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No Superlatives Needed

As the Republican presidential field slowly starts to define itself, I am reminded more and more of a truly underrated political novel from the early 1970's: Fletcher Knebel's "Dark Horse."

A brief summary: shortly after the nominating conventions, the Democratic nominee dies suddenly. His veep wasn't well liked, so the powers that be fight over who will take the top slot. They pick a New Jersey turnpike commissioner named Eddie Quinn, who figures he has no choice and goes totally gonzo on the campaign trail, having a hell of a time.

Then the polls show he has a serious chance of winning, and he starts getting cold feet at the thought that he might actually be president.

Then, after a CIA briefing on world events, he and the Republican nominee have a completely private conversation. And Eddie's rival imparts upon him some of the finest wisdom I've ever seen. I'm going ot paraphrase it here, because I can't lay my hands on my copy at the moment:

"Eddie, you're having doubts. That's understandable. You can think of a lot of other men who are far better qualified than you are, and so can I. But you need to stop thinking about that. Stop asking yourself 'am I the best man for the job?' Instead, ask yourself 'am I the best man running for the job?' Because that's what really matters."

I'm finding myself applying that same principle to the upcoming Republican contest. As so many others are, I find myself looking at each candidate and asking "is this the man or woman I think is the best candidate? Does this candidate come closest to what I believe in, and want?"

That's a very natural and very seductive position. But I need to get past it. I don't need to think of "best." I need to focus on "better."

Pending a Teutonic tectonic shift in the situation, President Obama will be nominated for re-election in 2012. He is the presumptive nominee. The slot is his to lose. I'll wager there won't even be a half-serious challenge to him.

So the standard against the Republican nominee must be measured is not some abstract Perfect President, but Barack Obama. For me to support a candidate, they don't have to be the Best. The just have to be Better.

On that scale, it's a hell of a lot easier to look at the potential candidates -- and a few of those who've already taken themselves out. In no particular order:

Mitt Romney: I've said before that RomneyCare -- the ObamaCare Lite he signed off on for Massachusetts -- is a damning factor. It could sink him, and shows a bit of weakness. But Romney has always struck me as a pragmatic man, with a seriously impressive record of accomplishments. So I can definitely say that compared to Obama, he would be Better.

Mike Huckabee: even before he took himself out of the running, I was uncomfortable with him. He combined so many aspects that I didn't like. He strikes me as too preachy. He's too squishy on a lot of issues. And there's something about him that I just don't trust. I can't say he would be Better than Obama -- he'd be, at best, Equal To or Worse than Obama.

Donald Trump: Never a serious contender. His ego and narcissism would make him a disaster as president. But his candidacy reminded me of an old saying I heard about the Navy: "Any ship can be a minesweeper -- once." He was a great minesweeper, and I wish he'd stayed in a bit longer to remind us all of the mines the liberals and the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) put out for Republicans and conservatives. In the end, though, I think he would have been Worse than Obama.

Newt Gingrich: The answer to the unasked question "what happens when a bomb-thrower grows too old to toss the bombs a safe distance away?" Gingrich has always had a powerful intellect, but also powerful passions. Those have led him astray on occasion -- witness his multiple marriages -- but have also served him well. But his days are passed. He had his windows of opportunity, but he waited too long and they closed. Now, I'm not quite sure what he stands for besides himself. He's been overtaken by others, and lashes out on those who've taken up the banner he let slip. A Gingrich administration would be an attempt to recapture the heady days of the 90's -- and they're gone. To attempt to recreate them would only make things Worse.

Herman Cain: No electoral experience whatsoever, but damn a serious history of actual accomplishments. Real managerial and executive experience. Passion. A hell of a speaker, with a simple grasp of matters (not to be confused with simplistic) that cuts through the crap that politicians love to pile on to things. And unlike Obama, the shadiest connection in his past is the name of the pizza chain he pulled back from the brink of collapse in astonishing time -- he headed up Godfather Pizza, Obama palled around with real Godfather-like villains like Tony Rezko, Rod Blagojevich, William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, and a host of others. I have to think that a Cain administration would be Better than Obama's.

Sarah Palin: she has the same kind of polarizing charisma Obama has. She has a few things that he doesn't, however. She has an actual record of executive experience and accomplishments. She has put the interests of her constituents ahead of her own, and showed that she has no need or lust for power, by resigning when the attacks on her were threatening the well-being of her state. She has shown that she can learn and grow when confronted by things out of her depth. And, most importantly to me, she has demonstrated tremendous character and resolve by taking on and defeating corruption within her own party -- something Obama has never once done. And she has demonstrated a pretty damned good balance between principle and pragmatism on major issues -- foreign and domestic. So while I am uncertain of what a Palin administration would be like, I think that it's highly likely to be Better than Obama II.

Ron Paul:
Ron Paul has a lot of good ideas. But the problem is, he has a lot of ideas, period -- and the bad ones tend to overshadow the good ones. And beyond the bad ones are the just plain nuts ones. This is compounded by the fact that Paul himself is nuts. He's so hung up on his principles that he can't reconcile them with reality. He sees things as black and white, and doesn't recognize that there is a lot of gray out there. A Paul administration would, in all likelihood, be far, far Worse than Obama's.

Now, I'm sure I've overlooked a few. And you know what? I don't care.

At this point, the first primary is still almost eight months away. And -- not to brag -- but my opinion is more important than most of yours -- because I'm a New Hampshire resident, and my state has the first primary. (If it's any consolation, last time I voted for Fred Thompson, and look how well that worked out. I'd do it again, but it still stings a little.) That's plenty of time for other candidates to catch my eye and interest, or lose it. Or, possibly, both.

