Days of Change

Day 1043 – The Contenders

September 13, 2011

I remember in 2008 that pressure by the base made most Democratic candidates pull out of a debate because it was to be hosted by and aired exclusively on the Fox News Channel. It was subsequently cancelled. I have to give the Republican Party and its base credit for not whining about MSNBC and CNN hosting Republican Debates. MSNBC set theirs in the middle of anti-Republican shows, but kept Chris Matthews out of the debate. CNN had a Tea Party Debate, showing their strange obsession with the movement they don’t understand.

The last two debates have focused on Rick Perry and his assertions about Social Security being a “Ponzi Scheme.” I’ve used the term myself, although Medicare is much more like one. The candidates were in the interesting position of defending Social Security at a Tea Party sponsored event. If you’re the party of both tax cuts and social spending, it starts to get a little ridiculous.

Rick Perry is the latest flash in the pan for the GOP. He has two important qualities, he’s not Mitt Romney and the Tea Party likes his bravado. It used to be Bachmann, but she seems to have a maximum level of support that’s too low for the nomination. Perry will either become the chief rival to Romney or he will be bumped by Sarah Palin (please) or Chris Christie (please no). I still think there will be three serious challengers until almost Super Tuesday. There’s Romney, a Tea Party favorite and a candidate to be named later trying for Romney’s supporters.

Romney is electable (whatever that means) and might suck all the enthusiasm out of the base. If you want a crossover candidate, that’s Jon Huntsman. He scared Jackass so much that he (almost literally) sent him off to outer Mongolia. Those were the days when the Republican party was “dying” and the Tea Party was just an angry thought in Rick Santelli’s head. Romney could play dirty, which puts him ahead of McCain in 2008. Still, McCain actively discounted the conservative base and Romney is doing almost the same with his general election strategy.

What the Republicans have to do is not play for the Democratic Party or the media which is also the Democratic Party. Jackass can count on that 30% of his party’s base. The other 60% or so is up for grabs, and Republicans have the upper hand.

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