Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Getting Mighty Crowded

Michele Bachmann is, as she tends to do, drowning out the various other people in the increasingly crowded pool of Republicans "running for president" who have no chance to win the nomination, and probably know it. There's Bachmann, there's Newt Gingrich, there's Buddy Romer, there's Herman Cain...and that's not even counting a couple of New Yorkers who aren't even going to get as far as "running" but still take up some media space. Or John Bolton. And don't forget Gary Johnson and either Ron or Rand Paul. And Rick Santorum. Including all but the two New Yorkers, I count an astonishing eight candidates who may enter primaries and caucuses without being serious candidates for the nomination.

So I wouldn't be surprised if you missed the exciting news that there's yet another hopeless noisemaker getting in: the Ten Commandments judge, Roy Moore of Alabama. That makes nine.

You really do have to wonder about what the debates are going to look like at this point. Could the GOP really shut any of these "candidates" out? And if all nine are there...yikes! Especially the five or six whose entire candidacy is presumably to promote their own brand as conservative voices (as opposed to the more policy-oriented "candidacies" of Bolton, Johnson, and Ron or Rand Paul). If the goal of the real candidates, especially Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney, is to keep the distance between themselves and the loony fringe small enough that no one can accuse them of being moderates and RINOs, then how much tougher is that going to be with five or six candidates egging each other on for the title of King or Queen Crazy?

Should be interesting times, indeed.

10 comments:

  1. Am I right in thinking that all these contenders make the 3Q 2011 FEC reports an even more important "tell" as to which "insurgent" candidates actually stand a chance if they make it into the top 3 after the first couple of caucuses/primaries?

    (As I recall, Obama's ability to raise money in 2007 was a key factor in allowing him to compete effectively with Clinton after Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. He had enough money to organize and advertise in the multi-state primaries in February.)

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  2. If the estimable Dr. Bernstein is to be believed, the grand unified theory of political science involves Elvis Costello. That particular theory was deifintively rejected around the time of the Kojak Variety, though Goodbye Cruel World showed the cracks in its intellectual foundations. 5ive Gears in Reverse indeed.

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  3. Thanks, Some Guy -- I was actually thinking of trying to get a "5ive Gears" title at some point today, but it didn't work. I got the new(ish) album...on the previous album there's one called "how deep is the red?" that I'm sure I'll get to one of these days.

    Oh, and if that's criticism...Well, he's never going to write another My Aim is True or King of America, but his stuff over the last 20 years or so stacks up pretty solidly against age-similar songwriters/performers.

    But no one said anything yesterday. Oh well.

    Substantive point: I think it's important to separate conventionally qualified longshot insurgents from people like Bachmann and Cain, who have no serious chance under normal circumstances (which I believe hold here, although I suppose one never knows).

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  4. It's sorta criticism in that I hated both of those albums. Though to be fair, I've probably only listened to Goodbye Cruel World twice all the way through.

    I agree with you that Costello's quality has mostly been pretty good even after his decline phase started. His problem is how amazing his peak was... an otherworldly 5-6 album run to start his career followed by spik-y (Ha!) production in the mid to late 80's. I'm sure there's a baseball player equivalent. Maybe Frank Thomas?

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  5. Good title. I don't know you had this in you, honestly, thought you were one of those serious people that Sully loves.

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  6. Right now, I count 17 potential candidates. Am I missing anyone?

    The rehashes - Romney, Newt, Palin, Huckabee
    The extremes - Bachmann, Bolton, Paul(s), Johnson, Santorum
    The governors - Barbour, Daniels, Pawlenty, Huntsman
    The minor leaguers - Roemer, Cain, Moore, Karger, McMillan

    And Donald Trump

    It seems to me that you'd be able to deny all the minor leaguers but Roemer from debates, but we'd barely notice with Santorum, Paul, Bachmann, Trump, etc saying crazy things. Or are we also going to see the minor leaguers for awhile?

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  7. I think Cain would be hard to shut out of the debates. Moore? I'm not sure; he's both very popular among some conservatives, and has already threatened in the past to run a 3rd party candidacy...but so far he could be shut out on the grounds that he doesn't have even a sort-of real campaign. Karger and McMillan will certainly not be invited, alas.

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  8. Another tragic waste of brutal youth,
    spit and polish this unvarnished truth,
    the tricky door that gapes beneath the ragged noose,
    the crippled verdict begs again for the lamest excuse,
    so stay the hands, arrest the time,
    Till I am captured by your touch,
    Blessings I don't count, small mercies and such,
    The flags may lower as we approach the favourite hour

    A tragic waste indeed. I doubt that's what the great imposter was thinking when he wrote that particular verse, but it sure does fit in a very odd way. My disappointment and profound sadness at the complete buffoonary of the politics of the right at this point is almost intolerable. That the fate of the world might actually be at stake thanks to the willful ignorance and flat out stupidity of those who fancy themselves masters of the universe, or deep thinkers, is almost too much to take.

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  9. It seems to help Romney/Pawlenty if there are a bunch of wingers. What would be more interesting is if one of the latter group emerges as THE "conservative" alternative by year's end.

    Then Romney and Pawlenty would have a) uncertainty about where best to locate and b) difficulty moving.

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