But of the three candidates that have declared so far -- Gingrich, Paul, and Cain -- I'd have to say that Cain is my current favorite. And that's by default.

The important point here is that we don't need the "best" candidate. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The most important thing is that we find a candidate who will actually be better than Obama.

And while that is an embarrassingly low standard, as shown above, it's not a given.

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Comments (86)

You must be whoring for Rom... (Below threshold)
Chico:

You must be whoring for Romney, as you failed to mention his main rivals Pawlenty and Huntsman, or Gary Johnson. while mentioning several who have dropped out or have no chance.

Or you don't follow the news, which is a real possibility.

Chico, please. Don't be any... (Below threshold)

Chico, please. Don't be any dumber than absolutely necessary. That comment of yours is so profoundly stupid, it deserves nothing more than a Dogbert-style dismissive wave and a "bah."

J.

Jay TeaYou left ou... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jay Tea

You left out the candidate I am voting for.

ABO

Anybody
But
Obama

---------

Chico

Bah


"Stop asking yourself 'am I... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"Stop asking yourself 'am I the best man for the job?' Instead, ask yourself 'am I the best man running for the job?"

That would be ABO.

Unless of course, Chico decides to run. In which case it would be a tie.

Cain was very good on FN/wC... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

Cain was very good on FN/wChris Wallace this morning. I think he will cause many of the elitist moderate candidates to reconsider, like M. Daniels to not run. That would be a good thing. As far as ricco Chico is concerned, the last thing we need is to have liberals tell us the candidate we need.

Jay -I fully expec... (Below threshold)
Jlawson:

Jay -

I fully expect talking points to be splattered around about how stupid and incompetent and unexperienced all the potential Republican candidates are... ignoring that Obama had pretty much nothing at all to his record when he got elected - and hasn't shown a hell of a lot since.

The attacks will be especially vicious on those who look like they've got a clue, any actual relevant experience, or any potential of slowing the train wreck that the Obama\Pelosi\Reid trifecta have been shoving for the last few years. (Outside The Beltway is taking aim at Herman Cain, for example. He must be seen as having some potential, otherwise they'd wait for him to self-destruct.)

It's going to be bad, it's going to be very painful, and the idiots inside the beltway are going to do their damndest to make it clear that it's not THEIR fault that things have gone pear-shaped, it was just 'unexpected', so they DESERVE to be re-elected so they can 'fix' things.

I swear, that whole area needs to be bulldozed and fumigated to get rid of the political lice that have been bleeding us dry. (Protecting the national monuments, of course.)

But what we've got is what we'll have to work with. I'd like to see a Cain/Palin ticket myself - but whatever we get stuck with there's no way in hell I'm voting for Obama.

Chico, please. Don't be ... (Below threshold)
Chico:

Chico, please. Don't be any dumber than absolutely necessary. That comment of yours is so profoundly stupid, it deserves nothing more than a Dogbert-style dismissive wave and a "bah."

You don't mention Pawlenty? With Daniels out, he's the front-runner!!!!

From this post, I know where you'll be next January. You'll be standing out on Elm Street in Manchester freezing your ass off with a Romney sign.

I'm trying to figure out wh... (Below threshold)

I'm trying to figure out why Chico is trying so hard to push me into Romney's camp.

And then I realized that whatever reasons he has, they're profoundly stupid and fundamentally dishonest. So there's no point in trying to address his points.

Whether or not I end up endorsing and voting for Romney will be in utter contempt for whatever Chico says or wants. Right now, it's not bloody likely. But January's still a long ways away.

J.

I'd vote for Carter before ... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

I'd vote for Carter before Barry. I would also like to see Sarah and someone? Of course the msm will ignore the economy stupid! And fixate on her daughters sex lives but the hell with them and the Obama/Hellary cabal.

Pawlenty will probably deci... (Below threshold)

Pawlenty will probably decide not to run -- and who could blame him, since Chico likes him.

Palin resigned "for the goo... (Below threshold)
Canuck Chuck:

Palin resigned "for the good of her constituency?" - What a laugh. Palin resigned so she could concentrate on raising money and positioning herself for the 2012 race.

#11You say so Hype... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

#11

You say so Hyper. Guess it was more in vogue to be a money laundering black liberal in 2008... 2012, not so much.

Mr. Tea,I have com... (Below threshold)
SER:

Mr. Tea,

I have come to similar conclusions. I like Mrs. Palin, but I've sent my first contribution to Mr. Cain.

What a laugh. Palin resi... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

What a laugh. Palin resigned so she could concentrate on raising money and positioning herself for the 2012 race.

Aaaannnnd.... cue the Anti-Palin talking points!

Don't mention that Obama got into the Senate and immediately started running for President, effectively blowing off his Senate job. So who's more ethical in the stated case - Palin resigning so she could run for office, thereby not taking any more taxpayer money as governor of Alaska, or Obama, who sucked at the government teat all during his running for Prez?

"Aaaannnnd.... cue the A... (Below threshold)
Canuck Chuck:

"Aaaannnnd.... cue the Anti-Palin talking points! "

Aaaaannnnd change the subject to Obama, quick, when thew uncomfortable truth is revealed.

Palin quit for her own benefit and the financial benefit of her family. Nothing wrong with that - the only way it can hurt her is if she isn't honest about it.

"You must be whoring for Ro... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

"You must be whoring for Romney, as you failed to mention his main rivals Pawlenty and Huntsman, or Gary Johnson. while mentioning several who have dropped out or have no chance."

