Monday, May 25, 2015

Is There a Difference Between GOP Clowns?

Jeb Bush speaking at the Iowa Republican Party's Lincoln Dinner on Saturday May 16th. (photo: Scott Galindez/RSN)
Jeb Bush speaking at the Iowa Republican Party's Lincoln Dinner on Saturday May 16th. (photo: Scott Galindez/RSN)

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

24 May 15
ith the Republican field heading for a train wreck when the debates begin late this summer, I have a solution. Draw straws. Yup, just draw straws. Well, not for all of them – there a few who are polling in the top tier, or are different enough from the others that they should definitely get a spot in the debates. The rest are so similar that they only need to send one or two to the debates to represent the rest of them.

So who is different enough to warrant a spot in the debates? Here is my list.

Jeb Bush

Jeb’s immigration and Common Core positions set him apart from the other clowns because his positions are outside the GOP mainstream on those issues. That’s where his uniqueness ends. On foreign policy he sounds like his brother: “Peace through Strength.” I guess when your foreign policy advisers are the same as your father and brother had, it’s hard to come up with something new. Jeb is on life support in Iowa but is doing much better in other early primary states. He has already bowed out of the straw poll. Maybe he’ll volunteer to sit out the Iowa debate. He may be able to buy the nomination, but I don’t think it will be as easy as in the past. His one advantage is that there are not many other candidates fighting for the support of his wing of the party, just Chris Christie, while it’s crowded for the right wing of the party.

Scott Walker

To be honest, if he weren’t polling so well he would be in the line to draw straws. I don’t see any difference between him and the rest of the Republicans running for president. He is the clear frontrunner right now in Iowa. He’s from neighboring Wisconsin, and a hero to the anti-union GOP voter. He is the Koch brothers’ boy and has succeeded at turning Wisconsin into an ALEC model state. Walker is a walking gaffe waiting to happen. I think it will be fun to let him into the debates. In the past, candidates like Walker who were popular with the conservatives early would fade as their money dried up. Walker will not have that problem. The Koch brothers will provide a lifeline for their boy.

Carly Fiorina

On the issues, Fiorina should stand in line with the other candidates, but since she is the only woman in the race on the Republican side, she gets a spot. She does have the same qualifications as George W. Bush when it comes to running a business; they both know how to run them into the ground. So a Fiorina presidency could leave the economy in just as bad a shape as the last Bush presidency. She is scoring points with Republican voters as she spends all of her time bashing Hillary Clinton. I’m not sure what she would do if Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic nomination. Seems to me the whole rationale for her campaign would go away along with Clinton.

Dr. Ben Carson

He is a brain surgeon, so I guess he is the smart one in the field. I hate to tell him though, politics is not like brain surgery. You can’t experiment on one person without affecting everyone else. I am not just giving him the spot because he is black. He is also not as dogmatic as the others. He ends up coming down the same on the issues as the other Republican candidates, but he takes a different path to get there. I think it is because he is not a career politician. For that reason I think he has something unique to bring to the table.

Rand Paul

Rand Paul appeals to young people because he is right on civil liberties and on some foreign policy issues. Make no mistake though, on economic policy he is Republican through and through.There is not a social program he wouldn’t cut, including Social Security and Medicare. It is his stance against the Patriot Act and most wars that separates him from the rest and gets him a spot in the debates.While it is tempting to support him, he would be a disaster for the poor and elderly in America. Think twice before supporting him based on a few issues.

The Field

This doesn’t address how we decide which Latino gets into the debates. How about Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz play Rock Paper Scissors for the 6th spot and the rest draw straws for the 7th? Seven seems manageable, but then there is Chris Christie, the more moderate — wait, why is he more moderate? Common Core? Jeb has that covered. Praising Obama right before the 2012 election? They will never forgive him for that one. So we can just leave him out of the debate. That will save a lot of room on the stage. Before you say anything, I’m fat too, so I can tell fat jokes.

Back to the field. In horse racing a bunch of horses are grouped together in what they call the field. If you bet on the field and any of them win, you win. So my idea to trim down the size of the field for the Republican debates is to bunch the candidates who are really the same into one group and have them draw straws to see who represents them in the debates. The field would consist of Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Lyndsey Graham, et al. They’d better hope Graham is not the one with the short straw or he might make them all look nuts like he did at the Lincoln Dinner. But remembering the rest of them from the dinner, they’re all nuts, and he probably represents the whole clown car very well. Graham actually said that if you even think about joining ISIS he will call a drone and kill you. I’m not kidding ...

So there we have it: Jeb, Rand, Ben, Carly, Scott, Marco or Ted, and one from the field. I also have some ground rules to make the debate more challenging to them.

They should not be allowed to mention Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Islamo-fascists.

Hmmmm, this might not be doable – there will be dead air every time Carly Fiorina is asked a question. What if Ted Cruz wins Rock Paper Scissors? He wouldn’t be able to say he would repeal Obamacare: more dead air. Never mind, I guess that rule won’t work. After all, none of these candidates have any new ideas. Their candidacies are nothing more than attacks on Obama, Hillary, and Muslims.

But what do we do with The Donald? You know what? Despite a few minor differences on a few issues, they are really all the same … Let them all draw straws, and the short straw gets the nomination. They are going to agree on everything in the debates anyway.

Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

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