Monday, January 9, 2012

A Semi-Serious Election Guide

...And, we're back. Bet you thought I was gone, huh? Well, you weren't alone. For a while, I thought I might have been as well. You know that you're running into problems when you can't be buggered to at least tweet, and that was me for a few months. But now that the overall upheaval has died down and a new routine is forming, I am finally ready to say we're getting back to a regular blog, here. I've got some things planned, I still have to rehabilitate my blog roll and links (any suggestions there would be fab, you know how to reach me), and time is at a premium, but I've missed having the ability to stretch my brain.

Given that it is an election year, and I'm from New Hampshire, I feel like a primary season election guide might be edifying. Apologies in advance if I end up dissing your candidate of choice. I've still only mostly made up my mind. Let's see if you can figure out who's in my running.

1. Mitt Romney - Might as well start with the presumptive frontrunner, right? Seems that the consensus is that he's a "viable" candidate (whatever the hell that means), which I take to be intended as promising. Certainly he's well put-together. The hair almost looks real; the suit is nicely tailored; the voice is well-modulated and soothing. We've seen him before, but it's almost like he's still got that new candidate smell. Or is that servo lubricant? I never can tell the difference.

Pros: He's proving that he's willing to put in the extra time and effort to find and claim the position on any given issue that will enhance his appeal with the broadest slice of the American electorate, making it very hard to imagine a scenario in which he could beat someone - anyone - with any discernible record or platform or basically paper trail.
Cons: I'm no constitutional expert, but even in the shining future envisioned by Futurama, robots don't have it easy. So there are definite doubts in my mind if an android can really be considered electable. Also his given first name is Willard. I mean, seriously, what the heck?

2. Newt Gingrich - Speaking of records and paper trails, the former Speaker of the House definitely comes with an interesting one. We might be able to forget about the ethics issues of his legislative career or his dubious marital record, but dammit if the man isn't so obnoxious that he won't let us forget about it.

Pros: Prior experience navigating the stagnant swampland of our nation's government (remember, D.C. was built on top of a marsh).
Cons: Prior experience navigating, etc. (remember how much ass got kicked when the Republicans first took over back in '94? Exactly.) Also, his physical dimensions approach the head-to-body ratio of MODOK.

3. Ron Paul - What do you do when you need to get the kids these days fired up about Austrian economics, the gold standard, ending the Federal Reserve, abandoning "Imperial entanglements," and not being entirely certain what to do about Social Security? Why, roll up with a 70-something gynecologist from Texas! Sounds an awful lot like a joke, but for some reason this guy manages to get the youthful types out and engaged in a way that we haven't seen since Obama brought hipsters into the mainstream by enticing them to enter a polling place. Also, get off his damn lawn.

Pros: About as much an enemy as you can get of crony capitalism, with a foreign policy that actually does make sense if you think about the historical continuity of the last two hundred years; and I swear that every time he says "gold" I think of an old-timey prospector.
Cons: Sometimes has that look of an old person who's not entirely sure who or where he is or why he's there to begin with. Also sometimes has that look where he just wants you to get off his damn lawn.

4. Buddy Roemer - You've seriously not heard of this guy? Me either, except he robo-called my phone. Which is a huge no-no for a candidate these days, to be perfectly honest with you.

Pros: Like I said, he robo-called me, which is how I'm aware of him at all. I got nothing.
Cons: Did I mention he robo-called me?

5. Jon Huntsman - The Other Mormon(TM), he's a family man with hair that's almost as laminated-looking as Romney's, a neck that's better-differentiated, and a plan that involves, allegedly, not pandering to voters. To prove his chops in that category, he refuses to apologize for being an ambassador under the Obama administration, and actually thinks that in some cases service of one's country should trump partisan differences. I swear, if you listen to this guy long enough, you might actually start thinking that it's possible for politicians to come together across the aisle to get the people's business done. Dogs and cats living together, I say. Mass hysteria, I say.

Pros: Great hair, soothing voice, and when he speaks Mandarin I close my eyes and imagine that he's quoting something off-color from Firefly. Man, I love that show.
Cons: He's The Other Mormon(TM), which makes him seem an awful lot like Romney. Also there's the hair. I don't know if it's enough to consider him an android as well, but I do know this: if there's something more annoying that putting Lt. Commander Data on stage, it's putting Lt. Commander Data on stage along with a Lt. Commander Data impersonator. They're like Elvis impersonators, only a little more wooden.

6. Chris Christie - For God's sake, people, the man has said time and again that he's not running!

7. Rick Santorum - Google-bomb abuse aside, what's not to like about Rick? He's a committed Catholic who wants to use the machinery of government to legislate a more moral society by giving said government powers that could never, ever be abused by the other side when the political cycle inevitably puts them back in power. Not ever. What else? ...Well, like most Republican candidates, he's for having and regularly using a strong military throughout the world, because nothing shows the rest of the world how free we are than bombing the crap out of them...or as I like to think of it, "freeing" the crap out of them. Also, like most of the field excluding extreme elements like Huntsman and Paul, Santorum doesn't let little things like historical continuity or cause-and-effect get in the way of recognizing that Iran is only looking for a nuke because they're a theocracy dedicated to getting their constituents as many virgins as possible.

Pros: I already mentioned the Catholic thing, so...oh, yeah, he carries forward the proud GOP tradition of refusing to learn from the last hundred years' worth of failed American foreign policy and will likely work tirelessly to expand the hegemony of the Empire. (This sounds like it should be a con, but I was full up there, bear with me.)
Cons: Speaking of ignoring history, thinks that democracy is an unmitigated and unequivocal good for every people on the earth. Except for Muslims, because they hate freedom, which is why they hate us, and if we let them vote they're only going to prove how much they hate freedom by using their freedom to try to destroy our freedom. Couldn't have anything to do with all the colonialistic crap the West tried to pull in the WWI era, followed up by a heaping dose of displacing an entire population to make room for another population who had themselves been displaced through attempted genocide...because everyone knows that two wrongs do make a right when x = Hitler. (Screw you and your law, Godwin.)

8. Rick Perry - Good God, where to I start? He's from Texas, which as worked so well for us in the past. You know what Full Metal Jacket taught us are the two things that come from Texas, right? Well I know that Perry can't be fully bovine, so...nah, with hair like that he can't be the other thing, either.

Pros: He's kind of like George W. Bush, so we know what we're getting.
Cons: He's kind of like George W. Bush, so we know what we're getting. Also I'm not sure but I think it's very likely the man gets sexually aroused by capital punishment.

So, there you have it. That's the menu I have to work with. No appetizers. No salads. No three medium 1-topping pizzas for $9 each. (that was Herman Cain's point with the 9-9-9 deal, right?)

Like I said, I have a pretty good idea which candidate I'm going to pick. Just not positive. You tell me what I should do. Also feel free to lambaste me if you think I'm off base with these evaluations.

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