Although the 2012 general election is over a year-and-a-half away, Republican presidential hopefuls are beginning to show themselves to be little more than sideshow oddities and jokes on the political landscape. It doesn’t matter if it is the quitter-governor Sarah Palin, preacher Mike Huckabee, or reality show personality Donald Trump, the field represents the worst America has to offer. The Republican hopefuls have one thing in common, and that is their abject hatred of Barack Obama.
The Republican presidential hopefuls assailed President Obama for everything from his economic policies, foreign policy, and even the First Lady’s vegetable garden. There was a steady stream of possible candidates who called Obama weak and were certain they could lead the country in crisis better than the president. Some of the complaints were that President Obama has raised taxes, increased entitlement programs, and showed weakness in dealing with America’s enemies. The candidates who accused Obama of being weak insinuated that he should have attacked Iran instead of using diplomacy and sanctions.
Two of the contenders, Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), said the president was weak and not standing up for U.S. foreign policy which is strange because it is the President’s job to set foreign policy. Pawlenty went so far as to say, “Mr. President, with bullies, might makes right. Strength makes them submit. Get tough on our enemies…not our friends.” Thune echoed Pawlenty’s sentiment by claiming, “The only thing more alarming than these threats is the president’s weak response. We can’t win a peace with apologies.” Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney said, “The only thing more alarming than these threats is the president’s weak response.” One thing is abundantly clear from these Republicans, and it is they have shown themselves to be warmongers who play on the fears of weak white people who still believe in the George W. Bush policy of war as a means of promoting goodwill. It is also clear that each of these men have not learned the valuable lesson that America cannot declare war on every sovereign nation that does not follow our commands. In particular, Pawlenty’s remark that might makes right should be a clear warning to Americans who are weary of two protracted wars that the conservative philosophy of bomb first and ask question later is still alive and the first option for Republicans.
Republicans at the CPAC conference were wowed by reality show personality and habitually bankrupt real estate magnate Donald Trump when he attacked the president by claiming, “America is becoming the laughingstock of the world.” Except that President Obama has increased America’s standing in the world by using diplomacy instead of bombs. Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Penn) said that Democrats and the president in particular were too eager to criticize their own country. Santorum who is wildly popular with the Jesus crowd said, “Some see America as less than perfect,” and “I disagree with that.” It is usually a bad sign when nationalism is so black and white that there is no room for improvement and is reminiscent of Nazi Germany and Adolph Hitler.
All of the presidential contenders made one very prescient point, and that is that President Obama is not a hard line conservative. Pawlenty said, “Ladies and gentleman: Barack Obama is not behaving like Ronald Reagan.” Thune echoed Pawlenty by adding, “If we’re going to solve our entitlement problem in this country…we need to elect a conservative president in 2012.” It is remarkable that the Republicans are still trying to drag the country back to the Reagan-era when the conservative policies that America is drowning under began in earnest. Reagan presided over the worst economic mess since George W. Bush, and Conservatives cannot wait to return to high unemployment, increased national debt, and increased size of government. Apparently none of the Republicans remember the damage Reagan caused America, or have the intellect to pick up a history book to see the era they long to return to was a disaster. George W. Bush’s presidency caused worse damage than Ronald Reagan and was a carbon copy of conservative policies that caused extremely high unemployment, increased taxes for the poor and middle-class, and increased the size of government.
It is obvious that President Obama is not Reagan or a conservative. He champions the middle class and equal rights. Regardless of Tea Party rhetoric, Obama has not raised taxes or stolen any freedoms from Americans. It is true that he hasn’t bombed Iran into the Stone Age like Republicans demand, and he has not punished minorities, immigrants, or the poor like Republicans want him to. He is a Centrist who has set reasonable standards for Americans by advocating for jobs, education, adequate health care, and improving the crumbling infrastructure. Republicans are naturally against helping Americans who are not extremely wealthy, or who want security in their jobs, health, and opportunities for their children. That is the difference between Conservative philosophy and democracy. Republicans promote war to kill off the poor and middle class at the same time enriching the military industrial complex and corporations.
It is frightening that the presidential hopefuls who addressed the CPAC meeting were not the most outrageous or the most popular. Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee were not in attendance and although neither one has declared their candidacy, their bible-thumping rhetoric and lack of understanding of the world make them the most frightening candidates, but most likely to get votes. Conservatives seem to gravitate toward idiot Christians and nut-job morons whose understanding of the world is limited to the books in the bible. It bodes well for President Obama’s reelection bid that the field of Republicans is cookie-cutter crazy conservative-Christians and reality show celebrities. For Americans, it is more proof that as we proceed further into the 21st century, conservatives are working hard to drag us back to the Stone Age where might makes right and superstition trumps reason. It is indeed a sad state of affairs for the most powerful country in the world; thankfully, we have a reasonable President who will prevent America from devolving into a third world country.