Last week, Joseph Farah expressed a certain degree of frustration with the Republican candidates for president. Like clockwork, one candidate after another has demonstrated fatal flaws that serve to completely disqualify him, or her, as the case may be, from the White House.

Mitt Romney is still the nominal front-runner, as he has been from the start. However, he is only a front-runner because of the huge quantity of corporate cash he has collected, which is hardly a positive in an election cycle when the electorate is keenly aware of the huge amount of corruption in the Wall Street-Washington axis. He has no conservative grassroots support because he is not a conservative. Not only is he a religious cultist and an architect of the precursor to Obamacare, but he is downright notorious for his lack of principle. While it is possible he could defeat Obama, there is no reason to believe he would govern in a manner that is materially different than President Goldman Sachs. Both Romney and Obama are post-ideological, in that neither appears to believe in anything but himself.

The Harassinator, Herman Cain, was never much more than a sop meant to attract those Republicans who dream of the mythical get-out-of-racism-free card. Cain’s appeal began, and ended, with his race. His campaign was never taken seriously by anyone who understands that what works for Democrats does not work for Republicans, for what should be the obvious reason that Republicans are not Democrats. But the Magic Negro Part II: Republican edition’s verbal absurdities have somehow managed to put his predecessor’s to shame; his buffoonish statements about Libya are only the latest self-inflicted embarrassment. No matter how much stuff the man has twirling around in his head, he is little more than an affirmative-action bankster. The nation would do better to go straight to the source and elect Ben Bernanke or Tim Geithner.

Rick Perry was supposed to be the third Bush, but he turned out to be the Fred Thompson of 2012. He looked the part and talked the part, but the debates exposed him for what he always was, a paper shell of a politician whose commitment to conservative policies was limited by his cognitive incapacity. Jimmy Carter’s failed presidency may have demonstrated that the office doesn’t require the brightest of men, but even the most egalitarian will tend to agree that it should not be beyond the president’s ability to count to three or remember the primary departments of the executive branch for which he is responsible.

Now Newt Gingrich, of all people, has become the flavor of the month. This is totally absurd, not so much because Newt is a rotund little troll with a plenitude of ideas and the ability to focus similar to that of a schoolboy with ADD whose Ritalin has run out, but because he is as corrupt as Mitt Romney and Herman Cain. He claims the $1.6 million he collected from Freddie Mac was paid to him in his capacity as a historian, which only shows that he is as dishonest as he is corrupt.

Santorum, Johnson and Huntsman are all irrelevant. Bachmann is an interesting candidate and is one of the few who appears to possess at least a glimmer of understanding about the extent of the nation’s economic travails, but she has not successfully surmounted the degree of difficulty posed by her sex. The crazy eyes don’t help; it’s not a good sign when a female politician makes Hillary Clinton look sane by comparison.

This leaves Ron Paul. He is the only candidate who warned the nation of the 2008 financial crisis. He is one of only two candidates who opposed all the disastrous bailouts, the stimulus programs and the central bank policies that have laid the groundwork for the 2012 financial crisis. As the nation plunges into the next stage of the global economic contraction, he is the only candidate who has a sufficient understanding of the situation to mitigate it rather than exacerbate it.

As for those Republicans who believe Rep. Paul is sound on domestic policy but too naïve with regard to foreign policy, I suggest they consider the following question: Do you believe the United States is going to be in any position to project global military power when it is completely bankrupt? Even – no, especially – if you believe in the supreme importance of American maintaining the most powerful military in the world, Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate you can rationally support.

If the mere use of American troops were the correct metric for being strong on defense, Obama has invaded more countries than both Bushes and Ronald Reagan combined. A reckless willingness to spend American military on non-strategic ends is not an indication of strong foreign policy, but rather the same short-sighted failure to foresee consequences that has left the nation in such dire economic straits.

All of the other Republican candidates will maintain the status quo and ensure economic disaster. Ron Paul may not be able to rescue the United States from economic disaster. In fact, I would argue that it is already too late and no one can, but he will at least give it a fighting chance. As we learned during the 2008 election, there is no substantive difference between Barack Obama and candidates such as John McCain, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich.

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