The longer they campaign, the crazier things get.
Watching the Republicans battle for the top spot in the nation is, not only comical, but agonizing.
A different leader emerges each week only to be cut down by scrutiny the next.
It was Santorum’s week for a sudden surge, in time to garner a piece of the GOP crown in Iowa. Santorum’s message resonated with Evangelical voters in the Hawkeye state and a tie with Mitt Romney was a victory for Santorum.
But, will New Hampshire voters embrace him?
It was widely believed they wouldn’t, and, they didn’t. New Hampshire voters were focused on different issues than Iowan’s. Their political interest was more influenced by the economy; more focused on the deficit, unemployment, housing, and their effect on the economy.
Romney won New Hampshire with only 39% of those voting last week in the primary. Given that he has a family home in the state and was Governor of neighboring Massachusetts he should have received 50% or more to consider it a ‘real’ victory.
So, Santorum’s rise was brief. He ended up with less than 10% of the votes in The Granite State, and though he’s hoping for a resurgency in South Carolina — like hundreds of Republican hopefuls before him — he’s had his 15 minutes.
In this crazy Republican field, that may be all the electorate can handle. This was never more clear than the rejection of the zany winner of the Iowa Straw Poll, Michele Bachmann. After the dismal showing in the Iowa Caucuses she did the first smart thing since she announced her run for the presidency — she quit.
The problem in the GOP is not only the message, but the individuals.
Bachmann was never qualified to be president, nor was Herman Cain, and, despite the immediate excitement, Perry wasn’t either. But neither are four of the five remaining candidates.
Santorum’s rise is yet another indication of the instability of the GOP field. If he has a more responsible social agenda, as David Brooks believes, it is being clouded by his radical positions on abortion and same-sex marriage.
But this has been the problem with the selection process since the beginning. Unqualified individuals with narrow views and an even narrower message. More than 25 individuals have been regarded as potential GOP presidential candidates beginning with Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Mitch Daniels.
But the process left the Republican party lacking — leaving them with just eight questionable representatives. Weak candidates with incongruous ideas.
The insanity is clearly not confined to just Cain, Bachmann, and Santorum. They all have flawed views that are out of step with what most people in this country want or need.
Perry’s craziness, stemming on bipolar disorder, is openly displayed with each new debate. Newt’s narcissism allows him to ignore his failures and past criminal behavior. And the presumptive nominee’s vacillation on most issues resembles schizophrenia. A unique and divergent set of afflictions exposing their political impotency.
Mitt Romney repeatedly lies, misrepresents the facts, and plays loose with the truth — virtually ignoring reality.
And the most reasonable candidate, Jon Huntsman, foolishly embraced Paul Ryan’s destructive, class polarizing budget plan. From sane to insanity in six seconds.
They’re all trying to appease the Republican base; a base deluded into thinking any of these prospective nominees could actually run this country. It still leaves reasonably intelligent people wondering: “Is That All You’ve Got?”
The Republican presidential road show moves to South Carolina and the conflicts are becoming personal and heated which should lead to a whole new level of craziness.
In a normal world most of these people would be committed, but this is the nature of Republican politics, or what’s left of it.
Welcome to the sanatorium!