G.O.P. presidential timidity

Republicans are having a hard time getting the nerve up to challenge President Obama:

“Right now, just three Republicans (Cain, Pawlenty, and Roemer) have formed exploratory committees, and no one has yet to formally announce a presidential bid. By comparison, at this point in the 2008 cycle, at least 17 Democratic and Republican presidential candidates had already formed their exploratory committees or had officially declared they were running for president…

Bloody wafflers!

Okay, so maybe the problem isn’t spineless waffling. Perhaps they are suffering an epidemic of reality, with advisors pointing out the hurdles: huge fundraising requirements, tough odds against Obama, and a very red G.O.P. primary (as in, a bloodbath). The entire picture might be overwhelming.

Whatever the cause, the lack of action is starting to mess things up. The first Republican primary debate for the 2012 presidential election cycle was supposed to be held on May 2. It isn’t going to happen and is being moved to mid-September.

My sense is that the compressed schedule will not work in the Republican’s favor. First, it will provide an expanded platform for the political nutjobs to launch quixotic campaigns. We have a growing list of crazies hinting at a run—including Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Rand Paul…. And most recently, The Donald, has been working diligently to establish credentials as a bona fide birfer loon. The lack of a serious mainstream candidate can only embolden these people.

This cycle we will see the nutjobs soaking up a lot of press attention, later into the season, leaving a deficit of press attention for more mainstream candidates.

Another possible negative consequence is that whoever is eventually selected may not be fully vetted. Vetting takes time, and must encompass multiple dimensions—fundraising prowess, mistresses on the side, past indiscretions, pregnant unwed teenage daughters, gaffe proneness, lack of charisma, bouts of irrational decision making, lack of any coherent vision, etc.

In other words, the late start of the election season maximizes the opportunity for Republicans to end up with a flawed candidate. They did pretty well in that regard in 2008, even with a long, bruising election season. The first sign of McCain’s “gambling problem” became evident when he gave the G.O.P. establishment, including his former rivals, a great big “fuck you” and took a desperate gamble on an entirely un-vetted running-mate. The results weren’t pretty.

Man, what great material us bloggers got from it.

But more than I want good blogging material, I really do want a large field of serious, solid candidates from both sides, and plenty of time to evaluate them. I want this because, in principle, that is what is best for America.

In practice…I am not convinced that there is any Republican politician who is actually good for America.

Comments

  1. 4

    Upton spews:

    One little thing..If the economy is still in the crapper (I’m talking jobs) and if Obama still has 3 wars going on, it won’t matter much who the Pubs put up in 2012…they’ll still be trouble aplenty for our warmongering president.

  2. 5

    proud leftist spews:

    I’m working on my batshit crazy act. If I can get it down well enough in the next month or two, I’ll throw my hat in the ring. Do you know how hard it is to say something like “because of the profound budgetary deficit, we need to give even more tax breaks to millionaires” with a straight face? I’m working on it, but I’ve got a long ways to go.

  3. 6

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    With the government pretty much divided, Obama is a natural choice for 2012. With Obama in the White House, the overall government can do less harm than if a Republican wins in 2012. Those crazy Republican guys and gals are liable to start a war just to benefit their stock portfolios!

  4. 8

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “In practice…I am not convinced that there is any Republican politician who is actually good for America.”

    If this were the standard used by voters for electing presidents, we would have been a one-party country continuously since 1960.

  5. 9

    spews:

    I think Rujax is on to something.

    If we truly believe that the right wing is the worst thing ever to happen to this country then we must support Puddybud for President.

    Within his first term

    1) Puddybud will be impeached by a vote of all the Dems, all the Republicans elected before 2010 and half of the teabag types

    and most importantly

    2) the right wing will be destroyed for at least a generation. That means no one listens to Limbaugh, Sean Insanity or Savage Weiner. They just turn the dial. Faux News limps off the cable due to unsustainably piss poor ratings. Murdoch gives it up. For a generation people will reject Republicans and Teabaggers for dog catcher!

    We thought Bush would do this job. However Bush failed as he did at everything save for driving the country into the ground.

    Puddybud will not fail. I’m as sure of that as I am of anything!

    So I’m with Rujax – Puddybud for President in 2012.

    (Now there’s just the little matter of his comments here…)

  6. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    OK, I don’t see a fresh open thread, so I’m gonna take a chance on getting bounced outta here. But this stuff is more or less related to the presidential election, anyway.

