The Spectator Sport

This entry first started as a description of the realization of my fostering a speech affectation.

That will have to wait, I’m afraid.

With yesterday’s announcement of having The Donald’s hat in the ring, I simply cannot resist the temptation of delving headlong into a description of the fun in store for us all.

First, of course, let us examine the grossly inflated and indefatigable ego of His Donaldness. Yesterday he was able to demonstrate his firm command of the obvious by overstating his having observed the existing tension between Presidents Obama and Putin. Impressively astute. He allowed himself to elaborate. He feels he and Vlad the Impaler would get along just peachy keen … on a business level. “I can make the deal…” he boasted. I can see it now. “Tell you what, old buddy, you let me check out your espionage systems and I’ll comp you two nights and a breakfast at my Vegas Trump International! On me! Whaddayahsay!!?”

Then he decided to pontificate further by elaborating on the devastation those pesky Mexicans have perpetrated on our fair land.

The pomp and circumstance accompanying his pre-announcement was nothing short of magnificent as well. He stood on an escalator travelling downwards towards his podium. As John Stewart of the Daily Show advised, “I haven’t seen anything that spectacular since I saw my buddy Ralph in the mall after he bought an Orange Julius!”

Now. This kind of patter might work well on a one-on-one interview on radio. But somehow, the prospect of the Donmeister slinging this particular brand of hash alongside the cutthroat likenesses of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul somehow leaves me with a few doubts.

Let’s discuss a few of the other players in this particular clown fest.

Amongst the most plausible of the candidates, we have two. Both of them from, of all places, Florida.

The first, and potentially most viable GOP candidate, is one Mr. Jeb Bush. The first and only two-term Republican Governor of Florida, he is W’s younger brother. As you would expect, his fiscal, political and social positions are conservatively oriented. If you oppose most abortions, have doubts about the science of climate change, feel that gay marriage is wrong, think that carrying around loaded firearms is just hunky dory and oppose citizenship for currently undocumented aliens, then he’s your boy. The only thing that’s wingnut about the guy, is that he refuses to acknowledge our Iraq and Afghanistan involvements were based on deceptions at the highest levels.

The other Florida candidate is Mr. Marco Rubio. The junior United States Senator representing Florida has Cuban ancestry. Again, mirroring Jeb, he is as conservative as conservative can be. The only real difference between him and Jeb is that, understandably, Rubio seeks a path for citizenship for otherwise undocumented aliens.

So much for the boring stuff. Now for the true bozos.

Let’s take a gander at Ted Cruz. Ostensibly the most intelligent of the entire GOP lot. In fact, one could make a plausible argument that he’s the sharpest candidate on either side of the aisle. Currently Ted, also of Cuban ancestry, is the junior United States Senator from the great state of Texas. He has argued dozens of cases, and won most of them, in front of the Supreme Court. As bright as he is, though, he has shown his true colors as a card carrying member of the nutso society by asserting a few head scratching concerns. He has stated he is concerned that the United States will be imposing Sharia law. He has stated that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme.” He also appears to be particularly obsessive concerning the role he perceives the United Nations plays with respect to the social fabric of the United States. In particular, he has stated his concern that President Obama is using the United Nations to impose gun control, dictatorships, and alternatives to parental rights. He has often spouted border line paranoia laced bilge asserting Obama’s turning the country into a Communist state and that he has his hands in your pockets and he wants to distribute US wealth globally. Of course, there have also been the wackadoo jabs at ACA asserting the existence of death panels, etc. In short, a bright man but a dangerously loose cannon.

Rand Paul. Ah Rand Paul. Actually, Randall. Son of Ron. He’s an M.D., you know. An ophthalmologist. Currently he is a United States Senator representing Kentucky. Again, another conservative, only this one is blood red. But frankly not nearly as bright as Cruz nor as hard working. On several occasions, rather than pulling his own thoughts together, he lifted text from Wikipedia and other sources directly without giving credit where credit was due. He also tends to waffle on issues such as defense spending and mandatory immunizations. He has also made jarring and downright weird statements concerning a number of issues such as the behind-the-scenes creation of a single Canada/US/Mexico country and economy. He has also publicly supported the rape of mountain tops as good for both coal production and flat mountain top real estate. Apparently he has a bit of a temper. When a CNBC reporter Kelly Evans pressed, instead of behaving in a politic manner, he just ‘shushed’ her. Not cool. Some people have accused Obama of being too cool. Perhaps. But Senator Paul ain’t cool.

There’s another doctor on the scene. Ben Carson is a celebrated neurosurgeon who gained national recognition when he became the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins joined at the head. Impressive, no? And then in 2013 he gave this politically charged speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. Later that year, he was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Bright guy. The usual assortment of Conservative based opinions. But Dr. Carson has absolutely no official political ties or experience. Yet, he is well spoken, clearly intelligent and committed to his opinions. Describes tons of people doesn’t it? Why does he stand out? He is African-American. Who else best to follow Obama and run opposite a Hillary type?

