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Republican masochism

The Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary spotlighted everything that’s wrong with politics in this country … everything that’s wrong with a republic devolving into a democracy … everything that’s wrong with entitlement-driven America.

Media cheerleaders valiantly tried to create a Super Bowl-like atmosphere around the Iowa and New Hampshire events, which was such a turnoff that I didn’t bother to watch most of their coverage. I make it a practice not to see bad movies more than once, and these were very bad political movies I had seen many times over the years.

They’re movies that always have a bad ending, one in which a villain disguises himself as a conservative, finagles his way into becoming the Republican nominee, then usually loses the general election because the other side exposes him as a weak-kneed charlatan. But occasionally he wins, and shortly after he is sworn into office, he steps into a phone booth, pulls off his conservative costume and dons his bright-red collectivist cape.

(Of course, since there are no more phone booths to speak of, this year’s nominee may have to settle for a restroom – which, when you think about it, is a much more suitable environment for someone who is full of … well, you get the idea.)

The nominating process has nothing to do with candidates convincing voters that they believe in strictly adhering to the Constitution; nothing to do with implementing major spending cuts; nothing to do with stopping the government from bossing people around and invading their personal lives. It’s all about campaign strategy, showmanship, fundraising and organization.

So, as Iowa and New Hampshire voters held their noses and voted, SuperMitt managed to emerge victorious – and, in Iowa, by only eight votes over someone who was last in line to be the anti-Romney candidate. The idea that Rick Santorum did something miraculous to come in second in Iowa is just more media hype. In truth, his rise was a direct result of the fall of the first four anti-Romney’s who were in line in front of him.

Santorum has been his usual abrasive self throughout the campaign, seemingly intent on challenging Barack Obama for Whiner of the Year Award. And since no one paid much attention to him until recently, he was able to hide a slew of sins from conservative voters, including voting to raise the debt ceiling five times, voting for George Bush’s No Child Left Behind monstrosity and voting for the budget-busting prescription-drug entitlement program.

In addition, Santorum said he was proud of the earmarks he was able to get inserted into various pieces of legislation over the years, and, worst of all, he supported progressive Arlen Specter’s re-election over conservative Pat Toomey, which resulted in a crucial vote for Obamacare.

There are probably no less than a dozen Republicans sitting out these primaries who would have had a far better chance of being knighted the non-Romney candidate than Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, or Rick Perry. The Republicans’ attraction to death wishes continues to be baffling.

If Ron Paul can’t pull off the mother of all upsets, Republicans will be on their way to sending yet another progressive member of their party to do battle with the evildoers in the other wing of the Demopublican Party. And, most likely, that will be MittMan, who, after all, has now been endorsed by none other than John McCain. Nothing makes masochistic Republicans feel more secure than seeing their presidential nominee endorsed by their last failed presidential candidate, especially when he’s an uber progressive.

Contrary to what some Republicans would like voters to believe, their field of candidates is pathetic. So much so that it’s possible, albeit not likely, that a big-name Republican could still decide to enter the race even after missing Iowa and New Hampshire – and perhaps South Carolina. Conservative stalwarts such as Paul Ryan and Mitch Daniels must certainly know they could shoot right to the top if they decided to jump in.

And, though I hate to admit it, the liberals’ favorite Republican, Mike Huckabee, would absolutely overwhelm the current field of candidates if he were to enter the race. But, as I’ve said before, I think he has wisely chosen to make his hundred million or so first, then run for president when he’s in his 60s. What he doesn’t understand is that there may not be an election by the time he’s ready to run.

So, dear reader, right now we are staring at a professional political scoundrel, Mitt Romney, as the most likely Republican nominee. Romney is an android who, through sheer self-discipline, has risen to unprecedented heights of insincerity throughout his political career.

This is a man who couldn’t handle simple, straightforward questions from the terrifyingly ferocious Bret Baier. Which makes one wonder how in the world he would handle the second coming of Saul Alinsky, who will be thanking him throughout the campaign for creating the perfect model for Obamacare.

Oh, and one more thing. If Obama swallows his pride and has Hillary and Joe Biden switch jobs, as is being rumored in some quarters, no one will be able to beat him. Confused, unprincipled independents would flock to Hillary as though she were the second coming of Eleanor Roosevelt. Four more years of Obama followed by eight years of Hillary (assuming Obama didn’t succeed in implementing a dictatorship) would make the U.S. look not so much like Europe, but more like the former Soviet Union.

I hope nothing I’ve said here will prevent you from enjoying all the media hype over the remaining Republican debates. My advice is that you sit back and savor the high-level comedy inherent in these events, the same as you would a good Marx Brothers movie.