    Factoid: U.S. manufacturing employed 17.6 million workers and produced $1.24 trillion of goods in 1998; it employed 11.8 million workers and produced $1.46 trillion of goods in 2009.

    Japan’s earthquake/tsunami is pushing up diesel fuel prices because (a) before the disaster, Japan was a net exporter of diesel, but some big Japanese refineries were taken off line by the event, which of course removed their production from global supply, and (b) Japan is going to consume lots of diesel fuel for cleanup and rebuilding, making that country a net importer instead of a net exporter of diesel for quite some time.

    A prognosticator quoted in Barron’s, the Rupert Murdoch-owned business magazine, predicted Japan’s earthquake/tsunami will bring the outsourcing era to a close and reverse the trend of sending goods-manufacturing jobs overseas, because many U.S. companies (including Boeing) that relied on Japanese outsourcers can’t get parts because of the disaster, and are rethinking their reliance on less dependable overseas suppliers and thinking in terms of pulling production of goods critical to their businesses back into the U.S. The prognosticator says this trend will unfold slowly and not be real visible at first, but will have staying power and lead to a resurgence of U.S. manufacturing for decades into the future.

    A stock market prognosticator quoted in Barron’s says the best value-play stock out there right now is Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which this seer says is getting a growing percentage of its revenue stream from reliable cable-TV fees.

    Finally, in today’s Nostradamus Wrapup, a legal seer writing in Barron’s predicts revenue-hungry states will lose their battle to force catalog companies and e-tailers to collect sales taxes for them, if the case goes to SCOTUS.

    Cash-strapped states and local jurisdictions are eager to make companies like Amazon collect sales taxes for them. They claim this would produce another $10 billion to $20 billion of annual revenue for state and local governments, but the Direct Marketing Association’s top lobbyist disputes this number, saying it’s closer to $2 billion to $3 billion. Main Street merchants generally line up with the states on this issue, because they feel tax-free sales by catalog and online retailers give those outfits an unfair competitive advantage over them. [However, this advantage is offset to a degree by the fact that catalog and online customers often have to pay hefty shipping charges.]

    The catalogers and e-tailers object to being tax collectors for 7,500 different taxing jurisdictions, not only because it would hurt their sales, but also because of the enormous complexity and cost of calculating, collecting, and distributing taxes for so many government entities.

    SCOTUS cases decided in 1967 and 1992 point to a probable court victory for the catalogers and e-tailers, this prognosticator says. These cases ruled that states can’t force businesses to collect taxes for them if their only connection with customers residing within the taxing jurisdiction is by common carrier or the U.S. mails. This is the origin of the “bricks and mortar” rule that a company must have a physical presence in a state before the state can require it to charge its customers sales taxes. If/when this argument gets to the high court, SCOTUS also might be swayed by arguments that a decision in favor of the tax collectors would hinder 21st-century commerce and take the retail economy back to the inefficiencies of the 1930s.

  7. 12

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    1, 9 – Be careful of what you wish for. It looks good on paper, but Congress isn’t reliable. This country was run into the ground by an orangutan between 2001 and 2009, yet Congress didn’t impeach him. You could end up with four (or even eight) years of Puddybutt “government.” In that event, though, you wouldn’t have to worry about getting lousy presidents in the future, because there wouldn’t be any America left to ruin.

  8. 13

    spews:

    @9…

    His comments won’t be a problem. He’s more or less as incoherent, ill-informed and illogical as the rest of the field (and amazingly enough makes more sense than some in a wierd sort of way).

    Nope…standard issue teabaggy christianist crapola. Just right. (pun intended…haha)

  9. 14

    spews:

    Oh c’mon Rog…

    This campaign’s got legs…and we don’t have to worry about anybody bringing up “My Pet Goat”…

    …or DO we?????

  10. 16

    Puddybud, identifying Zitz and FartAss as De Fools Dey Are spews:

    I’m working on my batshit crazy act.

    Damn… what have you been doing these last four years proud leftist?

  11. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Speaking of goatfucker, he hasn’t been around lately … I’m concerned about his health.

  12. 19

    Puddybud, identifying Zitz and FartAss as De Fools Dey Are spews:

    Notice the two most stupid are trying to egg me on.

