The Pockmarked Republican Class Of 2012
On March 1, 2012, 5:59 PM by Karl Moats
How the 2012 GOP Presidential primaries have brought the worst out of Republican Party.
The chubby Colorado boy gave Mitt Romney a $1 bill.
It’s for good luck, the boy whispered, in that race. Mitt Romney flashed the boy an aww-shucks grin and dug into his wallet to repay him.
But there was one problem: Mitt Romney only saw a hundred and a couple of twenties. He peered around the dusty diner. He hemmed and he hawed. He tried to buy time. An alert aide wanted to slip Romney a crinkled $1 but the former governor refused. He peeked deeper inside his wallet and fished out a $5.
“We’ll give you an Abraham Lincoln back,” he chuckled. A tad too hard, perhaps. A tad too long, certainly. And then Mitt Romney went back to glad-handing the diners over potato taters, joking that he, too, was unemployed.
Robert Gibbs laughed it up with the gang back in Chicago. Mitt Romney was making this too easy. More bulletin-board material for the Obama 2012 War Room. Another pin-up for the Romney wall. Right next to the “I don’t care about the very poor” quip. And the $10,000 bet. And the one about strapping his dog to the roof of the car.
The boys were bored, trigger-happy and rearing to go for whichever slimed candidate emerged from the Republican mud-fight. The interns had the debate sound-bytes all cued up. The cheat sheets already framed for the Final Four. Each of them flawed in their own way, distilled down to one, bite-sized label.
Ron Paul is a “joke”. He is the avuncular grandfather in the race. Yes, he is a hit with the internet, military and the youth. And he’s the most ideologically pure of them all. But at 76, he’s too old, too rabid, and too honest to have a chance.
Ron Paul is not so much in-it-to-win-it as he is to be heard—he conceded as much. And with 8-9% of the vote—and the most vocal 8-9% at that—Ron Paul also has the audience. So there he is, in debate after debate, roaring to End The Fed and to bring home all the troops to the loudest standing ovations of them all.
As a result, Paul sits atop a peculiar perch in the Republican race. He is not a serious candidate but a relevant one. Non-threatening to avoid the others’ punches but still respected enough to land his. To some, Ron Paul is a doddering old man of older ideas. The jokester. But to others, only the court jester can dare utter the truth.
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