Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota, is the first Republican casualty among the presidential candidates. He dropped out is the news this Sunday morning. Apparently his low-key style did not attract enough attention. Actually, I read the quote of one Iowa straw poll voter who said he liked Pawlenty but he wants to see what Rick Perry is all about. I would not know who Pawlenty was if he came to my front door (and apparently I didn’t even have his name down pat — I called him Tom instead of Tim in an earlier version of this post). That just doesn’t work in politics, not me not knowing him, but the public not knowing.You have to make a lot of noise or at least someone has to make it for you.
So Michele Bachman won Saturday’s Iowa presidential straw poll. But the news among the pundits was that Rick Perry, governor of Texas, is in the race for president and even picked up a few hundred votes in the poll as a write in. Libertarian Ron Paul came in second. Interesting, but few among the professional political watchers give the winner and the runner-up a chance for the real contest. I imagine the Republicans will have to field someone who does not come off as too edgy or out of the mainstream, even if the public is sour on the mainstream (a contradiction I know) and probably not someone with the twang of a Southern bible-belt tent preacher, and someone with a coherent plan for public policy, other than no taxes (although no taxes is always popular) and don’t let homosexuals marry one another. While I admit that it might be wise to make sure we are spending our current tax money in a prudent and efficient manner before we raise taxes, that is largely subjective and that alone will not solve our economic problems. And keeping homosexuals from getting married solves nothing. Maybe some of these people just don’t have real ideas about balancing the budget and improving the economy and getting people back to work, that is other than no new taxes and to get rid of all those pesky government regulations on business such as clean water and air requirements and worker safety requirements, and requirements that financial transactions be on the up and up.
ADD 1: This is a scary thought, but I think the elites and moderates in politics and government, whom we all have depended upon, have so let us down by their pandering or cowering before the extremists that a desperate or disgruntled electorate might vote in someone who is not well versed in history, world geography and geopolitical concerns, governance, politics in general, and even the fundamentals of American democracy. We could actually wind up with someone as bad or worse than George W. Bush.
While I have not had a chance to digest all the Republican aspirants to the presidency, and I really want to with an open mind, right now, from what I have heard and read so far, I would say that despite the fact that President Obama’s poll ratings are down and he seems to have alienated some of his base and the far left, if one of the Republican crazies gets nominated, he probably has smooth sailing.
It’s just hard to take Michele Bachman seriously. And yet it is serious that she and others are carrying the cross of Christianity with them on the stump — they are not running to be head of the church, but the president of the United States of America which is supposed to have religious freedom, but which is not supposed to have a state-sponsored religion.
Many pundits seem to think that once the dust settles Mitt Romney (a Mormon, not a Christian) will run away with it and others see Texas governor Rick Perry (an evangelical Christian), who just officially entered the race today, as the one the Republicans might turn to.
All I really know about Romney is that I can’t stand his fake smarmy smile and his duplicity, his style of just putting his finger to the wind to see which way it is blowing and then going that way. And worst of all he thinks corporations are human beings and have individual rights as you and I. The only way that corporations are individuals is in a narrow legal interpretation of the 14th Amendment that has to do with their standing in civil cases. The far right-wing hand-picked majority of the Supreme Court has given a wide interpretation to that and has gone far beyond what has been understood heretofore. But bottom line, Romney thinks that corporations should run the country. That basically makes him a fascist. I think if you look at the history of fascism in Italy in World War Two and Nazism in Germany in the same time period you will see what I mean.
Rick Perry I know almost nothing about, except that he suggested that maybe Texas should secede from the United States — I thought that was settled in 1865 when the North won the Civil War. I also have read that as the longest-serving governor of Texas he is credited with doing great things for that state’s economy. And I also have read that he has drastically cut government services there.
I wish that presidential candidates would keep their religion to themselves (except as voters we do want to know what if any religion they claim to adhere to). I for one have little to no interest in their religion (except I want to know what it is) unless they want to push it on me or tailor their policies to fit their own brand of religion, in which case I would surly not vote for such a candidate. Now I suppose if a candidate is a born-again Christian and he or she wants to let others of that ilk know that he or she is one of them in order to garner votes, that is okay, but it won’t get my vote.
But I will stop here and say that historically Christianity has been the main religion in the United States. And just as I would not vote for someone who makes a big deal about being Christian, I would certainly not vote for an adherent to Islam. I see how they handle most things around the world and I don’t care for it. What a conundrum.
Really, organized religion seems to be behind much of the strife in the world. Maybe it is not the religions in and of themselves that cause so much of the problems, but individual interpretations of them and human jealously and opportunists who use religion as an excuse to get their way, through that is kind of like the argument that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
But, any way, there is much fear and discontent what with the current economic situation in the United States and the world.
It is exciting to watch how this will all play out.
I for one would like to see change — Obama did not come through with it (except Obamacare and it is difficult to know at this time what that amounts to). I don’t know why for sure. And if he is replaced we might well see real change.
But will we like it?