Chico,
This is probably why you will remain irrelevant here and are likely so in your real life as well. If you find Jay's selection wanting why don't you take it upon yourself to offer some positive points on Pawlenty, Huntsman or Johnson on why they should be included? But maybe in doing that you fear you would have to admit they are better choices than Obama as well? It would help the image you wish to create that you are nonpartisan, open-minded or whatever you want to call the lie you are living in your head.

I would like to see a Cain/... (Below threshold)
Madalyn:

I would like to see a Cain/Bachman ticket. Between both of them, they have exactly what it takes to bring this country back from the brink of disaster. And, they are both honest, caring US citizens, who have always loved their country, unlike the corrupt admin we currently have.

DaveD,"...living i... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

DaveD,

"...living in your [chicka's] head."

Please get that image out of my mind... Between the ego and the shit which passes for its brains that's a really cramped and smelly living space!

"Palin quit for her own ben... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

"Palin quit for her own benefit and the financial benefit of her family. Nothing wrong with that - the only way it can hurt her is if she isn't honest about it."

I like Sarah Palin and would have no problem with her being president, but I agree with this statement.

It's comforting to read you... (Below threshold)
CZ:

It's comforting to read your analysis JT. You get it.

My choice has been Cain as well. He can chew up and spit President Zero as none of the others would dare to.

And he don't need no teleprompter. Herman is very inspiring.

DaveD,OK, I'd like... (Below threshold)
Chico:

DaveD,

OK, I'd like to see Gary Johnson get the nomination - anti-interventionist, free-market, small government, individual rights, anti-police state. I would vote for him over Obama.

Johnson has no chance at the nomination, because most of the Republican party are pro-police state and warmongers.

Huntsman would also be a strong nominee, clearly intelligent and qualified for the job, and obviously ready to deal with the Chinese. I would vote for him - he would not send the USA into flames and chaos.

Pawlenty is qualified, but seems kind of a panderer to me like Romney. He is either the front runner or a close second to Romney. I think between him and Romney, the Republicans will pick Pawlenty, because Romney has been proven to be an obvious bullshitter. It might be a close call between him and Obama - the weak guy you know vs. the one you don't.

The rest of the people Jay Tea listed either aren't running, are vanity candidates, morons, nuts or assholes. It's dishonest to list Romney at the top and fail to list strong candidates like Pawlenty, though.

I would not include Ron Pau... (Below threshold)
Chico:

I would not include Ron Paul within my "vanity candidates, morons, nuts or assholes" remark. He is at least trying to uphold American values of freedom.

Herman Cain doesn't know wh... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Herman Cain doesn't know what the phrase "right of return" means, in the context of a discussion of the Middle East.

When asked what he would be prepared to offer the Palestinians as part of a deal, he replied, "Nothing."

He says he doesn't know enough about the war in Afghanistan to have a position as to whether or not we should continue fighting it.

Really, Jay Tea? You REALLY think this ignoramus would be better than Obama?

Jay has got that ri... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:


Jay has got that right! in the choice of the title of his post; No Superlatives Needed and none required, except to be the most willing to play the charade, to lead into an election, the first major national party, that has been taken over by "its lunatic fringe".

But instead of telling the base to get a grip on reality, the party's leaders are chasing after the delusional mob. To get to the front of the line in 2012, Republican candidates must pretend to believe a lot of nonsense than isn't so..Like the White Queen in her youth, the contemporary Republican politician must be capable of believing as many as six impossible things before breakfast...And,if you’re one of the conservatives who had the misfortune to accept science during the pre-Tea Party era....”


Herman who? No experience?<... (Below threshold)
Canuck Chuck:

Herman who? No experience?

Next!

Heh.Ain't that jus... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Heh.

Ain't that just like the left. After failing miserably ever since the Vietnam era to actually generate a grass roots movement, they dismiss as fringe a far larger grass roots movement which is the antithesis of their own earlier experience solely because it runs counter to their manifesto.

Mr. Chuck,"Herman ... (Below threshold)
SER:

Mr. Chuck,

"Herman who? No experience?

Next!"

What experience did Mr. Obama have? Next!

I would like to have a president who is not a politician. I have seen politicians who appear to lack character: Gingrich, Arnold, John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Teddy Kennedy, and the rest. I am extremely tired of career politicians. Government is a necessary evil - but an evil nonetheless. We exchange some of our freedoms for "security." Lately, we have been giving up too many of our freedoms for very little security. I'd like to reverse the trend and getting rid of professional politicians in government would be a good start.

the first major national... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

the first major national party, that has been taken over by "its lunatic fringe".

Leave the Democrats out of this.

Is it possible that someone... (Below threshold)
Pretzel_Logic:

Is it possible that someone would announce their running mate very early? I think that might be a possibility with the 'bench' looking so promising.

Our fundamental problem is ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Our fundamental problem is the leftist infestation of the media.

I have no problem with partisan media per se, as long as there is diversity in perspective. But there isn't now. Fox News is the only voice that can reach independents (the WSJ and talk radio largely preaching to the choir). This is, of course, why Reds want to silence Fox. (By contrast, I've never heard a conservative express a desire to silence MSNBC.)

The leftist domination of the media means any Republican will be flayed and smeared 24/7, his every slip of the tongue splashed everywhere, his intellect and character thoroughly Palined, while exactly the opposite will happen for Buraq.

Romney's biggest problem is... (Below threshold)
James H:

Romney's biggest problem isn't RomneyCare, IMO, but rather that his record of flip-flopping would embarrass John Kerry. I am so far unimpressed with the GOP field ... and I have a feeling that with the Tea Party ascendant, the GOP is unlikely to nominate a candidate I can vote for.

