GOP contest

Ed H. writes:

Michelle Bachmann seems to have dropped off your radar screen. Can you share your recent thoughts on her as a candidate distinct from the Republican mainstream? Right now I see that the “Anyone But Obama” sentiment is the most dangerous one out there. It will lead to the election of Open Borders Rick or Corporate Shill Romney. If mass amnesty comes I believe another GWB lookalike will broker the deal while mainstream faux conservatives are basking in the false euphoria of “taking back the country.” As I see it this will be the last gasp of traditional America. After the demographic shift is accomplished the spiral into Third World, or America the New Brazil will be inevitable. Both Romney and Perry are the typical low content Republicans, and both lack even an iota of cultural awareness.

LA replies:

I like that—“low-content Republicans.”

I haven’t wanted to follow the GOP race closely up to now. The first caucus/primary will be in Iowa on February 7, five months away. Bachmann remains the candidate I most like, or rather the only candidate I like, but, as I’ve said before, I do not yet see her as a person prepared to lead the country as distinct from a person with a list of conservative positions. This doesn’t mean I wouldn’t vote for her in the primaries if she failed to pass that threshold, only that, if she doesn’t pass that threshold, I won’t be holding out much hope for her, either as a national candidate or as a president.

I will be watching with interest the Republican debate on Wednesday night, to see more of Bachmann and also to see how Rick Perry does in his first debate. Dick Morris in his August 31 “lunch alert” video made some interesting points about the challenges facing Perry (as well as Bachmann, Romney, and Palin), which I here partially quote and partially paraphrase:

Perry is in a two-front war. On one hand he’s competing with Michelle Bachmann for the religious right vote, on the other hand he’s competing with Mitt Romney for the economic conservative / job creation vote. This is tough for him, because Bachmann and Romney own their turf, and he’s got to take that away from them. Perry got a great start because of the flash around his announcement, and he instantly jumped to the top of the front tier. But he hasn’t earned this yet, and the problem he faces is that if he doesn’t live up to that billing in the first debate, there will be a sense of disappointment, a sense that he’s losing momentum. He’s got to have a heck of a debate performance to ratify his front runner status ahead of Bachmann and ahead of Romney. It’s not going to be easy.

I’m so glad that President Obama graciously consented to move his jobs speech to Thursday night. Otherwise I would have had to watch the president on Wednesday night, and missed the GOP debate.

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David B. writes:

Is Obama’s situation in 2011 in some ways comparable to Jimmy Carter’s in the late summer of 1979? Carter was in the third year of his presidency with low poll numbers. The American people had stopped listening to him.

Barack Obama is almost at the “stoppped listening” stage. Carter tried to recoup with the “Malaise Speech” of July 15, 1979 (). Though the speech is said to have been poorly received, the New York Times ran the headline “Speech Lifts Carter’s Rating to 37 percent.”

A big difference is that Jimmy Carter had a primary challenge from Ted Kennedy to contend with. Another is that Obama still has far more support from the liberal establishment than Carter ever did.

In the 1980 general election, the biggest hurdle for Ronald Reagan was to be a “safe” alternative rather than a dangerous right-wing extremist, which Reagan succeeded in doing. The 2012 Republican nominee, if the economy stays in poor shape, may win for the same reason.

I’m afraid it looks like Perry will win the Republican nomination. As I have written, the stupid GOP voters always ignore the National Question during the presidential primaries. Has anybody seen evidence this time will be different?

LA replies:

You don’t know how Perry is going to wear as a candidate. Maybe his superficiality and sloganeering will show through. Maybe he won’t do well in the debates. Watch Wednesday night.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 05, 2011 09:24 AM | Send

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