Every Last Republican Primary Candidate: Vote for Me, Because I Hate the Government

by Hunter –
gop candidates 2016 2

This really will be the dynamic of the entire Republican primary season: Elect me, because I hate the government. Vote for me, because the government I am a very prominent member of has veered into new depths of incompetence since you last voted for me.

Mr. Cruz’s diagnosis can vary slightly: Sometimes Washington is “profoundly broken”; other times it is “fundamentally broken.”Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky prefers “horribly broken.” But he does not stop there. His campaign slogan for president is “Defeat the Washington Machine.”

Rand Paul is, of course, neck-deep in the Washington machine. Whatever bad thing you might say about the Washington Machine, from nepotism to substanceless, pandering rhetoric to obsessive fundraising to a truly profound inability to accomplish anything, Rand Paul is a poster child for all of it. Ted Cruz came to Washington with the official mission to break it, has spent nearly all of his time encouraging ridiculous plots in his party to break it (see: the shutdown, the single most incompetently planned and pointlessly premised act of legislative sabotage in a generation), and remains stumped as to why nothing is getting done.

Mr. Paul even recently cleansed his Twitter handle: What was @SenRandPaul is now just @RandPaul.

You know what would really distance yourself from the Senate? Not running for the damn Senate again. Since Kentucky doesn’t allow you to run for Senate and president both, it would be a far simpler solution than the current churning (again, almost self-parodyingly Machine-like) efforts to change your state’s laws to insert the required “except Rand Paul, who is awesome” clause.But they’re far from the only candidates running as inside-the-system “outsiders.” You know who else is doing it? Every last one of them.

Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who announced his candidacy on Tuesday, called Washington a “roach motel.”

Is he vowing to clean it up? Of course not. He’s vowing to staff it with evangelicals who will paint little crucifixes on the roaches. His promise to his base revolves around getting Washington out of their lives and inserting it squarely in the way of anyone who opposes them, whether that be persons who believe gay Americans should have more rights, or persons who believe schools should teach more science, or women who believe their employers should not have the slightest goddamn bit of “religious” say in their medical care. Of all the candidates, he is the one you could most credibly pin the fascist label on—he would be red-faced with anger, of course, but discussing all the similarities between the government Mike Huckabee advocates for and a truly fascist state would, if nothing else, make for a damn fine debate. Mike Huckabee makes no bones about it; if you are not on Team Huckabee your life under his rule would change radically for the worse as government imposed new restrictions on what you could do and granted new dispensations to what advocates of his own philosophy could do to you.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, never one to be outdone, once complained about Washington gridlock by saying, “If I was in the Senate right now, I’d kill myself.”

That would be Gov. Chris Christie, a politician again making grandiose promises he probably wouldn’t keep.Then there’s Jeb. Jeb Bush, son of a president, brother of the Worst President, and governor himself. He’s running as the outsider.

“Just for the record here, I live in Miami,” he said, in case anyone had failed to grasp his point. “I’m outside of Washington.”

Something you should know about Jeb Bush is that he felt the strong urge to clarify that. This is because most of Jeb Bush’s supporters are, uncannily, the same people who think his brother George did a bang-up job, and Jeb is rightly wary of trusting their ability to parse these things out on their own. Most of his advisors are, uncannily, persons who either spent their careers advocating for the catastrophic policies of the last president and/or mewing for those very same policies again—again, an uncanny coincidence. But mostly Jeb Bush considers himself an Outsider, because unlike the rest of his family, he has not gotten to be president yet.And so he spends nearly all of his time explaining things as if his groggy audience has just woken up after being gassed, or as if they are all engaging in an extended parlor game to see how long anyone can go without mentioning the name George or any of the stuff that happened during his tenure. He is not wrong to do so.

“Let me put it this way: If you’ve served in the U.S. Senate over the last eight years, or six years, no tax cut has taken place,” he said in Washington recently.

That is of course not true, but it is true for Jeb Bush and his supporters because none of the tax cuts that have taken place have been directed personally at lowering the taxes of Jeb Bush and his supporters. Again: gas leak. You might also explain our apparent inability to slash taxes yet again according to George Jeb Bush’s heartfelt desires on an American government still reeling from the still-unpatched budgetary and deficit-dealing damage from the last Bush-demanded tax cut. Republicans still haven’t been able to come up with a solution for a fix there, which is why the party is still locked in a nasty intramural brawl re: sequestration and its ongoing effects, but that is again one of those things Jeb Bush’s deeply outsider audience just cannot ever seem to quite put their finger on. There was a Republican president, and then … a gas leak?

He added that the “places where the taxes have been cut are places like Florida, where they were led by a conservative governor.”

And again, if you are looking at modern Florida as a model of good governance, well, you’re probably a Jeb Bush supporter. And if you’re looking to places like Wisconsin and Kansas that have, thanks to their own little ideological gas leaks, doubled down on trickle down these last years, you’d best not look too hard. (Those that do will be asked to leave the building. You have been warned.)So we have our narrative. The Republican primary candidates will each be campaigning on the notion that the current government (that they are uniquely prominent members of) is bungling and incompetent and crooked, and that the current government solutions to the nation’s problems (that they personally planned, advocated for, and proudly implemented) are buffoonish and obviously unworkable, and that we should therefore do every last bit of it all over again with them, the Only True Outsider In This Whole Mess, in charge.

Sure, why not. Why should it be different from any other year?

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

 

Posted By: Keith

Writer, political junkie, rabid rock music fan, amateur gardener, astronomer and ornithologist, cook extraordinaire, sipper of fine wine and, more than once, the funniest guy in the room.

%d bloggers like this: