Rick Perry was the latest that many rank and file Republicans expected to walk on the water of presidential politics, but who instead began to sink into the murky depths. Mitt Romney was deemed the de-facto front runner very early on, simply on the basis of continuously running for office for what seems like the last quarter century at least. But Mitt has the reputation of being so constitutionally unable to produce excitement he couldn’t get hornets to swarm out of a nest if he hit it with a shovel.
Before Perry it was Donald Trump….yes, that Donald Trump, the GOP field so chronically fatigued, and the rank and file so desperate to beat, and deluded enough to believe they easily can defeat President Obama, they even raised the Human Hairpiece to the top of the polls when he disgorged the correct amount of anti-Obama rhetorical cuckoo. Naturally that was doomed, Trump only hamming it up to shine his brand, and soon a polling afterthought.
In the interim between The Donald and The Perry there was Michelle Bachman, the party so bereft of promising hopefuls during that period that even the Mother Superior of Flying Monkeys became a “serious” contender according to polls and pundits (Ah, those sagacious pundits). Her faltering after rising to the top revealed something previously undiscovered and not believed to exist by scientists: a Republican too dumb and too crazy to be taken seriously by Republicans.
Early on, Tim Pawlenty had a little messiah mojo, some anticipation among the political class he might could thread the needle between the GOP’s colorfully psychiatric ideological base and broader electability in a general election. But he quickly defined himself as Romney without the charisma.
Which brings us to Republicans’ perennial favorite potential savior, Chris Christie, otherwise known as Our Perpetual Savior in Waiting, or the Hamlet Savior, or the Playing It Hard to Get Savior or perhaps the Smart Enough Not to be a Sacrificial Lamb Savior. He’s also a savior with the physical deportment of a Messiah who likes to barbecue.
He’s something of an underwhelming savior too, having served as Governor of New Jersey only for two years. He hasn’t been terribly popular even in his own state, viewed with higher disapproval than approval until Hurricane Irene made him relevant again. Having said he absolutely, positively would not run under any circumstances he is said to be thinking it over again, what with Perry the latest potential savior to hang himself before getting a chance to hang from the cross. Perry’s so excitable and bullheaded he all but claws the turf with his hoof (I guess that makes him a real Texan). Supposedly every GOP big cheese or establishment winger is begging Christie to save the day for feudalism. Perhaps they should take a lesson from Seinfeld’s temptation of Newman and offer up a tasty Drake’s Cake.
What Republicans have on their hands for the 2012 election season is a perfectly classic Catch-22: nobody sane enough at least in appearance to have a serious chance in a general election can be nominated by the meshugana Republican voters; and anyone crazy enough to win the nomination risks becoming a historic electoral laughingstock of Goldwater ’64 proportions. I would say that my heart goes out to that wacky and vituperative and ideologically insidious Republican Party in the face of their conundrum if it were true, which is isn’t, even remotely.