Thursday, May 28, 2015

2016 GOP Clown Car Update: George Pataki Gets In

I traditionally have complained that the media tend to focus on the horse race of any given presidential election, rather than the actual issues that are important to the fight. It's a valid complaint, but futile, as conflict sells, and arguments about infrastructure and policy don't. Not that I'll give up, but at this point, with the GOP side of the aisle dealing with an overstuffed (and itself a term overused) clown car, it's bound to come down to personalities. Which is a little funny with today's update, because it's former New York Governor George Pataki entering the race, and he has very, very little personality.

My go-to pundit, Rachel Maddow, has been extraordinarily diplomatic about the GOP slate (while also being snarky, which is a deft play), declaring them all viable, and decent--if sometimes boring--candidates. She's using as contrast the 2012 roster, which did include declared and potential candidates who were nutbars, like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain. But let's get real. We've got some doozies in this race, from candidates with no particular qualifications (Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson) to pompous religiosity (Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, Carson again, and others), to blatant animus toward LGBT people (Huckabee, Santorum, Jindal, Cruz, Carson. . .hell, most of 'em), and other nutty qualifiers to the "clown" designation.

In most presidential races, there is somebody on the opposition side that I could grudgingly deal with. They could be elected, and I wouldn't be hopelessly depressed. In 2000, it was John McCain, who did a triple-lutz into the deep end of assholery in the 2008 cycle. In 2008, it was, oddly enough, Mitt Romney, proving that I can be massively fooled by these people. In 2012 it was Jon Huntsman. This time? The only one who seems remotely tolerable is Jeb Bush, and I just can't even. Another Bush, in the span of five presidents? When the past two were marginal and disastrous, respectively? Why? His campaign slogan should be, "Third time's the charm." But in reality it could be "Bad things happen in threes." Incidentally, he's really J.E.B. Bush, which is literally John Ellis Bush Bush. Anyway, more are jumping in today, with the first being Pataki, and Rachel is right to drop in a zzzzzz snoring sound when she mentions him. Try not to fall asleep with the news.


George Pataki makes long-shot bid for President

George Pataki, the Republican who won the governorship three times in heavily Democratic New York, will run for president in 2016. . .

Read more at: CNN

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