Who else to confront Hillary? Why, Carly Fiorina, of course. She’s the right gender at least. Certainly we wouldn’t want to have any disenfranchised Republican women voters, right? Well here we are. Rising from the ashes of AT&T and Lucent, she found herself as the CEO of Hewlett Packard. Her M&A activities with Compaq have, even today, been generally described as successful. However the Board of Directors booted her out of HP after about 50% of HPs value went down the drain.

She was involved with politics as an advisor to John McCain’s Presidential bid. Hopefully for her she wasn’t the one who pigeon-holed Sarah Palin on his behalf. Unfortunately for her she opened her face and commented that neither Palin nor McCain were qualified to run a major organization such as, say, HP. Boy, were they pissed! Later on, she actually won the California GOP nomination for the United States Senate. Barbara Boxer, however, ultimately won that contest. And that’s about it. She’s had tragedies in her personal life with the loss of a daughter to drugs and her own double mastectomy. She’s got bucks. But where does she stand on what? Again, no surprise to anyone, her views reflect the standard Republican playbook. And again, she’s never held office. Remember, during the McCain campaign, she advised that public office and running a large company are not the same. Hmmm.

Former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, is also an ordained Baptist Minister who believes in his heart that the earth is 6000 years old. He supports the 19 and counting Duggar family and that Duggar kid who molested his own sisters. Recently, during a discussion of transgender individuals he stupidly advised he wished he would have claimed that for himself during high school in order to ogle the girls in the locker room. He blamed the Sandy Hook incident on the Godlessness in schools. Other than that he holds the usual assortment of conservative views, albeit a tad further religious right leaning. He also plays electric bass.

South Carolina’s Lindsay Graham represents sort of an interesting bag of interests. He served in the Air Force, the National Guard and the Reserves and won substantial decorations. Not surprisingly, he is quite favorably disposed to all things military. Graham favors US intervention abroad and has often been labeled hawkish. Never married. No kids. The usual assortment of conservative values and rhetoric. However, on occasion he has been known to reach across the aisle and work with his Democrat colleagues. He is an anti-Hillary Benghazi crazed conspiracist. His face actually reddens when the topic arises.

Former New York Governor George Pataki enjoys the status of being one of only a few Republican New York State Governors including Nelson Rockefeller and Thomas Dewey. He won three terms as Governor after winning the election from Mario Cuomo, himself being a three term Governor. He has a certain amount of international cred in that he served as our UN ambassador for a period. However he has a strong record of defunding schools and defending tax cuts despite budget deficits. All things considered, he is considered by many to be a Republican moderate.

Talk about your egoed out loose cannon, Rick Perry is your man. After W became President, Rick Perry stepped up as W’s Lieutenant Governor and was Texas’ Governor for over 15 years. He is currently under indictment for abuse of power. Seems a Democrat DA got popped for DUI and Perry told him to resign or else he would veto funding for state public corruption officers. At one point he mandated young girls receive the HPV vaccine. There is a connection between the manufacturer, Merck, and Perry so there was, in all likelihood some form of collusion here. Also, although he claimed he wasn’t serious, he publicly advocated a Texas secession declaring, incorrectly, that becoming a state in 1848 was only part-time and they could form their own union any time. The actual terms of the statehood advised that Texas could break into five separate states.

Do not Google Santorum. You just googled it, didn’t you? Well never mind.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is going to make yet another run at it. With seven kids, there is no doubt as to his allegiances to either birth control or abortion. He is the coiner of the phrase ‘Intelligent Design’ and did his level best to incorporate this language within certain legislation. He has stated that people with pre existing conditions should pay higher insurance premiums, that same sex marriage will be the downfall of America, as will Obamacare, that Obama is clearing a path to behead religious people, and America’s values are being destroyed by the NBA and rock concerts and that women’s emotions prevent them from being effective soldiers. Then, of course there are those groundless accusations against political opponents.

Have you noticed neither Sarah Palin nor Michelle Bachman has uttered a peep concerning their respective availability? Neither has New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie (Bridgeman) or Louisiana’s Governor, Bobby Jindal.

There are several other wannabes out there as well. Mark Everson formally of the IRS might throw his hat in the ring. The unfortunately named Jack Fellure, a retired engineer from West Virginia, consistently tosses his name in as well. The Governors of Ohio and Wisconsin, John Kasich and Scott Walker, respectively may just throw down as well. Scott Walker may be a particularly hard sell in that he has been such a public mouthpiece against unions and teachers.

And there we have it thus far, folks. Now you too can sit back, relax and peruse your betting sheets. Let the games begin.