Jay Tea ref Chico trying to... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jay Tea ref Chico trying to 2nd guess your vote. I have just one question.

Are you going to vote for Obama?

If not than I will be voting for whoever you vote for.

ChicoI would be wi... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Chico

I would be willing to make a bet with you. (if you havent been banned from this site by election time).

If Hillary isnt on the ticket (top or bottom) then I will bet you $100 (actual charity of your choice vs actual charity of mine) that Obama wont get 45% of the popular vote and the republicans will get at least 300 electorial votes.

there is but one reason we ... (Below threshold)
Idahoser:

there is but one reason we are now suffering the incompetent communist puppet who currently occupies the White House. It is because the Republican Party does not attempt to get anything 'right', but is content to be 'the opposition'.
If we don't choose what we want, we deserve what we get. And by the way, ensure the continued back-and-forth between the evil party and the stupid party.

I'm not especially interested in which. If you won't repeal the 17th and elect people who at least would like to do the right thing, then the hell with you.

Chico #21,Thanks. T... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Chico #21,
Thanks. This would have added something useful to your post #1. A minor quibble. Figure you shouldn't criticize JT for talking about folks who are unelectable and then you talk about Gary Johnson you in turn suggest is unelectable.

Next:
".....because most of the Republican party are pro-police state and warmongers."

Uh, not the impression I get.

I'm so glad to hear you sup... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

I'm so glad to hear you support Herman Cain, Jay. Because, obviously, anyone who doesn't is a racist bigot.

I am focusing on the senate... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I am focusing on the senate and the more than real chance the republicans get control. That will in effect make Obamalama totally neutered. If we do win the presidency, all the better but the senate is the surer thing.

I did notice none of the resident lefty trolls answered the question about what experience did Obama have? ww

Retired military, Re: # 33 ... (Below threshold)

Retired military, Re: # 33 - I know it wasn't me, but I'll take that bet.

20 pushups says that Obama will defeat any and all GOP comers to win a second term in 2012.

Bet moot if Hillary runs in 2012 instead. We could have another side bet if that happens though, 'cause I'm pretty sure she'd win too.

Also agreeing with Chico that the list of GOP presented here is ignoring some other names that will become pretty prominent - Huntsman, and also possibly Rick Perry of Texas. If his driving Texas into debt doesn't haunt him - Fox barely ever seems to mention it, so a lot of the GOP voters might not even hear of it.

Regardless, Obama will defeat them also.

Guys, the current GOP crop is in serious trouble because of the exact circumstances shown by the Ryan plan. The majority of Americans hate it, the Tea Party likes it. To win the GOP nomination, candidates have to support it; to win the Presidency, candidates will have to be against it. So it is with nearly all of the policies that the Tea Party likes. If this continues, not only will the GOP lose the White House in 2012, but it also might lose the Congress and could even continue towards becoming a regional party.

Especially as the country grows increasingly Latino - a demographic that has viewed the GOP and the Tea Party in recent years as racist for their views on immigration. Rightly or wrongly, that's how Latinos are seeing it, and they're not liking it.

Just telling y'all how it is.

Oh and guys, Sarah Palin is... (Below threshold)

Oh and guys, Sarah Palin is absolutely a joke. She is completely unelectable in a general. Her quitting clinches it. Rightly or wrongly also - I think rightly. But even if she was right to quit when the going got tough, she still quit. And voters do not like electing quitters to the highest office in the land.

Jim xWhich bet do ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jim x

Which bet do you want to take.

$100 to favorite charity.

or
20 pushups.

That is if Obama doesnt have Hillary on the ticket

Yep, the trolls are scared ... (Below threshold)
Stan:

Yep, the trolls are scared shitless that we might elect another Ronald Reagan. They have this inane fear that there are people out there that understand how people of this country think. Another thing that I have noticed here. People like Canuck Chuck (Hyper) can't put anymore liberals into their government, because they have be relegated to a minority party status, so they see Barry as their last great hope. That bubble will also burst in 2012. I wouldn't mind another Reagan type in the White House. Maybe he/she can straighten out the mess the Obama/Reid/Pelosi cabal made of this country in the 6 years they have been in power

Since discussing the primar... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Since discussing the primary campaign is pure fantasy at this point, pure entertainment, let me concur that Dark Horse was one of Knebel's several cool political novels from the '60s-'70s. The state highway commissioner who was given the nomination after the candidate died (I think) ran a total underdog campaign with the theme song "There Ain't No Easy Run" - billed as "an old trucking song." I don't think it was properly credited in the book, but it was a Dave Dudley tune:

I was sittin' in the terminal waitin' for my load
When a greenhorn driver came in off of the road
I heard him tell that foreman get my little pink slip
This run's too tough and I'm gonna quit
Now the foreman that day happened to be old Joe man he was older than time
He said son how long you been drivin' this rig
You know I drove all shapes forms fashions and kinds
Here you are worried about this one little trip
Why I drove a million miles and then some
He looked that greenhorn right in the eye and he said
"Boy there ain't no easy run"
I drove for Roadway, Interstate, Hopewell, Great Lakes
Overnight and Time, Mayflower and Freight Line
Specter, Yellow Transit, Western, and Gillete
Redball, Rider Northwestern, Big CF
Beaver & Bell, Hoover & McLeans
Gateway Motor Freight , Transport, Vikings
Dixie, Ohio, & Trans American Some
East Texas, Mason Dixon ,Watkin and Transcon
Wilson Associate got all that drivin' done
And I'll tell you boy there ain't no easy runs

Now if you got a gal in Texas they'll send you up to Maine
If you got a gal in New York they'll send you out to the plains
I know what your problem is you got woman trouble son
Well like I said there ain't no easy run

I drove for Navajo, Brady, Goose, DC
North American, Allied, Chicago Motor Freight & Pie
Bee Mac & Curtis, Eastern and NX
Garrett & Ace, Federal & ETM
And Neptune Hereon, Brinks and Sea Lab
Dudley, Dorsey Bekins and Cunningham
Cooper, Mc Roary, Jones & American too
Acme and Central & Standard and Boston Sue
And Yunhan and Buckingham got all that drivin' done
And I'll tell you boy there ain't no easy run
I went backward forwards uphill downhill chills spills thrills and pills...

