20111011

Grand Old Parting - enter the anticons

Just a few months left before the NH kickoff, but the Republican primaries have already entertained us with series of debates and debacles.

Among the "quitters", Sarah Palin refused to follow Segolene Royal in a doomed candidacy (the French diva who rocked the 2007 presidential elections claimed only 7% of the votes in the first round of the Socialist primaries). Tim Pawlenty illustrated the Peter Principle by exposing his incompetence as early as he postulated for the job. Donald Trump made us laugh with his usual roaring 80s / toupee in fire routine. Chris Christie didn't even try to run - the New Jersey heavyweight will have to find other ways of getting fit.

Among the "no shows", Bobby Jindal or Charlie Crist seem to focus on 2016... or poised to become "has-beens that never were".

Among the "Tea Partiers", Michele Bachmann is the most likely to cause durable damage withing GOP ranks. Libertarian in Chief Ron Paul (I won't even mention Gary Johnson) cannot rise as high as MB in the polls, and he will not try a Ross Perot diversion.

Yet, letting Tea Partiers run by themselves would be the smart choice for Republicans. As we all know, the Grand Old Party never recovered from the 2004 implosion (see "
GOP: time to split"), and those paleocon-neocon-theocon divisions have been amplified by the emergence of yet another torpedo, the Tea Party.

I'd rather call these guys "anticons": the Tea Party is not just an alternative to the Republican or the Democratic parties, but the very negation of the republic, the very negation of democracy. The Tea Party refuses the balance of powers, of rights and duties that forge modern democracies. Make no mistake: if this imposture claims a revival of founding principles, it ultimately seeks their destruction. And Michelle Bachmann should never be allowed to break that fragile glass floor.

What does it leave us as we speak ? Newt Gingrich ? Come on ! Rick Santorum ? That man would sign a pledge of allegiance to the Devil to get nominated. Rick Perry ? An empty shell, a Dubya clone lacking his model's conviction and clutches (Karl Rove, Dick Cheney).

Mitt Romney has tried everything he could save visiting the Discovery Institute (he changed his mind on liberal reforms, and pledged to nominate judges that would revoke Roe v. Wade, but doesn't condone creationism yet). Even though, the mormon label remains a drag.

Herman Cain seems to propose the impossible synthesis between conservatism and teapartism (a populist 9-9-9 tax plan that only flies in polls), and the African American from Georgia could challenge Obama with his corporate background (even Mitt Romney struggles against this former CEO and Federal Reserve Banker).

For the moment, the most sustainable candidate seems doomed : Jon Huntsman has decided to take the high road, the closest thing to a dead-end for a GOP candidate nowadays.

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