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The 2012 Speculatron Weekly Roundup

First Posted: 04/22/11 08:18 PM ET   Updated: 06/22/11 06:12 AM ET

This week, a black cloud settled over the 2012 campaign when a bunch of polls came back and the results showed that no one was all that happy about the state of the GOP field. There were some obvious reasons for this, such as "there really isn't a 'GOP field' yet" and "most of the voters don't even really know that much about the people who might one day be a part of that field" and "basically Donald Trump is the only person we hear about, and that can't really be happening, right?" Of course, the media kind of freaked out, because they had been covering the campaign season as if had already been agreed upon that it was awesome and shiny and exciting.

My feeling is that there will be time enough for prospective GOP voters to learn more about the candidates and get enthusiastic about them once they actually get in the race and start competing with one another. That is basically what the "winter of 2011" is for, and it is only the "spring of 2011." So, everyone should really just be patient.

Or not! Here's a guy who disagrees with me and suggests that enthusiasm may have already peaked and has nowhere to go but down. That's fair. It could happen. I mean, we could get way into the royal wedding and decide to revert to a monarchy. Or bring back the Articles of Confederation. Or the Golden Calf?

According to the Terminator franchise, this was the week that Skynet is supposed to have become self-aware, so for all we know, we'll be choosing our candidates from a slate of murderous genocide-bots, who all advocate the "individual mandate" that "all humans should die, painfully." Just imagine how poorly the field will poll then! (The terminators will all still out-poll Rick Santorum.)

At any rate, don't get sad, get even. This is your 2012 Speculatron Roundup for the week of April 22, 2011.

Michele Bachmann
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Michele Bachmann almost made an important contribution to the political discourse this week when she agreed to accept the same documentation that relevant authorities across the nation have accepted is the legitimate documentation necessary to prove that a person was born in the state of Hawaii. I say "almost" because she apparently went on Fox & Friends and straight up forgot that she'd settled the matter an hour before. (In her defense, Fox And Friends does exist inside a cloud of free-floating stupidity.)

But in actual seriousness, Bachmann sent shivers down Ezra Klein's spine this week when she said "scariest thing I've ever heard on television" (and no, it wasn't "NBC announces OUTSOURCED has been renewed"):

In short, her plan is that we don't raise the debt ceiling, but we use the revenue still coming in to pay off creditors first and whatever we think most important second. That way, we "don't violate our credit rating" and "prioritize our spending." Makes perfect sense.

At least, it makes perfect sense unless you, like me, had spent the previous few days talking to economists, investors and economic policymakers about what could happen if we start playing games with the debt ceiling. Their answers were across-the-board apocalyptic. If the U.S. government is so incapable of solving its political problems that it can't come to an agreement on the debt ceiling, they said, that's basically the end of the United States as the world's reserve currency. We won't be considered safe enough to serve as the investment of last resort. We would lose the most important advantage our economy has in the global financial system -- and we'd probably lose it forever.


This has long been a topic that the GOP has needed to keep Bachmann very far away from, to no avail.
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