Since we are entering the month a year out from the US presidential elections it is time to make few political party comments and predictions.
First what will happen in the Republican presidential primary circus? Today there are some fifteen candidates with various agendas. Some are realistic candidates, some are finding the water not to their liking or the party faithful likes, some are party window dressing, and others are idiots who want to show off their weird agendas. In general right now it is a competition to see who can make the most outrageous statements to impress party activist but that they can walk back from later in the general election.
Today the polls say Ben Carson is leading in the Iowa Caucasus polls. But why is Carson even wasting his time running for the Republican nomination? Particularly since the Republicans Party has essentially become the party of obstructions and bigoted whites with a very definite misogynistic and racial bias. One source reported in the New York Times says eighty percent of Carson’s supporters say they are not sure they would support him in the end. Given the demographics of primary activist of the Republican Party that is not unexpected. I doubt his support is that soft but it may be. His caucus support could go from his current lead to the single digits overnight on caucus day. Despite his impressive QV from his statements he is either an idiot that either doesn’t know he is window dressing for the Republican Party or has chosen to ignore that that is his role in the party.
An interesting Republican candidate is Carly Fiorina but she has the other disqualifying characteristic among the Republican Party Activists. She is a woman. Other than that she would probably be in the realistic group of possible Republican Party Candidates. In reality like Ben Carson she is window dressing for the party.
What of Donald Trump? Trump has the advantage not being a politico but an outrageous candidate which will play well in the early primaries and has already attracted attention. But that is a trend that has its origins in the seventies it hasn’t really made much difference since the eighties. But Trump has made so many racially bigoted and misogynistic comments that he would be the Democratic Party’s preferred Republican Pary candidate. (Read that is a political kiss of death in the general election.) The Republican Party establishment may be a collection of obstructionist, misanthropic, bigots but generally they are not stupid enough to nominate Trump unless they are planning for 2020 run. )
Ted Cruz has an impressive red state political resume as the first Hispanic Senator from Texas. Although it is a new resume and is probably too new to raise significant campaign cash. In addition Donald Trump has poisoned the well for Hispanic Republican support. Can Cruz overcome that disadvantage or does he even want to? In 2016 I doubt he does. To me he seems more like a candidate who is trying to position himself for a run in 2020.
Realistic possible Republicans for their presidential candidate nomination:
Chris Christie very early on was among the party establishment’s leading candidates. Now his political baggage such as Bridge Gate and its apparent continuation with the Pulaski Skyway project has come back to haunt him. It sounds too much like the political corruption present South America, Africa, and China. With Jeb Bush’s implosion he might still sneak in but he is also sort of from the liberal north east and that was too much for Mitt Romney to overcome.
Until lately Jeb Bush was probably the preferred candidate of the Republican Party establishment but he has to deal his lack of personality and with the legacy of his brother being the worst president in recent memory. Currently his campaign is floundering and cutting back on campaigning. Will he fade away gracefully or will he start he start making outrageous statement to appeal to evangelicals that he can’t walk back from.
Bobby Jindal history up until the start of the twenty-first century seemed a possible revival moderate candidate for the Republican Party nationally. Since then his social policies have demonstrated how out of touch he is with the people of the country outside the red states. Economically he is all over the map. Then there is the racial situation which puts him at a big disadvantage outside of the Louisiana. (More on this later since it also affects the last of my significant Republican Party candidates Marco Rubio.)
Marko Rubio is similar to Bobby Jindal but without administrative and compromising experience of being a governor and getting things done. President Obama similarly lacked administrative experience at first so maybe executive experience is no longer a requirement. Of the Republican Candidates to me he seems the most electable nationwide. Since Rubio would probably carry Florida with its greater number of electoral votes than Louisiana that gives Rubio more of an edge in a national election than Jindal. But on social issues he cleaves too close to the current Catholic Pope and the pope’s justifiable emphasizes on capitalism’s faults and excesses that is too much for top economic one percent that financiers Republican Party Politics.
Can either Rubio or Jindal win the Republican nomination? I don’t think so and sadly it’s for racial reasons. Many would say and I would wish it were true that the South has grown out of such pettiness. But it is still very much alive in the states of the old Confederacy.
I have lived in one of those states for most of my adult life in both most urban and rural areas. If you want to be elected to a public office or get political support outside of a few large urban areas your surrogates still have to utter the correct code words so the red necks know that your candidate is “pure” and white.
This part of the country has very long memories and is slow to change. The move away from the party of Lincoln took ninety-five years after the Civil War. But surely racial attitudes have become insignificant in the half century since the mid-sixties. Sadly they haven’t. Today your surrogates make the required discriminatory code words rather that the candidates themselves. The hiding of your assumed views is just better camouflaged.
Twenty years ago I saw a team of Ku Klux Klan members in full sheets giving their hate literature to a long back up of cars from the middle of a four lane highway just outside Atlanta. But that was twenty years so attitudes must be different. NO, remember long memories, slow to change, and the furor about removing the Stars and Bars from state flags and state grounds after the Charleston shootings last spring. That produced such wonderful statements about “honoring our cultural heritage” rather than removing the stain from our part of the country and/or not insulting our citizens. Will things change in the South? Remember long memories and slow to change so maybe in fifty more years.
Since the South is a major part of the Republican base right now I doubt Rubio and Jindal have much chance of getting Republican nomination. Who does that leave? I don’t know my crystal ball is too cloudy and filled with one candidate one second and with another in the next second. Mitt Romney might even be a Republican Party savior and leads the party to another defeat. After all celebrity psychic Sylvia Browne predicted in 2013 that Mitt Romney will bounce back from his 2012 presidential loss and even win in 2016. Winning is too much of a stretch I think but running is not.
In three days I’ll look at the Democratic Party candidates and the Green party. It’s not such a circus with multiple performers so it won’t be such a long post.