This morning, following a weekend of political gaffs by several GOP hopefuls, Republican pundits and apologist are lamenting the withdrawal of Governor Scott Walker. Walker withdrew after his poll numbers dropped below 1% reaching almost the same level as his funding accounts. Walker had been conducting a national campaign while he frittered away a substantial Iowa lead. There in lies an important message for other candidates. If your campaign is suppose to go through Iowa, make sure it does a respectable job even if you are not destine to win.
Instead Walker focused on building a national staff and breezed around acting as if he was above the fray of every day retail politics. He also built his campaign around the narrow plank of Union busting as opposed to something positive. Frankly the world has not lost much in his campaign suspension. Remember Scott Walker would not confirm that the thought the earth was more than 5,000 years old.
Ben Carson broke into jail on Meet The Press. He volunteered that he could not recommend a Muslim to be President but depending upon the individual Muslim, he might vote for that person for a lesser job, like for Congress. On one hand this speaks to Carson’s sincerity and on the other his naivety. The only acceptable answer is religion does not count as long as the candidate is qualified and their policies are acceptable. Religion, or the lack of any religion is expressly prohibited as a test for public office in the Constitution.
Donald Trump lost an opportunity earn a “statesmanship” badge when a questioner claimed President Obama was a muslim. Instead Trump ignored these allegations and later said it was not his job to defend the President. Hmmm. If you are a Democrat, you can’t hide your glee that Trump is still leading the GOP pack.
Carli Fiorina made a dramatic pronouncement on Planned Parenthood during the debate and got her facts all wrong. For the pro-life choir, it made no difference. She was speaking to them.
The lesser names, like Huckabee, Santorum, and Bush each picked contradictory targets. Huckabee jumped on the Kim Davis bandwagon and hitched his “religious freedom” kite to it. Religious freedom is a nebulous right that if one claims their religious view prevents them from adhering to some law, it’s ok. I wonder whether a Muslim’s beliefs count too? And this guy wants to be President?
Rick Santorum and Jeb Bush want to go a le carte with Pope. Since the Pope’s views on global warming don’t fit the GOP take on this subject, the Pope’s still a great person but they don’t listen to him on climate or monetary matters. Hmmm.
Oh, and Ted Cruz is still full speed ahead for a government shutdown.
The immensity of the hole the GOP is digging one candidate at a time is impressive. GOP leaning pundits are now waking up to their plait. There are few candidates in the current field who have currency to turn this around. Marco Rubio has been far more careful with his public statements. John Kasick is clearly the most experience executive with conservative credentials. And the seven dwarfs (Graham, Pataki, Gilmore, Paul, Christie, and Jindal, ok just six) can’t mount a credible campaign separately or together.
Following the 2016 elections GOP bigwigs gathered and concluded they needed to modulate their rhetoric so as to not alienate so many voters. No one proposed they reexamine their policies and confirm their policies were right for the times. The problem with the current GOP field is not their answers to specific questions, it is their fundamental policies on subjects like women’s rights, sexual orientation, taxation and economic wealth distribution, foreign policy, and healthcare for beginners.
The GOP seems more in love with the idea of being President than what policies are appropriate for the country as a whole.