And how about Atlas & Cramer
Alabama, Hiway Express, Murphy Line
And Long, and Harris, General Stickland, Eden & Key
How about that Nashville by-pass on a Friday afternoon
That'll blow yer shorts off
That's sumpin else
Then there's, Atlanta, Daily, McCrae, Wheeling, Rockwell, Gilbert

If you'd like to hear ol' Dave sing it, it's here: http://tinyurl.com/3ev27q3

Hey Palin is no bigger joke... (Below threshold)
John:

Hey Palin is no bigger joke than Obama.

WW,A strong Presid... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

WW,

A strong Presidential ticket (i.e. with coattails) helps with Senate races, though it won't replace having strong candidates.

20 pushups says that Oba... (Below threshold)
Evil Otto:

20 pushups says that Obama will defeat any and all GOP comers to win a second term in 2012.

I'd take that bet, but I don't think you can do 20 pushups.

There's an old saying Jim... "If you don't understand your punishment, you deserve another." In 2010, Democrats suffered an historic loss. What's become clear is that you drones don't understand why you lost. You continue to make the same mistakes, and the end result will be the same.

In 2008, Barack Obama ran a campaign based around his charisma, meaningless words like "hope" and "change," constant reminders that he wasn't George Bush (and that John McCain was), and vague promises that he would solve all the growing problems of the country. He has delivered on NONE of it (even on not being George Bush), and things are far worse economically than they were when he took office. He can't run on his soap-bubble-and-unicorn-farts image this time... now he has to run on his record. And his record is abysmal.

An honest Democrat (that's not you) would wake up at night with cold chills at the prospect of what it's going to take to win. Unemployment must fall by multiple percentage points, and quickly. The housing market must improve. Gas prices must fall, and quickly. There must be no more significant inflation. Deficits must be slashed and out-of-control budgets brought back into some sort of sanity. And this must happen within the year. Even if the economy were to begin to truly recover in 2012, it will be too late, and the current administration always takes the blame for economic doldrums. ALWAYS, Jim. It's an iron law of American politics.

Bill Clinton understood one thing: It's the economy, stupid. You. Don't. Get. It. You're here predicting doom (DOOOOOOM!) for the Republicans while your own party flounders, rudderless and disorganized, while the economy continues to stagnate, while massive numbers of people are unemployed and even more underemployed, while the dollar sinks, while people are losing their homes.

You seem to think this election is about who the Republican nominee is. It really isn't. If things don't get better, and FAST, any carbon-based life form will be able to defeat Barack Obama. What you're gambling on, virtually the only hope you have left is that the Republicans nominate a terrible candidate. They might, of course, but that's a sorry thing to pin your hopes on. By all means, though, continue to be arrogant. Continue to think you've got this one in the bag, that the Republicans are doomed (DOOOMED!!!). We've heard it before. Last time... in 2010.

Just telling ya how it is.

I vote for pull-ups. Libera... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

I vote for pull-ups. Liberals have a real aversion to pulling themselves up.

Jeff Blogworthy @ 46 wrote:... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

Jeff Blogworthy @ 46 wrote:

Liberals have a real aversion to pulling themselves up.

And should a liberal attempt to pull themselves up in the presence of other liberals or progressives, they will try to talk them out of it or physically interfere in their attempt, just to keep from looking bad in comparison.

wish they would focus on ... (Below threshold)
MF:

wish they would focus on the situation at hand.
It is way too early to campaign.

Really, Jay Tea? You REA... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Really, Jay Tea? You REALLY think this ignoramus would be better than Obama?

Keep your blatantly racist remarks to yourself.

Well, let's see. We've effe... (Below threshold)
Canuck Chuck:

Well, let's see. We've effectively eliminated Gingrich, Trump, Palin, and Huckaberry. Not bad for two weeks of work! Who's next?

Anyone who enters the race now is a fool. It's way too early. They are leaving themselves open to months and months of investigation, vetting and ridicule.

That said, Romney is the only goober out there with a chance of winning. McCain the centrist had a chance until he brought "Palin the lunatic" on board - and it'll take a centrist like McCain to beat Obama. He just needs to do it without wacko baggage on board.

But there's a very good chance that Romney won't make it to the finish line - not without taking on a lunatic running mate like Bachman.... and I suspect he won't stoop that low. He's smarter than that which means (A) he won't do it and (B) therefore the lunatic fringe in the right wing party will not support him.

I think it'll be hard to beat Obama -- simply because the fringe right teabaggers will insist on a nutcake as a running mate for whoever the GOP frontrunner is - and that will cinch it for Obama.

Bruce HenryBy the ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bruce Henry

By the leftists Obama standards your statement is racist. Hate to tell you but it is true.


I'd vote for a shoebox befo... (Below threshold)
RFA:

I'd vote for a shoebox before I'd vote for a Democrat or a Socialist like Obama.

Chuck do you even have a cl... (Below threshold)
John:

Chuck do you even have a clue who the people that associate with the tea party are, do you know how stupid you sound when you use the term teabagger?