    Not happening because I nominate teh stooooooooooopid duet of rujax and ylb as the DUMMOCRAPTIC for 2012. Doesn’t matter who is preznit and vp, as they both are the lowest on the HA IQ ladder. Obama’s approval ratings are becoming toilet level. Whom better than these two.

  13. 21

    Puddybud, identifying Zitz and FartAss as De Fools Dey Are spews:

    What would teh stooooooooopid twins do…?

    Feeling pain at the pump? Gas prices have doubled since Mr. Obama took office. According to the GasBuddy gasoline price tracking web site, the price of a gallon of regular gas was around $1.79 when Mr. Obama took office. Today the national average is $3.58. The lowest average price in the continental United States is $3.31 in Tulsa Oklahoma, the highest is $4.14 in Santa Barbara, CA. Four-dollar-a-gallon gas has arrived on average throughout California, and a number of other states are headed in that direction.

  14. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Wisconsin GOPers Eat Shit

    Well, not literally … or maybe they do literally eat shit, because they’re certainly full of shit, as today’s court rulings demonstrate.

    First of all, Judge Sumi issued another order today making explicit what she explicitly said from the bench yesterday, namely, that Gov. Walker’s union-stripping bill is not in effect.

    The Walker administration, its back to the legal wall, threw in the towel and said it won’t implement the bill for now.

    Meanwhile, a federal judge upheld a campaign-finance law challenged by right-to-lifers and other rightwingers, clearing the way for public money to be used in next Tuesday’s Wisconsin Supreme Court election, in which both the Republican and Democratic candidates are using public funding.

    It all adds up to a Triple-Whammy kick in the shins for the dark forces of Mordor.

  15. 23

    Puddybud, identifying Zitz and FartAss as De Fools Dey Are spews:

    Roger Dumb Rabbit@20…

    About your “candidate”… I already posted some inside info on a potential Hillary run from her friends. Of course you were reading the silly papers and missed it. Ask ylb, he has the databaze. He likes you… He sucks up all your pellets.

  16. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    In other news, a 26-year-old Wisconsin woman has been arrested for e-mailing death threats to GOP legislators. We on HA, a respectable progressive blog, don’t condone this sort of thing by either side of course. However, the last time someone got prosecuted in our state for e-mailing death threats to Gov. Gregoire, the charges were thrown on the grounds that idiots have a First Amendment right to threaten to kill elected officials, or something like that, so I can’t help but wonder whether the charges against the Wisconsin woman are going to stick.

    Meanwhile, a number of rank-and-file Wisconsin public union members have repudiated the actions of a union rep in threatening to boycott businesses that refuse to put up signs supporting the collective bargaining rights of public workers. You would never see this sort of thing in the GOP, which summarily excommunicates anyone who doesn’t strictly toe the party line. But progressives and unionists are more open-minded about dissent.

  17. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @23 You vs. Hillary … I kinda like it. You should throw your hat into the ring, putz, and make things easy for us progressives.

  18. 27

    Puddybud, identifying Zitz and FartAss as De Fools Dey Are spews:

    No Roger Dumb Rabbit…

    It would be the HA stooooooopid twins against Hillary in a primary battle. With the HA faithful jock strapping the HA stoooooooooooopid twins, they’ll make a real “splash”.

    I won’t be running Roger. Keep dreaming.

  19. 28

    LD spews:

    Roger, you have a canidate…OMG you have got to be kidding….ha ha ha ha ha 30 trillion in debt spending by 2016. Yup you got a canidate. Have him pull out another $300 bottle of wine on his next boondoggle vacation, while americans are losing their homes why don’t you!

  20. 29

    spews:

    PUDDYBUD! PUDDYBUD! PUDDYBUD! PUDDYBUD! PUDDYBUD! PUDDYBUD! PUDDYBUD! PUDDYBUD! PUDDYBUD! PUDDYBUD! PUDDYBUD! PUDDYBUD!

    In 2012!

    I got my man!

    In that event, though, you wouldn’t have to worry about getting lousy presidents in the future, because there wouldn’t be any America left to ruin.

    Well, it’s looks like the country has to hit dead bottom and then sink over its head in the muck to finally wake up and realize it’s been drowning in a sea of right wing bullshit.

    Back in the 1930′s it was HOOVER that delivered the wake up call,

    Today it will be:

    PUDDYBUD!

