2012 Presidential Elections – The Runners-Up

By YeOldeScribe ~ April 27th, 2011 @ 12:23 am

Welcome back to Political Progressives. Our writer’s arm is thankfully still attached and has the added benefits of moving and not causing him to wince in pain every time he moves it. He doesn’t think it’s too serious, but he’s going to see a shoulder specialist on Friday. In the meantime, we’ll be covering the posts we promised you earlier today and tomorrow, but we’re not sure what Thursday and Friday hold for us yet. As always, we’re open to suggestions via our Facebook page, Twitter account, via email ( tim[at]politicalprogressives.com ), or you can comment below and share your thoughts and ideas for future posts.

But today we’re continuing our series on the 2012 elections, looking at three candidates who are being talked about for the 2012 Republican Nominee. As you (hopefully) already know, we picked Mitt Romney to win the Republican Nomination in 2012, so we don’t believe any of the following candidates will win it (or really even come close to winning it). We’ll show you why, and we’ll also show you why we think it’s a good thing (in terms of being a progressive). We’ll be taking a closer look at Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.

Michelle Bachmann

Ms. Bachmann is a three-term US Representative from Minnesota. Out of the three candidates we’re discussing today, we’ll say that Bachmann would have the best chance of winning the nomination – and we don’t even think she’s going to run. She’d have the best chance of getting the nod because of the three, she has the most money on hand (in the first 90 days of 2011, she raised $2 million, which is more than anyone else who might be running). She also has good name recognition, especially within the Republican party.

The biggest reason why we think she won’t run is because of her current job. As a Representative, Bachmann has to run for re-election every two years – meaning that if she decides to run for President, she wouldn’t be able to keep her current seat in the House. Since she’d be a long shot to win the nomination anyway, we predict she’ll happily keep doing her job in Congress as long as she can (and with the money she’s raised, she should be able to keep her seat for quite some time). Plus, while she does have name recognition, that might not be a good thing. Many people label her as a fringe member of the Republican party (and not the fringe closest to the middle).

And rightfully so, too, which is why we’re not going to shed a tear when she doesn’t win (or doesn’t run). Bachmann believes that climate change is a hoax, and that because carbon dioxide is a “a natural byproduct of nature”, Americans can pollute all they want. She authored the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, which repeals the ban on conventional light bulbs because she had concerns over the amount of mercury in the fluorescent ones (nevermind the fact that scientists have proven that flourescent light bulbs create less mercury than their conventional counterparts). Bachmann’s accused the President of being anti-American, said she wanted the citizens of her home state “Armed and Dangerous” on climate change issues “because we need to fight back”, is against AmeriCorps, and contributed to the falsely named “death panels” debate in regards to health care.

Oh, and she’s a birther and a founding member of the Tea Party movement. Enough said.

Newt Gingrich

Mr. Gingrich is the former Speaker of the House, and was a Representative for 20 years. He’s most famous for his “Contract with America”, the proposals which earned his party 40-some seats in Congress and which gave the House to Republicans for the first time in 40 years. Gingrich served as the Speaker for two terms before stepping down as a Representative. He declined running for the presidency in 2008, but has already formed an exploratory committee for a possible 2012 run. So why won’t a man who had so much success and so much name recognition win the nomination? It’s because politics (like sports) is a game of “What have you done for me lately?”, and Gingrich hasn’t done much of anything since the late 90’s. Sure he’s kept involved with politics and political happenings, but there’s a difference between being involved and getting your name in the papers. Gingrich would do well with the older demographics, but won’t win over many moderates and independents. The “Contract With America” was dubbed the “Contract On America” by too many liberals and centrists, and Gingrich didn’t win over any favors when the government actually shut down in ’95 and ’96 because Newt didn’t get to leave Air Force One via the front door and was forced to use the back (the horror!).

Is this a bad thing? Yes and No. We actually wouldn’t mind seeing Newt run… if this election was taking place 10 years ago. Sure, he’d still have to answer for some of his policies and antics, but we feel in his prime Gingrich would have made a fine candidate. However, Gingrich running now is the equivalent of Bob Dole running in ’96 (or worse, Bob Dole running today). Gingrich just isn’t relevant anymore. On top of that, he compared the Muslims tying to build a community center in New York city to Nazis (classy, Newt), and said that the President had a “Kenyan, anti-colonial world view”. That’s Gingrich talk for “I’m going to pseudo-call myself a birther without actually doing it so I can maintain my integrity while still placating the lowest common denominator of my party”. Sorry Newt. We’re not buying it. We predict Gingrich will run, but drop out before the primaries are finished, much like Rudy Giuliani did in 2008.

Ron Paul

The story on Ron Paul is basically that he was a Tea Party advocate before advocating the Tea Party was cool. Paul is sometimes considered to be the “intellectual grandfather” of the Tea Party Movement. He’s a current Representative from Texas where he’s served since ’97 (and some time before then, too). While currently a Republican, Ron Paul has also run for President as a libertarian.

Like a lot of people, Paul’s got some pretty good ideas. He supports term limits (as do we), and advocates that Congress be the only body allowed to declare war by repealing the War Powers Act. The thing we agree with Paul the most on was his proposal of the Sunlight Rule Legislation, which said that Congress couldn’t pass laws until enough time had elapsed so Congressman could actually read the legislation they were voting on. This was in response to Congress passing the USA PATRIOT ACT in 24 hours, despite the fact that the document was well over 300 pages long. (Ironically enough, the one person to read all 300+ pages in the Senate voted against the bill – Thanks Russ!)

But Paul also has some very, very bad ones. Here’s some of his more famous quotes from his newsletters:

* Boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for that pro-communist philanderer Martin Luther King. I voted against this outrage time and time again as a Congressman. What an infamy that Ronald Reagan approved it! We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day.

* Even in my little town of Lake Jackson, Texas, I’ve urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self defense. For the animals are coming.

* Opinion polls consistently show only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions, if you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.

* Hip-hop [is the] thing to do among the urban youth who play unsuspecting whites like pianos.

* Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.

(In fairness, we should note that Paul claims that a ghostwriter penned these words and he had no idea that such things were being said in his publications. We’re not buying it, though.)

So Paul won’t be receiving the Republican nod anytime in the near future, nor should he. No amount of good ideas can overcome such blatant racism and intolerance. Also, Paul believes in going back to the Gold Standard, and he’s also the father of Rand Paul, whom we covered earlier. Enough said.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at what Congress will be like in after the 2012 elections. Enjoy!

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1 Response to 2012 Presidential Elections – The Runners-Up

  1. lighthouse

    RE Bachmann, light bulb ban
    “nevermind the fact that scientists have proven that flourescent light bulbs create less mercury than their conventional counterparts”

    Not true:
    2 wrongs don’t make a right,
    but flourescent light bulb mercury is a bigger problem,
    as also seen from latest US EPA declarations
    Under EPA admin Lisa Jackson, regulations
    with new technology reducing coal power mercury emissions by 90% in coming years
    The issue is extensively covered here, with references:
    The CFL Mercury Issue
    Breakage — Recycling — Dumping — Mining — Manufacturing —
    Transport — Power Plants


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