Retired military, I would f... (Below threshold)

Retired military, I would feel bad taking $100. Pushups are fine for me.

Evil Otto, it's not my fault if you're too scared of doing 20 pushups to take the bet. Take it, or don't. But don't project your apparent laziness. It's unbecoming.

In re: the 2010 "historic" loss, I don't see a) how it's worse than the GOP losing both the Senate and Congress. Or how it's somehow magically lasting. The party that wins back the White House typically loses the Congress in the next election, you see. The GOP may hold on to the Congress in 2012 - but the more they back up Ryan's insane plan, the less likely they are to keep it.

So if you believe you're "just telling me how it is", step up and take the bet like a man. The exercise will be good for you. It might even lead you to think.

Blogworthy and Graves, push... (Below threshold)

Blogworthy and Graves, pushups work better for conservatives like you. You're both repulsive as it is.

Nevertheless, if you want to man up and take the bet too, hop on. The more the merrier. Let's just make a nice formal list of it, so that when Obama wins in 2012 you won't be able to weasel out of it.

If I was on board it would ... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

If I was on board it would have to be 100 pull-ups AND 100 push-ups just to make it interesting enough to participate. Timed.

Jeff,Have you ever... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

Jeff,

Have you ever known a leftist to keep their word?

Sadly, I just saw Fred hawk... (Below threshold)
Bill Johnson:

Sadly, I just saw Fred hawking reverse mortgages on TV last night. How the mighty have fallen.

And I liked him, too. Until he petered out...

Rodney,Occasionall... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Rodney,

Occasionally, believe it or not, I've found that some liberals do keep their word. Admittedly, It's rare. Anyway, I do workouts of 100+ pull-ups on a regular basis. It's just another day at the gym for me.

JimOkay 20 pushups.<... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jim
Okay 20 pushups.

McCain the "centrist" was t... (Below threshold)
Matt:

McCain the "centrist" was toast until he chose Palin as his running mate. Palin breathed some life into the campaign and kept it on life support. From the moment Palin was on board Obama had to run against her, not McCain. The MSM focused on defeating her since McCain was already done. If McCain had shown proper leadership within his campaign, stopped listening to his lily-livered managers and unleashed Palin he would of probably one.

#61Yep.. The Won ... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

#61

Yep.. The Won is one and done.. Mark My words. Right jim x.

Jeff,Color me skep... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

Jeff,

Color me skeptical.

Rodney that is rather racis... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

Rodney that is rather racist of You to doubt Me.


Ha hahahahaha

OK, Jeff how about 200 each... (Below threshold)

OK, Jeff how about 200 each for you then, timed. If that's enough of a challenge for you.

The rest of you, 20 each is fine for me. Rodney, I have known many Rightists not to keep their word, and also to project this onto whatever they call Leftists. But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, that when you lose you'll fulfill the bet.

And, just in case Hillary actually runs instead of Obama in 2012, the same bet stands that she will beat any and all GOP comers.

Remember No... (Below threshold)
Sep14:


Remember November

Hellary? Get real! She couldn't carry Barry's golf bag.

If that harpy runs instead of yoda ears you guys are really sunk. Of course were all sunk with affirmative action in the works but 2012 will fix that.

Hmm, perhaps I've had too m... (Below threshold)
epador:

Hmm, perhaps I've had too many kids, but I think of push-ups as a kind of ice cream and pull-ups get worn during toilet training. But why you'd use them at a gym is beyond me.

"I have known many Rightist... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

"I have known many Rightists not to keep their word,"


I have known many leftists and all of them do not keep their word. The jac ass in chief is a prime example.

RM,ABO and hope for ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

RM,
ABO and hope for the best. I would prefer Herman Cain or PaLIN . Being articulate , clean and intelligent wont be enough for them. The media and bigoted party will ignore there protected status and attack full bore because of the R. The see it as the scarlet latter.

The ABO candidate must stand for something besides not being BHO. He cannot just attack he also need to clearly state a plan that will right the ship of state. Concrete achievable goals and a positive vision of the future.

As we go forward any candidate Pravda and the Democrats put forth as a "real" threat to Obama is a failure.

Look at the candidate that fit all criteria of GOP, Democrats and Pravda John screw Palin McCain
1. Willing to reach across the isle
2. Supported torture
3. Week on Immigration
4. For Cap and trade
5. Uttered Wall street vs Main street line instead of say we are all Americans and class warfare shite needs to end now.
6. Jumped down the throats of Republican more than ever taking on BHO (Fare mined)
7 Supporter of Campaign Finance reform
8,Against enhanced interrogations
9. Support comprehensive immigration reform
10 the Gang of 14

JimX:My propositio... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

JimX:

My proposition is this: The loser does 100x pull-ups and push-ups, timed, with the video evidence posted on a video sharing service to prove it. Break into sets as needed. If you're up for that -- it's on.

If Obama retains office, I'll need this to work out my frustrations.

There is no way Obama gets ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

There is no way Obama gets the majority of independent voters. If the independents don't like the republican candidate, they will sit it out. As will the youth vote especially college grads that have been jobless for 3 years.

Again, Obama has nothing going for him since no trolls can list his accomplishments.

The troll (hyper) that said McCain would have done well until he appointed Palin is plain nuts.

The senate is ours. The seething and dislike a majority of americans have for government cannot be overcome with pleasent words and the regular bullshit. ww

I was disappointed in this ... (Below threshold)
Bernard Webb:

I was disappointed in this analysis despite several interesting passages.

A minor problem is that you left out Gary Johnson, who is reasonable and witty and deserves to be at least included. (Oh, that's right, you "don't care".)

