanity candidacy. An elaborite publicity stunt. It was never supposed to go this well. I don’t believe that Herman Cain ever really thought he’d be the nominee. Remember, Hermain Cain knew he had these skeletons in his closet. They weren’t even very well hidden skeletons. He just never thought he’d be successful enough for anyone to bother with trying to find them.
Cain simply underestimated the hatred many in the Republican Party have for Mitt Romney. With Rick Perry’s political acumen being awful to the point of self satire, someone had to fill the role of the Anti-Romney. Really, it was a timing thing. Hermain Cain had put in a few better than expected performances at the debates, and his absurd 999 thing was just catchy enough to make him seem plausable. After that things sort of spiraled out of control.
But that’s all over now.
Those too conservative to support Romney have abandoned Cain, and have instead placed their hopes in a new hero. This is the age of Newt, who has enthusiastically claimed the mantle of the Anti-Romney.
Gingrich Rising. Awesome.
This is where my head starts to hurt. I mean, I understand that intellectual consistency isn’t exactly highly valued within the GOP, but throwing your support behind Newt Gingrich because Herman Cain has a problem with fidelity is especially perplexing.
Far from protecting marriage, Newt Gingrich is a serial offender. Marriage should get a restraining order against Newt Gingrich. That Newt has spent even ten seconds at the top of the national polls demonstrates that the GOP has no interest in actually protecting marriage. They just want someone who can talk a good game.
Despite the fact that Newt Gingrich claims the well worn story about him serving his wife with divorce papers after her cancer surgery is largely untrue, Newt Gingrich is still a world class philanderer. He admits this himself.
There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.”
Newt Gingrich was only making sweet, sweet love to America.
I might be ill. Let’s move on.
Newt said this back in March. This isn’t recent news. Newt Gingrich sexing up the American Flag is a long established fact. Republican voters are fully aware of this, and obviously do not care. Why then is it OK for Newt Gingrich to cheat on countless wives with scores of nubile young Reaganites, while at the same time rejecting Herman Cain for exactly the same sort of behavior? And how can either of these men be taken seriously as advocates for the sort of strict moral absolutism used to deny LGBT people their civil rights?
Because it doesn’t matter. None of this bogus “Family Values” crusading has any substance, and the fickle candidate shopping going on in the Republican primary battle proves it. Republican voters only seem interested in strict adherence to the Christian ethic when it can be used as a bludgeon with which to attack their enemies. When it comes to evaluating their own candidates, rampant infidelity and sexual indiscretion fit snugly into a blind spot just large enough to shield themselves from judgement. The only time they appear to care about these issues is when you happen to be gay, or are a Democrat, or are a Republican currently involved in some embarrassing scandal too big to spin.
I have always believed that the true measure of a person, or a movement, is to observe their actions rather than their words. Republicans can say whatever they want, but their views regarding the “sanctity of marriage” are only as relevant as the degree to which they apply those standards to themselves.
Republicans are fully aware of Newt Gingrich and his propensity for screwing his staffers. If any of them cared to open the Bibles that they are so fond of using to beat down LBGT people, then they would know where the source of their moral superiority stands on the issue of adultery. There is an entire commandment explicitly addressing it. (Hint: God appears to be decidedly opposed.) Far from protecting marriage, Newt Gingrich is a serial offender. Marriage should get a restraining order against Newt Gingrich. That Newt has spent even ten seconds at the top of the national polls demonstrates that the GOP has no interest in actually protecting marriage. They just want someone who can talk a good game. All they require is an vaguely appealing spokesperson who can competently recite the established Conservative talking points without choking on their own bile, or setting their podiums on fire in the process. What they want is someone who can fit in well with their brand marketing. No substance required.
The Republicans have crafted a platform designed to target specific segments of easy to manipulate voters. Moral Crusaders. Anti-Abortion activists. Foreign Policy Absolutists. The Bigoted. The Xenophobes. The Tax Zealots. The Paranoid.
Say the right things to these people, and they will vote for you. No questions asked. It’s not even very hard to do. Want to capture the Xenophobe vote? Talk about immigration. Need the Moral Crusaders on your side? Hate on the gays for awhile. Do this in the right combinations, and you can get enough votes to win an election. Simple. This is what the world is made of in the Fox News era. Play the right song, and all the snakes will follow you right out of town.
That sort of electoral strategy requires Ron Popeil, not Abraham Lincoln. They need not a leader, but a salesmen. With that sort of job description you really can’t do better than Newt Gingrich. Now that I think about it, the GOP may have found exactly the man they are looking for.
Benjamin Phillips is a Humor Writer, Web Developer, Civics Nerd, and all around crank that spends entirely too much time shouting with deep exasperation at the television, especially whenever cable news is on. He lives in St. Louis, MO and spends most of his time staring at various LCD screens, occasionally taking walks in the park whenever his boyfriend becomes sufficiently convinced that Benjamin is becoming a reclusive hermit person. He is available for children’s parties, provided that those children are entertained by hearing a complete windbag talk for two hours about the importance of science education, or worse yet, poorly researched anecdotes PROVING that James Buchanan was totally gay. If civilization were to collapse due to zombie hoards or nuclear holocaust, Benjamin would be among the first to die as he has no useful skills of any kind. The post-apocalyptic hellscape has no real need for homosexual computer programmers who can name all the presidents in order, as well as the actors who have played all eleven incarnations of Doctor Who.
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