And then there were five.
With Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, and Jon Hunstman all “suspending their campaigns,” (i.e., throwin’ in the towel because they finally woke up and realized they were NEVER going to be elected) the remaining contestants — *ahem* I mean candidates! I have to remember to call them candidates! Sometimes I forget this isn’t a game show — have only to battle it out amongst one another before ultimately sending that poor battle-weary and weather-worn sole survivor out to face the incumbent, who has not been made to endure such a beating. Which is exactly what they’re doing.
Now, I realize that not too many people are on Obama’s side. Democrats feel let down and Republicans have never liked him. Moderates and Independents are underwhelmed. Still, no one is devoting any time to ripping him up one side and down the other like they are with Romney. Unfortunately for Mitt, when the most popular Republican is actually not liked by most Republicans, and is pitted against a Democrat that most Democrats will still vote for, you’ve got a candidate who’s going to lose.
In last night’s debate, the other candidates tore into Romney yet again, even though he is almost guaranteed to be the party’s nominee. This is a BAD strategy, Republicans!! Dear Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and (to a lesser extent) Ron Paul: this man is going to be representing you whether you like it or not. I know you think you still have a shot at getting the nomination, but you don’t. If your intention is to have a Republican living in the White House in 2013, any Republican, then STOP MAKING MITT ROMNEY LOOK BAD. Because when the General Election comes around, it’s going to make it that much easier for Obama to 1) attack his record using documents and sound bytes that Romney’s opponents have already compiled, 2) use his general lack of popularity against him, starting with the kick he gets out of firing poor people, and 3) remind America that even Republicans don’t really like him.
He’s polling at around 37% right now, and gaining (because everyone else sucks, not because voters are starting to like Romney). That’s less than half of half the population. Translation: not a fitting president, as the president should be liked by at least somewhere nearhalf the population. I mean, come on… Even W. had that!! I still don’t think he legitimately won, but he was A LOT closer to half than Romney, who would be lucky to win a plurality… which is sort of what is happening right now.
So here is my Fantasy Primary Season:
Romney takes a dive in the polls because Republicans realize their mistake and start taking this more seriously. We need a real leader, they say, with real ideas and consistency and vision.
This is when they start voting for Ron Paul.
Ron Paul performs a pundit-defying catapult to the top, and becomes the Republican Party’s nominee for the 2012 General Election.
And my Fantasy General Election:
3 brilliant, real, issue-based debates between President Obama and Rep. Ron Paul. Americans get involved in the process and actually vote with their hearts and minds.
1 or 2 minor debates between the Vice Presidents — whoever they might be. As this is MY Fantasy General Election, it would be Hillary Clinton vs. Jon Huntsman, with Biden taking Clinton’s vacant position at State. Probably not going to happen, but that’s why we call it a fantasy.
Then November comes, and we end up with a happy ending — no matter who takes 2012, if that was what actually happened, our country would still be ok.
Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. I have a feeling the ticket will look more like Romney-Hunstman (maybe) vs. Obama-Biden. The debates will be filled with mud-slinging and muck-raking and all other manner of activities that call to mind visions of rolling around in the dirt. And that imagery should be symbolic enough — it’s not going to pretty. It’s going to be chaotic, embarrassing, and probably just make everything worse. The already charged political climate will become even further polarized and no one will have learned anything in the process.
This is why I choose to live in my own little dream world. And also Canada.
– THE DUEL CITIZEN