Monday, January 02, 2012

Guest Post: Who Keeps Shitting The Bed?

 Horace Brickley is an author that has fashioned an extensive body of work in a rather short period of time at his blog, Horace Brickley's Assault on Virtue. He is currently a teacher, working in Taiwan. This is his take on the 2012 U.S. election.

Like most Americans, politics is a dirty word around me. The choices given for elected officials is less like choosing between “cake or death” and more like choosing between Chinese water torture and water boarding – one is clearly worse than the other, but both are just awful. The upcoming presidential election is going to be one of those moments. We Americans, if we even bother voting in this catastrophe, are going to be given three options: a disappointing incumbent that spends money that doesn't exist anywhere, whatever caricature of a politician that survives the Republican primary, and opting out (or throwing away a vote on a third party candidate). None of those options sound reasonable, but that is the downside of a Republic. Our involvement in government is merely choosing the person whom we believe will fuck up the least, and complaining through any reasonable or unreasonable medium that we can find to express our discontent.
The two reasons I departed from America, for a yet-to-be-determined amount of time, are the steep drop in opportunities for educated adults, and my fears of what is to come for the citizens of a declining America. No candidate in Republican primary has addressed either of those issues with anything resembling critical thinking. The tax-cut religion of the Republicans is not going to produce the miraculous effects that the old-guard Republicans hope for, and the front-running candidates are some of the least qualified human beings to run a Subway, much less a nation hemorrhaging from debt.

Here's a breakdown of the candidates:

Rick Perry: He's the Tim Tebow of politics. He makes just as many mistakes as Tebow, and Jesus seems to be the major running theme of his political ideology. “If we just add more Jesus, then everything will work out.” He's done, however, so onto the next of the people that won't be president next year.

Michele Bachmann: She's like Christine O'Donnel's marginally-less-crazy aunt. If Sarah Palin could spell twice as well, then she'd be Bachmann. The only person involved in the primary that is crazier than Bachmann is Bachmann's husband. She's not only not presidential, but she's like personified dark matter - nothing good can come from her.

Hermain Cain: He's no longer in the race because he got grabby, or because he wasn't man enough to stand up to the heat. Either way, his policies had a degree of ignorance that can only come from someone too proud to read a history book or “The Idiot's Guide to Economics.” The 9-9-9 plan, or the revised 9-0-9, was an even less realistic plan than Steve Forbe's flat tax idea back when Forbe's proved why running a corporation does not qualify someone to be president.

Ron Paul: Let me put this out here, Ron Paul isn't crazy. He's not, at all. The problem with Ron Paul is that he does not care about the consequences for his policies. “Fend for yourself” is what he preaches, which is easy to say when you aren't dependent on an entitlement system. No one knows exactly what would happen if Ron Paul became president, and no one ever will because he's absolutely unelectable. Road Warrior comes to mind when I think about a Ron Paul presidency, but in actuality he would just be a loud, lame duck president that oversaw a political structure that ignored his pleas for drastic reforms. He'd be as useless as a president as Vincente Fox.

Jon Huntsman: The only remotely qualified person of the lot, but he doesn't have the bravado or the clout to win anything more than Employee of the Month at the State Department. Huntsman can't even raise enough money to run one national ad, much less mount an entire campaign. His whole effort looks more like a clever ploy to write off “Running for President” on his 2011 taxes than an actual attempt to win a nomination.

Mitt Romney: Romney reminds me of an affable class president at a local high school. He really doesn't give a damn what comes out of his mouth, or what he said last week, what Romney wants is the office. He probably hasn't thought that much about what he's going to do as president, or whether or not anything that he does will have a positive effect. Romney just wants to sit in that chair and hear himself called “Mr. President.” He's a flip flopper of the strongest degree, and it reeks on him, as if he's pleading with the Republican base, “Just tell me what you want me to stand for guys!” He claims he understands the economy, but he wanted to see Reaganomics applied during the recession. Eesh.

Newt Gingrich: Gingrich is like the smart guy you always debate on issues with and you never win the exchange, but you know full well that you were right and he was wrong. His obvious intelligence aside, his stances on the issues are dumb.
He wants to:
- remove regulations on financial industries
- make a Federal ban on abortion
- remove funding from Planned Parenthood and stem cell research
- reduce the size of government and eliminate entitlement funding (not a bad thing, but how will he implement it)
- make unemployment benefits four weeks (because he's a consummate realist)
- wants to eliminate capital gains taxes and reduce the corporate tax rate to 12.5% (so the government can bring in even less money) 
- use a Reaganomics-style plan, like Romney.
In other words, he's wrong on the economy, and if you are a social liberal like me, then you know Uncle Newt wants to get all up in your personal business. He's got all the classic Republican stances without any of the charisma. Gingrich wants to reduce the size of government, but he wants to maintain a strong international presence and doesn't seem to want to reduce the size of the military. Those two stances conflict on a major level. The size of government and the cost of government cannot be seriously reduced without reducing the size and role of the military abroad. There is some sort of logic break inside Gingrich's head, and it doesn't look like it will mend before the election.

Those are the current candidates, but I feel like I should mention Chris Christie. Christie is actually Tony Soprano, and, sadly, that makes him the most qualified person to hold office. Unfortunately, America hasn't had a genuinely fat president since Taft, so that's a no go for the American people. We are too vain to elect such an out-of-shape president when he's standing next to the svelte and presidential Obama.

So, what is the purpose of all this? Why did I even bother heckling the Republican candidates? I don't hold allegiance to Obama because he's been a failure at virtually everything he's done. He squandered the super majority he had on an ill-conceived, and unaffordable, attempt at universal healthcare, and the only thing he's been consistently good at is war, which he ran against. Last year I voted early for 2012 president: I voted with my feet and left America for Taiwan. America's my first country, and just like my first girlfriend I'll always have fond memories of our time together, but for now we aren't hanging out because she went nuts.


Anonymous said...

Another hit piece on Ron Paul? Dodds and his cretins sure have it out for the only man who can save America.

jams o donnell said...

They really are a shower. I still cannot believe that people buy into Paul and his ice-hearted libertaianism

Markus said...

Good post. I would disagree over Huntsman however. He may sound reasonable, but he is pushing the same pro-rich tax cuts and policies that the rest of the field has. He just does it more politely.

Roland Dodds said...

Bachmann is also like Tim Tebow as well, although I think she meant this in the affirmative.

Anonymous said...

Loved this. With the primary as depressing as it is, feels great to have a laugh at the expense of it.