GOP: Come on, guys, get it togetherBy Sean Randall | 07/14/2011 3:10pm
We're almost a mere year away from once again being plunged into our most popular democratic process: voting for president.
In 2007 and 2008, we saw some strong Democratic contenders in Obama and Clinton, with Obama eventually edging out. Obviously. On the GOP side, we saw Mitt Romney and John McCain hold some of the strongest pull, with a strange dark horse youth movement in Ron Paul. When McCain was nominated and picked Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee, his popularity grew amongst some people.
Now, the process is starting all over again. The Democrats have been largely silent, most likely because they’re supporting Obama for a second term and don’t want to weaken the party through discord and disagreement. All well and good. Obama certainly hasn’t been the worst president ever and has been doing a decent job considering what he inherited and how stupid Congress seems to be.
But the GOP is looking… well, kind of pathetic right now.
Mitt Romney is the clear frontrunner right now. He’s known, thanks to last year’s campaign, and he has good money. But even the Republican Party seems to be sort of lackluster when supporting him, almost as if they have to because they don’t have any other choice. After all, he doesn’t exactly represent the party line completely, what with his socialized health care policy signed into law when he was governor of Massachusetts. And there’s a good chance that, just like McCain, the party will practically force him to abandon his actual politics and spout the same cue-card rhetoric that was spouted out last time: “Grr, socialism! No retreat! No compromises!”
Frankly, that attitude doesn’t bring much faith to the idea that someone will actually get things done. Even Obama, who had a similar adamant stance on several social issues, has had to retreat from campaign promises in order to actually get anything done. A disappointment, sure, but something that seems to be an unfortunate necessity these days.
After Romney, we see Michele Bachman. Wow, it’s Sarah Palin No. 2. Ignoring her keen ability to incorrectly recite historical facts (no, not Paul Revere, more of John Quincy Adams) and to fail to do the appropriate research on her own hometown (it was your third announcement to run for president; you had time to check and see which John Wayne lived in your town), there isn’t much she seems to be bringing to the table except Glenn Beck-esque angry rhetoric.
Consider her recent joint venture with other GOP presidential nominee, Rick Santorum (a name that, when last I heard it, was apparently synonymous with some type of sewage). They signed a pro-traditional marriage (whatever “traditional marriage” is supposed to be, the thing has changed radically in the last 50 years) contract that opened with a statement claiming there were more stable African-American families during times of slavery than during President Obama’s term in office.
From what I’ve heard talking with my black friends, they generally aren’t exactly supportive of people – especially white people – randomly making slavery comparisons – especially if they’re wrong or it makes no sense.
Then there’s Ron Paul, returning from last year’s race. Last year, his rather radical, occasionally libertarian views lit a fire under a lot of younger GOP members. College students tossed his name around quite a bit. But if you’re looking for Ron Paul politics and a person to be excited about, try his son, Rand Paul. Last year proved Ron doesn’t really have quite what it takes. Maybe a younger face would.
Moving on, we see Newt Gingrich, someone who hasn’t been politically important since the Clinton administration and doesn’t seem to offer much but his name. Which is, I suppose, better than those that offer only personality, like Bachman and, though she hasn’t announced anything yet, Palin. Along with Gingrich, we have Herman Cain, former CEO of a pizza company that made some pretty icky pizza. Only thing I know about him is he wants to make bills no longer than three pages. Sounds neat until you remember that being vague and incomplete in a law can cause bad things to happen, like loopholes.
And, for goodness sake, the GOP almost had Donald Trump running. If there’s anyone that would’ve brought nothing but shouting, a personality, a name and a weird hairpiece, it’s Trump.
Looking beyond the presidential election, it seems almost like the party is playing a game. Are they trying to pin economic failure on Obama’s administration to gain points toward the election?
Pull it together, GOP. Stop playing politics like it’s a game you have to win. Start being honest about trying to help the nation and make compromises, and you might actually get to do some of the things you want.
Sean Randall is a senior majoring in theatre and philosophy.