If one could meld the Republican presidential candidates into a single person, what would emerge? I was thinking along the lines of Jekyll and Hyde and the result, as demonstrated by the illustration above, is not pretty. But then neither is the rhetoric being spoken by this crop of crazies. At any other time in American political history, a politician calling for the banning of contraception would be viewed as an extremist and relegated fringe candidate status. Not in today’s Republican party. Now he’s viewed as a welcome voice for Christian family values and made into a top tier candidate.
Ross Douthat believes that the 2012 Republican field is the weakest in a generation. And if it’s not, he adds the following as a way of explaining the reason why this gang of hapless Republicans may appear weaker than previous fields.
I think what we’ve seen in this cycle is the intersection of conservative media pathologies and mainstream media pathologies. The first has given us the rise of the cable news candidate, whose rhetoric and ambitions are geared toward a prime-time slot on Fox rather than the presidency, while the latter has encouraged the assumption that the Republican electorate is composed of fools, crazies and extremists, and therefore very likely to actually choose a cable news candidate as its nominee. Throw in a legitimately weak frontrunner, and you have the impetus for the seemingly endless series of quickly-dissipating boomlets that we’ve endured since last spring — all which will be seen in hindsight, I suspect, as sideshows in a race that was shaped more by who didn’t enter the field than by any of the non-Romney candidates who actually competed with him for the nomination.
I don’t believe any legitimate journalist is making the claim that that the entire Republican electorate is composed of fools and crazies. What they are saying though, is that an incredibly large percentage of Republican voters must be fools, crazies or extremists. How else does one explain support for twits like Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry? I’m not being sarcastic or facetious here. Who but a completely uninformed or misinformed fool could possibly believe that any of the aforementioned politicians (the first two grifters, the last two idiots) are presidential material?
As for Douthat’s first point about the cable news candidates vying for a gig on Fox by way of a presidential run: spot on. Fox gig, the sale of more books, higher speaking fees – that’s what the Cain candidacy was all about.
The real problem here is that the Republican party has become so fractionated (Tea Party, religious right, neocons, establishment, fiscal conservatives, Libertarians, etc.) that no single person could embody the disparate wants of all of them. The result is what you now have; a cast of kooks led by a Mitt Romney, a man so desperate to be everything to everyone that in the end, he is nothing.
First person who matches facial part in the above illustration with candidate wins a personalized illustration or photo graphic from me. Write your answers in the comment section. Note that there are 8 facial parts (hair 1, hair 2, eye 1, eye 2, ear, nose, mouth, chin) and seven Republicans to match up with. Yes, one of the candidates was kind enough to contribute two of their facial parts to the morphed illustration.
Go for it.
No one from the Comments or emails (please use the comment section next time for this type of thing – thanks) guessed the answer correctly. Here’s how the facial parts and candidates matched up.