A MAJOR problem is that you think that Sarah Palin would be a better president than Obama. Frankly, the moment I read that I knew I had to essentially discount the rest of the article. Anybody who wants this seedy grifter in charge of MY country is so far off base that I don't really care what else he has to say.

Evil Otto, it's not my f... (Below threshold)
Evil Otto:

Evil Otto, it's not my fault if you're too scared of doing 20 pushups to take the bet.

Do you have issues with reading comprehension? Or is this your version of "I know you are but what am I?" I don't think you can do 20 pushups, but let me be clear... I don't really care.

Take it, or don't. But don't project your apparent laziness. It's unbecoming.

That's the best taunt you could come up with? Not impressed.

In re: the 2010 "historic" loss,

Oh, you can put quotes around it all you like. It was the biggest political ass-kicking in decades. Not only did Democrats lose control of the House, they lost control of numerous state legislatures, and lost much of their majority in the Senate. All in one election.

I don't see a) how it's worse than the GOP losing both the Senate and Congress. Or how it's somehow magically lasting.

Never said it was somehow magically lasting. Ask yourself this, though... what have the Democrats done to change the momentum? what have they done to restore the economy?

The party that wins back the White House typically loses the Congress in the next election, you see.

Oh, little deluded leftist drone, not that badly. The 2010 election was a major shift in power, especially coming off a 2008 election that elected an immensely popular, young, charismatic new president.

The GOP may hold on to the Congress in 2012 - but the more they back up Ryan's insane plan, the less likely they are to keep it.

It's like I'm talking to a brick wall. Most people don't care about Ryan's plan, Jimmy. They care that they can't find jobs. They care that food prices are going up. They care that they can't find jobs. They care that gas prices are going up. They care that they can't find jobs. They care that their homes are falling in value. They care that they can't find jobs. Have I mentioned jobs?

I notice you spent no time at all in your response arguing about any of my real points. Instead, you're just mindlessly repeating the same lines like a parrot. "SQUAWK RYAN'S PLAN SQUAWK!" I talked at length about the economy, and how historically the administration in power takes the blame. Again, Jimmy, that's an iron rule. Ignoring the argument doesn't make it go away. If you were smart, you'd be scared shitless.

So if you believe you're "just telling me how it is",

Good God, do you have any memory at all? I was quoting YOU. "Just telling y'all how it is." Ring a bell? You wrote that.

step up and take the bet like a man.

I don't actually care about your feeble little bet, drone, or your schoolyard taunts to get me to take it. I was insulting you. You simply don't matter enough to take you or your bet seriously.

The exercise will be good for you. It might even lead you to think.

You mean to agree with you. Which doesn't qualify as thinking.

Y'know, the more of these comments I read by you trolls, the more I'm struck by just how arrogant you are. You really think you've got this one in the bag, don't you Jimmy? You think there's no chance God Emperor Obama can be defeated. It's as if you think power is yours by right except for the occasional hiccups where Republicans take back congress or the White House for a few years. It's as if you don't think you have to do anything to EARN power. You know... produce actual results.

You do. That's what 2010 was about. It was about the economy, and the size and scope of the federal government. Rather than learn from your mistakes and change course (like the smarter and more politically savvy Bill Clinton did), you Democrats have gone balls-to-the-wall for the very ideas that got you stomped. You haven't learned from your punishment. You deserve another.

@Jay Guevara: you write "Ou... (Below threshold)
Bernard Webb:

@Jay Guevara: you write "Our fundamental problem is the leftist infestation of the media."

Can we please trade TV sets? Mine only gets right-wing spokespeople and right-wing framing of issues on every channel, with a dash of false equivalence thrown in. Do you watch the Sunday morning political talk shows? On my TV, the guests are entirely republicans and conservative Democrats. You'd love it! Meanwhile, your set is apparently showing you a bunch of liberals (the people *I* want to see) at the very same time.

I'd also like to trade radios with you. Mine picks up Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, and other right-wingers from one end of the dial to the other, especially when I'm driving somewhere out in the sticks. Your set apparently picks up all the "leftist" programs I am unable to find anywhere.

Let's trade! Please?

Well said, Mister Tea!... (Below threshold)

Well said, Mister Tea!

I'm for Mr Cain, too, unless Mrs Sarah's Able!

Bernard, your TV doesn't ge... (Below threshold)
Evil Otto:

Bernard, your TV doesn't get MSNBC, CNN, CBS, ABC, or NBC? And they don't have liberal democrats (I'm wandering who in the world you think is a "conservative Democrat")on their shows? Your radio doesn't get NPR?

C'mon, buddy, who do you think you're kidding? If TV and radio are too conservative for you, maybe the problem is that you're so far to the left that Nancy Pelosi would be telling you to dial it back a bit.

Unfortunately, I do believe... (Below threshold)
boqueronman:

Unfortunately, I do believe the Republican candidate will have an uphill battle in 2012. The reason is a combination of three things: (1) the media will be all-in squared to preserve it's 2008 electoral accomplishment; (2) Obama will, in the classic Chicago way, come up with whatever money from whatever sources to swamp his opponent; and, most importantly, (3) from the repeated surveys I've seen the U.S. voting public just doesn't get the reality of the mathematics pushing our fiscal deficit and public debt problem.

Numbers usually north of 60% seem to believe that the deficit can be tamed by a combination of "taxing the rich" and closing down foreign aid and PBS! Bwahahaha! But don't you touch my SocSec and Medicare, damn it! Therefore, any tactics Obama wishes to employ incorporating the "Repubs want to push Grandma over the cliff" have a good chance of being successful. Whichever candidate is selected will have to be a master educator!

