Political Gum Hockey

Political Commentary and Humor

Bachmann to Drop Out of Republican Race – Tea Party Kills Another One

Michele Bachmann will drop out of the race for the Republican nomination for President.  After winning the Iowa straw poll, thus vaulting her to the front of the pack for 15 minutes, Bachmann came in last in the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday.

Bachmann, of course, was the tea party darling once it became obvious that Sarah Palin wasn’t going to run (which was about 6 to 9 months before she officially said she wasn’t going to run).

After killing Bachmann by jumping to Rick Perry, the tea party ultimately killed Perry as well.  And Trump. And Gingrich. And Cain. [Not necessarily in that order]  And now they will kill Santorum.  It’s clear, the tea party kills.  [Needless to say, my use of the word “kill” is metaphorical, not literal.  Jeesh.]

So with Romney eking out an 8 vote “win” over Rick Santorum, it’s on to New Hampshire where the dynamics are a bit different than Iowa.  More on that later.

So Bye Bye Bachmann.  Good thing you didn’t give up your day job (paycheck, she actually didn’t do much in her day job in 2011…or for that matter, during her entire Congressional career).  So good luck with running for reelection – I’m sure Minnesotans will be happy to sign you up for another term.

[UPDATED: I wrote the article above before Bachmann went on TV to make an announcement.  She has now made if official.  As Politico reports: “Last night, the people in Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to step aside.”  Given that she only got 5% of the votes in Iowa it’s unclear that her departure will result in much help to other candidates, but most likely the few people who would have voted for her will lean towards Rick Santorum (Perry will be out shortly too, so he won’t get them).]

January 4, 2012 Posted by | Iowa caucuses, Iowa straw poll, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Tea Party | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why the Tea Party Hates Romney – And Why They Will Continue to Hate Romney After Iowa Hands Him the GOP Nomination

Dateline Tuesday, January 3rd, the year 2012.  The Headline: Romney Wins GOP Nomination in Iowa!!

Gotta laugh.

Mitt Romney, after dissing Iowa for nearly a year, floods the state with money in the last week and wins the Iowa caucuses.  And the tea party hates it.  Because they hate Romney.

Of course, the votes haven’t been counted yet and Rick Santorum or Ron Paul or a player to be named later could actually have more caucus votes than Romney, but all that is just the gooey technical stuff that really doesn’t mean anything.  Whether Romney comes in “first” or “second” or even “third” is unimportant.  What is important is that he will beat previous expectations, which will ensure his win in New Hampshire and propel him through the remaining two or three states that would have mattered in selecting the Republican nominee. [One must wonder why the other 45+ states even bother with the expense given that the nominee is pretty much “the next old white guy in line” for the Republicans every single time.]

In any case, it has been instructive to watch determined Iowans scurry about hoping to have a real live candidate give them some previously rehearsed boilerplate already given dozens of times to other Iowans who thought it was original for them too.  One thing is clear – the tea party hates Mitt Romney. They have actively tried to destroy him and have been desperately trying to find the “Anyone But Romney” (ABR) candidate…to the point of leaping from Bachmann to Trump (yeah, that Trump) to Perry to Cain to Gingrich to Paul and now to Santorum. Seriously, those people. In an actual election year.

So the last laugh will be on the tea party.

After desperately dissing Romney, now they will have to decide if they want to vote for him…knowing that Romney would dump the tea party the second the votes were counted because, well, because Romney knows that tea party hypocrites have damaged this country and that he, i.e., Romney, would actually have to govern it.

And Romney isn’t so stupid as to actually screw up our country just to please some birthers and bigots in the tea party.  Not when he would be caught holding the bag.

And that is why the tea party will show they are not only anti-middle class extortionists for the rich, they are also hypocrites.

The interesting thing will be to see how Romney tries to kiss up to the tea party during the actual election process while not scaring the bejeesus berries out of the Independent vote.  I’m picturing some high wire balancing reminiscent of the Flying Wallendas.  Of course, many of them fell to their deaths.

Happy New Year! 2012 promises to be a very good year.

January 2, 2012 Posted by | 2012, Birthers, Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney, Republican, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Tea Party | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dead and Dying in the Iowa Caucuses – Who Survives?

Ooooh, the Iowa caucuses are only a few days away.  What fun.

Unless you’re one of the losers. Which is pretty much everyone but Romney.

