by Chris Haire
Look, I'll be the first liberal to admit that I've been extremely displeased with President Barack Obama and his bumbling, stumbling reign over 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The president made a huge mistake right out of the gate by pushing for a healthcare bill when a jobs bill was desperately needed.
Yes, Americans want healthcare reform, but they were more concerned about having Toaster Strudels to put in the oven than making a paid-for doctor's visit a universal right.
This is as true now as it was back in 2009 when Obama and the Dems rammed through their half-assed healthcare plan, a move they thought would be wildly embraced by the people and ensure Democratic Party victories in 2010 and 2012. They were wrong.
And you can add to that the ongoing quagmire in Afghanistan and the failure of the U.S. to actually abide by the Pottery Barn rule in Iraq. We broke it, but we just don't have the wherewithal to fix it.
But perhaps worst of all — at least for this fan of the my-team-versus-your-team action inside the Beltway — Obama has repeatedly kowtowed to the Republicans.
In Barack's quest to maintain the support of swing voters and to show that he is above party politics, the president has bent over again and again for the GOP like a desperate-to-be-loved, dead-eyed suck puppet at Brazzers.com. I mean, it seems to me that Barack actually believes all the casting-couch promises John Boehner makes, and that's not good.
That said, throughout most of Barry from Hawaii's time in office, I thought he was guaranteed to win in 2012. But lately, I've had a change of heart.
Obama's weak. Very weak. And a GOP victory is all but assured, that is except for one thing: they don't have a single candidate that excites the base — at least on a long-term basis.
The truth is, Sarah Palin was right: Herman Cain is a flavor of the month. He's popular now, but one day, and believe you me, he will say something that will immediately disqualify him. (I said the same thing about Rick Perry and look where he is in the horse race: smelling the asses of more politically adept horses.) That's the sad reality when it comes to straight-shooters running for the presidency. You can't speak your mind, at least not completely, and you can never ever speak off the cuff. Ever.
And the rest ain't much better. Michele Bachmann is a fundie nutbag. Jon Huntsman is a Democrat. Newt Gingrich is a fat man who divorced his dying wife and married a trophy gremlin. Rick Santorum is a Google search a way from gay porn. And Ron Paul is — well, he has all the charisma of Ralph Nader and the frailness of Frodo on the last steps up Mt. Doom. I'm sorry, but it's true. I like a lot about Paul, but we're talking about a popularity contest, and he simply refuses to put Vaseline on his teeth and Preparation H under his eyelids. He cannot win.
Which brings us to Mitt Romney. Nobody in the GOP really likes him. They'll sign his yearbook, and they may write, "Hey, let's hang out this summer," but they don't mean it. And if there's one truism when it comes to presidential politics, if you can't work the base up into a goose-stepping fervor, you won't be marching up the Capitol steps on Inauguration Day.
And believe you me, this is a problem that the GOP is well aware of. The Republican overlords know that Obama can be beaten, but they just don't have the candidate to do it.
How did this happen, you ask?
Well, it's pretty simple: Almost as soon as Barack Obama won in 2008, they decided that he was going to be a two-term president. After all, they reasoned, the economy couldn't remain in the shitter for four more years. It would get better. And when it did, Obama would get all the credit for it.
But that's not how it worked out. The economy simply hasn't improved the way that anybody thought it would. And as a result, Obama is weakened, and his re-election is in doubt. Serious, serious doubt. (Hell, I don't even know if I can stomach voting for him.)
The trouble is the only people running for the GOP nom are people who decided to enter a race against a guy for whom victory was all but assured. The reality is, Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Bachmann, and the rest aren't running for president; they're running for more face time on TV time, book contracts, future high-paying speaking engagements, and lavish fund-raising meals at the finest hotels. They never thought they could win. (See Palin, Sarah.)
And so, the GOP is left with a field of B-, C-, and in some cases D-listers, when what they really need is a star. And right now, no one wants that job. After all, the election is more than a year away, and, quite frankly, the economy is sure to improve by then. Surely it is.