Where Are All the Republican Candidates?
President Obama has leaped out in front by starting his campaign for re-election this early. Where are the Republicans?
Thus far, they have dithered and dallied, and no one candidate has stepped into the spotlight. There are a couple of “exploratory” efforts under way, but all we have heard is the possibility that the clownlike Donald Trump might become a third-party candidate under the banner of the tea party.
Let’s put that rumor to bed right now, because all it would accomplish is to give a shoo-in to Obama.
I have long been a fan of the tea party, although I am not an official member. I believe tea-partiers speak for the majority of responsible citizens and were instrumental in the Republicans winning the House in the last election. Nonetheless, they have too often been intransigent in refusing to bend when bending has been the expedient political move.
The tea party can and should be a strong influence within the Republican Party, but this is a two-party nation, and third parties have too often handed the election to those who should lose.
Obama deserves to lose. He has proved himself ineffective as a negotiator — he is ridiculed by the majority of nations in Europe and shrugged off by most of his opposition in this nation. He has helped plunge our country into a staggering debt with little to show for it; he is the advocate of failed programs like cap-and-trade and the unwieldy health bill; he has broken promises and oaths since the day he entered the White House.
Remember his guarantee to avoid any secret deals? He promised that any bill would first be put on line for five days before he signed it. He took an oath to defend and protect the Constitution, yet committed our forces to attack Libya without even telephoning Congress in direct violation of Section 8 of Article I, which gives only Congress the power to declare war. An exception might be argued if the United States is in imminent danger, but Libya hardly qualifies.
Where are the Republicans when these facts demand to be shouted from the rooftops?
On the surface, Barack Obama should be easy to defeat. But, based on his lack of proven ability and experience, he should have been an easy mark the first time out. But he won. And unless the Republicans take the bit between their teeth, he can win again.
He is an exceptionally good campaigner; I can think of no one better at facing the teleprompters with glib, semibelievable arrogance. He is the epitome of people who know that a lie told often enough and strongly enough with eventually find believers. He has the bully pulpit of the presidency and the opportunity to fly (on the taxpayers’ nickel) from one end of the country to the other as he seeks funds.
The Republicans, on the other hand, have to dip into their pockets to achieve the same end. Regrettably, the most potential winners seem to be sitting this one out. I refer to Marco Rubio, Mike Pence, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. They’re waiting for 2016. Let us hope we will not be another Greece or Portugal by the time 2016 rolls around.
There are good people out there right now. I have no doubt that Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich would make far superior presidents that the one we have now. I’m also a growing fan of Michele Bachmann despite her tendency to toss Sarah Palin-like gaffes. The question is: Can any of them beat Obama?
The answer is: not unless we pick one early on and put all our efforts into his (or her) candidacy. An alternative is to find someone other than those named and take leaves out of the Obama book of public relations. He convinced the majority once; we can do it now.
We ask again: Where are the Republicans?
Allan Jefferys, a former New York theater critic and newsman, lives in Pinehurst. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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