I’ll do a post shortly on how Romney played the field and the media to win Iowa, but first let’s make some guesses as to who is still around after Tuesday.

Michele Bachmann: Gone.  It’s ironic that the all-so-(un)important Iowa straw poll in August was won by someone who is desperately trying to save face by not coming in last in the Iowa caucuses.  Last.  Jon Huntsman might even beat here, and he isn’t even competing in Iowa, having openly written them off to focus on the 2016 New Hampshire primary.  Bachmann’s money will complete its evaporation as soon as the Iowa voting is done, and she has already had virtually all of her important staffers jump ship.  Her goal right now is to figure out how to get out of the race with the right rhetoric to keep her in the running for re-election in her Congressional race (unlike Ron Paul, Bachmann decided to run for both President and Congresswoman of Minnesota at the same time…now there is a commitment for you).

Who else is out? Probably everyone but Romney in short shrift.  But for now we’ll likely see Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman stay in until after they all lose in New Hampshire.  Some will bow out after that due to lack of money and interest.  The others will wait until they lose to Mitt in South Carolina.

Oh wait, I’m writing as if Romney will win Iowa.

More on that later.

December 31, 2011 Posted by | Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Republican, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Rise of Ron Paul – Can He Take Iowa?

As the tea party has lurched from one incomprehensible candidate to another and found itself settling (most recently) on Newt Gingrich in the final days before the January 3rd Iowa voting, one question remains unanswered.

Can Ron Paul finally be taken seriously enough to win the Iowa caucuses?

Notwithstanding the claims by some of the pundits that Paul’s position on Iran* could cause him to lose in Iowa, Paul has actually been gaining ground in the polls.  And Paul would seem to be the natural fit for the tea party crowd (He was “tea party” before the tea party was cool, or even invented by the billionaire Koch brothers).  Okay, maybe not “this” tea party, the whole being against unilateral attacks on countries we don’t like thing is anathema to the tea party, but close enough.  After all, the tea party simply adapts reality to whatever it wants to rationalize that day (call it “The Matrix, Part IV”).

But I digress.

The bottom line is that Ron Paul is actually making a concerted effort to do well in Iowa.  And why not, at 76 it’s really his last shot at the Presidency and his branding is good for this particular year.  Stranger things have happened.  For example, after the tea party cycled through Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain they jumped from these unconventional candidates to the dyed-in-the-wool Washington insider Newt Gingrich.  And could be in a position to vote for “the next guy in line” Mitt Romney, who has been running for President full time for over five years.  So much for unconventional.

But there is still hope.  No, I don’t mean Rick Santorum, whose severe anti-gay attitudes are too extreme even for the tea party (who prefer to wrap their bigotry in anti-Muslim garb these days).  I mean Ron Paul.  After all, he is the only one left in the ABM (Anyone But Mitt) rankings.  And his anti-government views fit in with the tea party desire to remove all impediments to rampant robber baronism, fair opportunity for the lowly 99% of us, and those protections for human health and the environment that just cut into corporate profits and the ability to fund pork projects.

So Ron Paul has decided to go after frontrunner of the week Newt Gingrich.  Besides being more than a little testy at the recent debates, Paul has issued a scathing reminder that Newt Gingrich tends to talk out of both sides of his mouth. Check out Paul’s new campaign ad:

Serial Hypocrisy

The word “serial,” by the way, isn’t a coincidence.  The political marketing guru’s know that it will instantly trigger visions of Gingrich’s serial affairs, marriages, un-marriages, and his hypocrisy of trying to impeach Bill Clinton for having an affair while Newt himself was carrying on his latest affair.

But that is just icing to the cake of the main message – Gingrich is a Washington player who puts his own financial well-being ahead of all else.

So with the Iowa caucuses coming up in just over two weeks, with the Christmas and New Year’s holidays squeezed in between, and with Gingrich’s sudden surge starting to un-surge, Paul is looking to do well and maybe even win in Iowa.

And that would be really really interesting.  If nothing else, a vote for Ron Paul in Iowa is a vote for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire.  Which is why Romney is snickering a bit these days.

*P.S. BTW, this is Paul’s explanation of his position on Iran and what the US should, or should not, do regarding the potential for Iran to get nuclear weapons.

December 17, 2011 Posted by | 2012, Iowa caucuses, Republican, Ron Paul | , , , , | 2 Comments