I corresponded with a friend about the Republican presidential candidates last night, and my laziness has induced me to cannibalize my letter for the post today. Here are neither interesting nor original words on the Grand Old Party’s contenders:
I watched the Republican debate last week and found the lot of them to be less objectionable than I had previously supposed. They presented themselves as acceptable candidates, though I only found Romney and Bachmann to have had rather spotless performances. I guess that Santorum did alright, as well, but I find it odd that he would try running for the presidency after having lost his last Senate election. Cain floundered, Paul said his silly libertarian bit about marriage, and Pawlenty was weaselly in defending his remarks about Romneycare—and I cannot trust Gingrich. I would vote for any of them against Obama, though I am very thankful that it won’t be Newt.
It will be interesting to see if Christie or Perry enters the race. I read today that Huntsman has tossed in his hat. It is shaping up to be an interesting primary.
Right now, Bachmann is my favorite, and I say that as someone who generally opposes women in politics, being no friend of feminist rhetoric or doctrine. Maybe she is an exception that proves the rule, like dearest Maggie. She certainly comes across as more principled and more honest than the rest, and she is by no means the idiot that the press has portrayed her to be. Political reporters are such fiends. Take her ignorance about Lexington and Concord, for example. The only reason that I knew that Lexington was in Massachusetts was because my father and I almost stayed there during our New England trip, and I don’t consider myself to be ignorant of American history. There are gaps in all of our knowledge. That her mistake was used against her warrants contempt. She has an advanced law degree from William and Mary that I didn’t even know existed (LL.M.). She is no fool.
As for Romney, I don’t trust his convictions, though I have no doubt that he has the requisite skill set. I hope that he just postured himself as a Leftist years ago to get elected in Massachusetts. Sure, that’s dishonest, but at least he fooled those people. Such is not ideal, but strategic deception would be the best take on his flip flops for me. The worst possibility would be that he has no great attachment to principle but simply seeks power, like Clinton. I don’t buy politicians’ conversion stories without some convincing proof. How can a Mormon not just be an abortion rights supporter but one so dedicated that he attended Planned Parenthood fundraisers? How can someone so smart who attains higher office be so ignorant about the issue? He cannot blame ignorance or his upbringing for his past stand on abortion. What else but Machiavellian dishonesty is left to explain his previous position—if he is truly prolife? Maybe, he is not. I suspect that issues of culture do not interest him. Materialist Americans deserve a C.E.O. as their president, I suppose.
Moreover, I would rather not have a Mormon as president. One doesn’t have to be a philosopher to be a decent political leader; so, I’ll give him a pass on the ridiculous metaphysics of his religion. But I do expect a political leader to identify with the nation that he leads, and Mormons are such a fringe group that their tribal myths do not match up well with America as a whole. I suppose that a Mormon would be better than our current Alien in Chief who identifies with Third World racial Marxism rather than the historical American experience. At the very least, the Mormons have a connection to the land and history, however distorted and peculiar it may be.
I recently learnt from Auster’s site that Perry supported Giuliani in A.D. 2008, which I consider a serious lapse of judgment. I am wary of him. He may be singing the right tunes, but I am suspicious of opportunism. It is nice to see federalism return as a political concern, though.
All that I know of Pawlenty is that he is a Midwesterner and from a blue collar background. So far, so good. But he needs to be a man when it comes to defending his own words. Defend or apologize; don’t slither.
I don’t know much about Huntsman, either, but he strikes me as a better looking technocrat with less baggage than Gingrich. Did I mention that I don’t trust technocrats? And I despise internationalist ones . . . it is what Obama branded himself, though he doesn’t have the talent to pull it off successfully even according to their own perverse standards. Such managerial, post-national folks’ natural home is the totalitarian, globalist Left. They certainly shouldn’t be trusted with American power, as they wish to destroy (“supersede”) the American nation in the name of efficiency and progress. I also read that Huntsman sits on a board for the Brookings Institution. Perhaps, he should run as the Democratic nominee; Harry Reid endorses him.
I like Christie, but he seems intent on not running. Maybe, Ann Coulter can convince him to make the move. On Friday, she swore that she would become his worst enemy if he fails to run for the sake of his country. That might get his attention. I wouldn’t want to be on her bad side.
There is also the inevitable question—W.W.P.D.? I hope that she continues to play the role of the ululating matriarch on the sidelines of the culture wars.