Also, why does the list - apart from the fringe candidate (who is actually a Libertarian before he's a Republican) Congressman - contain NO ONE who actually holds public office? Surely you could have thrown in a couple of actual governors. Of course, except possibly for Chris Christie, they throw off as much enthusiasm and energy as a 20 watt bulb. So trying to write a paragraph about any of them would be a daunting task.

Wait a minute, go back to c... (Below threshold)

Wait a minute, go back to comment #22:


I would not include Ron Paul within my "vanity candidates, morons, nuts or assholes" remark. He is at least trying to uphold American values of freedom.

Did Chico just out himself as a Paul-tard?

Jeff, ok, you're on.<... (Below threshold)

Jeff, ok, you're on.

Otto, fortunately I wasn't trying to impress you. Your article-sized response does indicate you aren't used to taking what you dish out. But, whatever. You don't want to take the bet, even for 20 pushups, so down you go into the "too scared to play" category.

Feel free to whine about that for a whole 'nother article-sized comment, if it makes you feel good. : )

I figured it out, guys... a... (Below threshold)
Evil Otto:

I figured it out, guys... arguing with idiots like Jim X is like arguing with Charlie Sheen. You explain why their life is turning to shit, why things are NOT looking good for them, and they just look at you blankly as if they didn't understand one word you said, and say "WINNING!"

@Evil Otto: C'mon, buddy, w... (Below threshold)
Bernard Webb:

@Evil Otto: C'mon, buddy, who do you think you're kidding? If TV and radio are too liberal for you, maybe the problem is that you're so far to the right that Glenn Beck would be telling you to dial it back a bit.

"Keep your blatantly racist... (Below threshold)
Alex:

"Keep your blatantly racist remarks to yourself."

I want you define what you mean by "racism", Jay, and explain to me why in your opinion this accusation should have the moral power to shame an interlocutor into submission. My guess, you will not be able to do it. And additionally, in attempting to do so you will be revealed as motivated by your ethnic interests. Of that I am nothing less than supremely confident.

Jay Tea,"A Paul ad... (Below threshold)
Alex:

Jay Tea,

"A Paul administration would, in all likelihood, be far, far Worse than Obama's."

Would you care to enlighten me with particulars? Particularly, what would Ron Paul do, given he had his way, which in your opinion would be to the detriment of our country?

What is injurious to the interests of America's ruling elite and the great mass of the American people is not necessarily the same thing, mind you. It is that misapprehension, I suspect, which is the crux of the matter for you. Could I demonstrate that if given the latitude by you? Of course I could.

Alex, the "blatantly racist... (Below threshold)

Alex, the "blatantly racist" line was sarcasm -- it was riffing on how most criticisms of Obama are dismissed as racist, and applying the same principle to criticisms of Cain. At least, that's how I read it.

In light of your not getting that, I have to answer your question "Would you care to enlighten me with particulars?" with "no, I would not." It seems clear that trying to enlighten you about most anything would be a tremendous waste of time.

But have some hope; I'm working on another article where I do touch upon Congressman Paul and my problems with him (in passing, as an example), and you might get your enlightenment there.

But I doubt it.

Oh, it'll be there, but I don't think you'll grasp it.

J.

Bernard I'll see your Beck ... (Below threshold)
John:

Bernard I'll see your Beck and raise you an Ed Schultz, Rachal Madcow, Keith Overhimself, Chris Mathews, Dan Rather, Katie Curic, Alan Colmbs, Blob Rectal, the skinny skeletor Andrea whatshername on NBC, David Gregory, well you get the point. If you're TV is too conservative for you really just change the channel.

Herman Cain doesn'... (Below threshold)
Clint:
Herman Cain doesn't know what the phrase "right of return" means, in the context of a discussion of the Middle East.

When asked what he would be prepared to offer the Palestinians as part of a deal, he replied, "Nothing."

He says he doesn't know enough about the war in Afghanistan to have a position as to whether or not we should continue fighting it.

Really, Jay Tea? You REALLY think this ignoramus would be better than Obama?

23. Posted by Bruce Henry

I know you posted this as a criticism of Herman Cain, but I actually quite like this.

Yes, I'd vastly prefer a President who *knows* that he doesn't know something to one who doesn't realize that he doesn't know.

President Obama, in prepared vetted remarks, apparently didn't understand (or worse did) what 1967 borders meant. And Vice President Biden seems to believe that the term "settlements" refers to Jews building houses anywhere in Israel.

I'd much rather have a candidate who says he doesn't know what a term like "Right of Return" means in this context than one who thinks he does know, when he doesn't understand the ramifications. (The whole point of the phrase is that it sounds so innocuous.)

Similarly, Candidate Obama made strong, clear statements about the war (even if some were dumb statements, like standing by his claim that the surge failed), but President Obama took six months or more to decide whether or not to increase our troop presence in Afghanistan.

He was either mistaken when he indicated that he *did* know enough to have a strong position, or lying about his opinion. (I'd bet on the former.) It would be odd to criticize Herman Cain for not making the same mistake.

Isn't it possible that no one without access to classified White House briefings knows enough to have a clear position on the war in Afghanistan? --- isn't that part of why President Obama's policy is so different from Candidate Obama's rhetoric? (on the War, on the Patriot Act, on wiretapping, on Guantanamo, on military tribunals, etc, etc, etc...)

Frankly, I'd love to see politicians encouraged to admit that they aren't experts on everything. I'm just wonkish enough to love the idea of forming a cabinet *before* the election, so that the future Secretary of Energy can be out on the trail fielding questions on oil drilling and windmill farms...




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