  21. 30

    proud leftist spews:

    Puddy @ 16
    4 years is hardly enough to perfect batshit crazy. C’mon, man, give me a break. You’ve been at it your whole life.

  22. 31

    Michael spews:

    A prognosticator quoted in Barron’s, the Rupert Murdoch-owned business magazine, predicted Japan’s earthquake/tsunami will bring the outsourcing era to a close and reverse the trend of sending goods-manufacturing jobs overseas, because many U.S. companies (including Boeing) that relied on Japanese outsourcers can’t get parts because of the disaster, and are rethinking their reliance on less dependable overseas suppliers and thinking in terms of pulling production of goods critical to their businesses back into the U.S.

    With oil over $100 a barrel the price of shipping also makes it cheaper to manufacture some goods in the US that are currently made over seas.

  23. 32

    YellowPup spews:

    The Republicans must realize that Obama is the best Republican president we’ve had since Clinton.

  24. 33

    proud leftist spews:

    YP,
    Give Obama a break. This country is crazy. He’s doing his best to keep it from going Somalian. Of course, if the country did break up, and the west coast hung together, we’d be a helluva country–Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii. Can you imagine not having to worry about what Oklahoma, Kansas, and South Carolina cared about? Can you imagine a nation in which facts, the rest of the world, and reason mattered? We can only dream of such things.

  25. 34

    Upton spews:

    @32

    Ain’t that the truth. Only I liked Bill Clinton better. He wasn’t perfect, but at least he stood up to the Republicans when he felt it was right.

    Obama capitulates almost before the negotiations start. That sham of a “compromise” which extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy being but one example.

  26. 35

    darryldarryldarryl spews:

    Perhaps no one wants to run because of crazed terrorist teachers like this one in wisconsin

    According to the criminal complaint, Windels allegedly sent an email threat to State Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) March 9. Later that evening, she allegedly sent another email to 15 Republican legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau).
    The subject line of the second email was: “Atten: Death Threat!!!! Bomb!!!” In that email, she purportedly wrote, “Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your families will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks.”
    “I hope you have a good time in hell,” she allegedly wrote in the lengthy email in which she purportedly listed scenarios in which the legislators and their families would die, including bombings and by “putting a nice little bullet in your head.”

    That ought to help the unions cause dontchathink? and it also will have a chilling effect on folks running for office. this kook needs about 5 years in jail to think about her anger and craziness.

  27. 36

    YellowPup spews:

    @33: Obama is the only Republican standing between us and the nihilist joke cartoon Republicans, sure. But he does not deserve a break. Apocalyptic death vs. slow death by continuity is not much of a choice.

    Obama has already offered his corporate war industry and Wall St. backers so much, and has thrown his 2008 grass roots support under the bus so often, he needs to be challenged and not taken for granted.

    I don’t buy the wisdom of his “tax compromise,” his silence on the current slash and burn of labor in the states, the Wall St. bailouts, and his half-measure Republican health reform that fortifies the health insurance industry.

    There was a time that I was convinced that this is a “long war” against the conservative creep, and that establishment Democrats were just politically feeble and afraid to push progressive ideas. But I think the real problem is that the oligarchy was allowed to become too powerful for Democrats to ignore.

    It’s still a long war, but I’m not sure that there is any leverage left for us in national politics.

  28. 37

    spews:

    17. Roger Rabbit spews:

    @14 What if Mr. Cynical is his running mate?

    03/31/2011 at 7:18 pm

    OH Shit!!!

    THAT’S the ticket!!!!

  29. 38

    spews:

    So does the puddybitch have the stones to take up the cross and walk in the shoes of the fisherman?

    Oooooooo…we shall see…we shall see.

    PS Howz ’bout the big swingin dick head maxie for the bitch’s press spokesman! NPR can be the campaign manager.

    This is lookin better and beter ALL the time!

  30. 40

    Xar spews:

    @35: That’s an awful story. But it’s one person, and not a person in leadership.

    The difference between the right and the left is the fringe loonies making threats on the right are REPUBLICAN candidates or leaders. On the left, we marginalize and feel ashamed of our loonies. You deify yours, and try to elect them.

  31. 42

    NPR keeps getting PWN3D spews:

    press conferences would cease to be boring, knob jobbing sessions, thats for sure.

    you lemmings are just too scared.