“I reserve the right to tell the truth.”
That was Newt Gingrich’s final thought on Tuesday as he took fourth place in the Iowa Caucuses. He was defending his choice not to run attack ads against the front-running Mitt Romney. He told his supporters that he would not attack his fellow Republicans but he maintained the right to accurately describe them.
And I thought Utah Democrats were wusses…
As a rule of thumb, I don’t like it when politicians view the right to be truthful as an option. In fact, I would much rather have an elected official to be mildly stupid or reckless than a liar. You know…somebody like us. Threatening to start telling-it-like-it-is is an indication that Gingrich and the rest of the GOP don’t know what they are doing. I don’t ask much from our elected officials. I’d like them to keep the roads safe, my taxes low and provide a baseline of protection for all citizens. Throw in some space exploration, mail delivery, un-drilled National Parks and a navy and I am a happy camper.
Gingrich positioning himself as he goes to New Hampshire to unleash the hounds of truth is yet another example why this is one of the boringest campaigns I have ever witnessed. I remember very specifically four-years ago when Obama and Clinton were joisting with each other at every stop trying to become the Democratic nominee. Everything seemed more exciting and vibrant. Like coma patients waking up after eight years, every debate mattered. The rhetoric they exchanged was pointed, lively and signaled that no matter who won the primary, we would be moving forward not backward.
The Republicans sound and feel like they are debating on what type of pizza they should order.
Granted, Obama is a condescending son of a bitch who thinks he is the smartest man in the room but that sort of confidence is infectious in comparison to the walking dead the GOP has rolled out. The only bright spot in the GOP has been Michelle Bachmann and that’s only because she looks good on one of my T-shirts. The cavalcade of wingnuts that might get the GOP nomination serve only as a reminder that no matter how rich your parents are, you too can be president one day.
I’m looking forward to the first presidential debates. Anyone on the right will be pounded into hamburger against Obama. It would be like me stepping into the cage against Brock Lesnar. Obama will pick up the jawbone from a donkey and lay waste to any of these challengers because even on his worst day, he is still better than Rick Perry.
I was flipping between the Iowa returns and Storage Wars last night. For those who haven’t seen Storage Wars, it’s a show about the meanest, dumbest people on the planet who bid on abandoned storage units. I guess the only prerequisite to star on the show is a pocket full of $100-bills, Down syndrome and a bag of meth. The show follows the exploits of the worst people in this country as they pick through the remains of people’s lost dreams and property. It’s a disgusting show with no redeeming characteristics and it is horribly addictive.
Storage Wars showcases the greed and selfishness of marginalized people. It might very well be the best companion piece to the Iowa Caucus. They both feast upon the lost opportunities of their neighbors, prey upon the mistakes of their colleagues and benefits from a country that tolerates a me-first attitude. The only thing redeeming about Storage Wars is that it gave me a break from looking at Anderson Cooper explaining how to count a vote.
The episode that I watched focused on some George Hamilton-looking whack-job who found sunglasses for chickens in an abandoned storage locker and how he planned to unload these rare eyepieces. As he drove around southern California, he explained to the camera that chickens are cannibalistic and they need rose-colored sunglasses to block out blood from their vision. I guess if chickens see blood they will try and eat it. I couldn’t help but think that the GOP candidates are like a bunch of chickens that see blood. They would willingly eat one another with no thoughts of the ramifications.
Mitt Romney squeaked by with the victory over sweater vest wearing Rick Santorum. My take on Santorum is that sweater vests are the perfect addition to any professional attire and he has a great last name for a Roman emperor. Besides that, his scary Christian driven belief system makes him seem like the next coming of George W. I recently learned that his last name is a part of the Urban Dictionary. I looked it up and was both sickened to my stomach and in complete agreement.
Does anyone think that Ron Paul can make a serious push for the presidency in the upcoming months? Moreover, would anybody want him? Candidates for the presidency who want to become increasingly isolationist seem to only have prepared for half of the job. You have to be both a domestic and international leader. Besides, Paul looks like he has little raccoon hands. I can’t imagine him striking a tone of control in shaking hands with the tribal warlords of central Africa. He looks like he would be more fitting roasting on a fire spit in the Serengeti than behind the desk in Oval Office.
By all indications, it looks like it is Mitt’s to lose. He’s handsome, rich and comes from a lineage of American politicians. The problem is that he is Mormon and I cannot vote for anyone who doesn’t drink whiskey. Can you imagine Romney hosting a state dinner and the president drinking lemon aid? Might as well get him a pinwheel, a balloon and a box of crayons. CNN reported multiple times that Romney has positioned himself with both state organizations to run his campaign and his personal wealth make him well suited to launch a national television campaign.
Show of hands, for as much television we watch as a country, has anyone made up their mind on who they were voting for the presidency based on a TV ad? The only ad campaigns that has caused me to look deep inside my character and make a difficult decision was when Brian Wilson asked if I was man enough to eat a XXL Chalupa from Taco Bell. I think the more TV ads I see for a candidate the less likely I am to vote for them. Considering how expensive a national advertising campaign is I find it insulting that any of these candidates understand the needs of the working-class in this country. If you consider that a 30-second spot cost five-times more than what I make in a year, I think you could understand how TV commercials turn me off.
If I voted for Republicans, I would be squarely in the Huntsman camp. He seems moderate enough, smart and having met the man, decent. He was a breath of fresh air in Utah when he was the governor and I was mad when he left for China and left us with Gary Herbert. Huntsman avoided Iowa all together and took his campaign to New Hampshire. I think Republicans focus too much on their own followers and don’t try and cast a large enough net to attract moderate voters. They assume their base will follow them and don’t look towards the opposition as anything other than fodder for their next victory. Huntsman seems to be a consensus builder and that could be the biggest threat to Obama getting reelected. Huntsman will never see the end of this election. Romney will practice slash-and-burn techniques to guarantee that he will win the nomination or no one else will have any support to take on Obama during the general election. Romney’s hubris will be the biggest obstacle Huntsman will encounter and I don’t think he has the ability to our maneuver Mitt.
Romney is a blowhard. He really encapsulates everything that I hate about Republicans. Moreover, he needs to drop the phrase “restore dignity in the White House” for the balance of the 2012 election. That job already has a large “Mission Accomplished” banner across the front portico when Obama took office. He is a self-entitled rich kid who has never heard the word “no” before. The fact that he barely won in Iowa and received the exact amount of votes as he did four-years ago proves that he is as ready to become president as my dog Shelly. In fact, in spending a lot of time with Shelly, her thoughts on globalization, social welfare and the emerging markets in India might even make her a better candidate. Problem is that this country isn’t ready to elect a 9-year old chocolate lab that is territorial with food. Our loss.
We’re off to New Hampshire and Gingich’s truth reservations. As bad as the months leading up to the Iowa Caucus were in terms of the GOP debates and their general behavior, I am glad that the election season has started. For the next ten months, I expect to read about the policies and programs the candidates will put up and listen to pundits tear them down. Obama must be licking his chops for a chance to take his fight to whatever unlucky SOB gets the nomination.
Ben Raskin bartends at Keys On Main Wednesday through Saturday. Follow him on Twitter @BennyRaskin. He will be wearing his Michelle Bachmann T-shirt behind the bar tonight in respect for her calling off her campaign.