I really ought to be getting more enjoyment out of the Republican presidential nomination process happening the United States right now. Few countries in the world can match the US for pure political spectacle and the Republican battle is like the cheesiest reality program TLC or A&E could dream up.
Except, of course, you get the cold, hard splash of reality that comes with the realization that one of these idiots could actually be the next most powerful person in the world. Only three of them - Romney, Huntsman and Paul - are fit to hold public office, let alone becomes the next president.
When Michelle Bachman announced she was dropping out this morning, there was great cackling glee on Twitter and other sites. I breathed a sigh of relief. The way the nomination had been going so far is that each of these lunatics have had their moment to spike in the polls and shine in the sun before crashing down to earth. They were getting close to running out of candidates. I was afraid they might loop back and start all over again, giving Bachman that boost she had late last summer.
I truly believe Bachman might be mentally ill. Remember the crazed character Martin Sheen played in The Dead Zone who one day became president and then started a nuclear war? Stick a dress on him and you have Bachman.
Perry had the dubious distinction of making George W. Bush look like a smart man from Texas. Gingrich is the kind of bully you always hated in school, all grown up. And I understand Paul has his following. Andrew Sullivan, who I respect tremendously, endorsed him. Doesn't mean he's right. I think he would be just as destructive as president of the United States as a Perry or a Gingrich, just in different ways.
As for the current favourite of the Christian right, Santorum is the kind of hypocritical and vile bigot that you would hope that if there is an afterlife that he was a very warm, and pointy, future waiting for him when he gets there.
So there you go. Huntsman is a lost cause, despite looking reasonably sane, because he's apparently one more Mormon than Republican can stomach. Oh yes, and he worked for Obama as an ambassador to China, so clearly he's evil.
So we have Mitt Romney. Who will win the nomination. The rest of the process is just smoke and mirrors to feed the political entertainment industry. And then he'll lose. Why? Because he's the John Kerry of the Republican party. A bland man from New England, with too many flip flops in his background, faced with a president with a machine in place, ready and waiting for him, to destroy him in November. And since the religious wing has been desperately trying to find something...anything to replace him, I suspect most of them will stay home and try their luck again in four years, rather than support Romney. I suspect it's easier to hate Obama for another four years than to stomach Romney for the same period of time.
Let's put it this way, in 2008 Obama beat a very hungry Hilary Clinton for the Democratic nomination and John McCain looking for his last shot at glory. At no point can you convince me that Romney is a scarier threat than either of those two. Nobody, outside of his family, loves Romney. He's just kind of...there. Just like Kerry.
Unless the economy goes catastrophically bad, and pray that it doesn't on the off-chance one of the non-Romney/Huntsman lunatics manages to steal the nomination, Obama is going to win this fairly easily.
The rest is political theatre and entertainment. Don't forget, the money isn't just in the candidates, it's also in the process of covering them. Not much money to be made unless it's "The most important election in American history!" It won't be and it's not.
November feels a very, very long ways away...
1. Wheat kings - The Tragically Hip
2. The plains/bitter dancer - Fleet Foxes
3. Racing in the streets - Bruce Springsteen
4. Wolves - Josh Ritter
5. Pickin' it up - Hot Hot Heat*