The Republican Race For President: Post-Iowa Edition

By YeOldeScribe ~ August 19th, 2011 @ 1:05 am

When we first saw the results of the Ames straw poll in Iowa, we probably had the same reaction you did – and yes, it did involve heads shaking, jaws dropping, and a massive headache.

Michelle Bachmann? Really, Iowa? That’s who you think is best suited to take the reins of our great nation right now? Let’s not forget that three months ago, this woman was one of the leaders of the birther movement. Let’s not forget that earlier this month, she voted to plunge our nation into what would have been the greatest recession in American (if not world) history because she was unwilling to compromise on even the smallest details. Let’s not forget that just today, she made the idiotic claim that were she elected President, gas would fall under $2.

No, seriously, she really said that. She honestly believes that the President of the United states is the sole person in charge of determining oil prices and that she would have the power to cut the cost of oil in half. This argument is so ludicrous it defies description, but we’ll do our best to break it down and dismantle it.

First, can we all agree to stop using that “when Obama took office gas was $1.79” argument? It’s inaccurate and not representative of what was actually going on at the time. First, we challenge anyone to show us a picture of a gas pump that reads $1.79 taken on January 20th, 2009. Our writer certainly doesn’t remember gas ever falling below $2 since he started driving. But even if the number is accurate, the statistic (or its application) is not. As the CNN article we linked to notes, our economy was going through more bends than a scuba diver suddenly surfacing. Do the people who use that statistic want to talk about how gas went over $4 under Bush? Because that one our writer definitely remembers very well. If the price of gas jutted down and then shot back up as Obama was being inaugurated, do people really believe he caused it? Those that do should look up “correlation” and “causation” in the dictionary and note the differences between them.

Which brings us to our next point on this issue: the President has very little control over the price of gas. Unless Bachmann plans to invade Venezuela or Saudi Arabia (which, knowing her, we won’t discount), she won’t be able to make even a dent in the price Americans pay at the pump, much less cut that bill in half. Unsurprisingly, you’ll note Bachmann doesn’t tell you how she’s planning on accomplishing the feat, nor does she explain why the rising cost of oil is Obama’s fault. No, we’re supposed to believe her baseless claims without any warrants or data to back it up. Sorry crazy lady, we’re not buying it.

Finally, if gas was under $2 a gallon, it would be a bad thing, not a good one. The article linked to talks about how “the recipe for cheap oil is economic disaster”. That if gas prices were to dip like that so suddenly, it would be an indication that something was horribly wrong with the system. So basically, Bachmann is saying, “Elect me and I’ll instantly destroy the greatest economy in the world!” You know, suddenly her argument isn’t so far-fetched after all…

So yes, the mini-crisis we had when we read the results was unfounded. As this excellent CNN commentary points out, Bachmann’s win in the Iowa straw poll may be the last one she has for a while – or ever. Even conservatives refuse to take her – or her victory – seriously. And much of that is due to the newcomer in the race – current Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Perry stole the show in Ames, announcing that he would run for the nomination. The most interesting thing about the announcement (besides the timing, which we think was genius) was the reaction. Perry picked up more write-in ballots than Mitt Romney did, who was on the ballot. And after the straw poll, Perry and Bachmann gave a speech in Bachmann’s hometown – and Perry got the better reception. (Can you blame them?)

But the big question remains: Does this weekend’s events change the campaign for 2012? That answer is most certainly yes; although only because of Perry’s announcement. To us, the biggest winner in Ames was Romney. Even though he finished in the middle of the pack in Iowa, he had to be happy with the results of the poll. Ames was basically a pre-season game for Romney, and he’s got to be smiling at the fact that his biggest competition is a whack-job tea party darling, a crazed racist who has been rejected by the mainstream media, and a Texas governor (because the last one worked out so well). No, the happiest man in all of Iowa this weekend was probably Romney, because although the campaign itself changes – Romney will have to adjust his strategy a bit to beat Perry, who despite his many shortcomings did have some success at creating jobs in Texas – the result of said campaign should not. Romney should still easily win the Republican nomination, with Perry in second and Paul in third.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a closer look at that crazed racist rejected by the mainstream media known to some as Ron Paul. We’ve discussed Paul before, but many people have been arguing that Paul isn’t getting a fair shake from media, and that the media is somehow to fault for his relative lack of publicity. We’ll examine not only the premise itself, but also examine why Paul might not want the media to hang on his every word.

Until then, try not to pay too close attention to the stock markets. They’ve been up and down more often than President Obama’s popularity!

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