"The place is so crowded, no one goes there any more." Yogi Berra
And so the 2012 Republican paradox some call a presidential primary race begins in earnest... facetiously.
From Newt blaming his infidelity on overzealous patriotism -- piggy-backed by Santorum's marijuana-use admission to defend Gingrich -- to Huckabee's stumbling, bumbling defense of his Obama-birther remarks, to Palin's tweeting battles with Kathy Griffin, the GOP Bad Boys and Girls of Comedy Tour is heading to a caucus near you.
With the 2012 presidential race still far in the distance, hypocrisy, ambiguity and double standards are rolling toward Iowa and New Hampshire, the epicenters of some of the wildest fluctuations on the political coherence meter. Yes, gentle lady and gentleman voters, it's once again time to run against who you used to be.
"I sustain and support (Rove vs Wade), and the right of a woman to make that choice, and my personal beliefs, like the personal beliefs of other people, should not be brought into a political campaign. I respect and will fully protect a woman's right to choose." Mitt Romney, 1994, running for senate in liberal Massachusetts
"I respect and will fully protect a woman's right to choose." Mitt Romney, 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial acceptance speech
"On abortion, I was wrong." Mitt Romney, 2007 GOP Presidential debate
This year's John Kerry, capable of being on every side of every issue, presidential-model template, Mitt Romney, has the look, demeanor and hair of the perfect candidate. He could win this thing...if only he weren't a Democrat. Besides previous admonitions to protect women and gay rights, his health-care legislation while governor of Massachusetts has Obamacare written all over it and you won't find a right wing talk show host within ear shot of the Heritage Foundation who would endorse that socialist ideology or candidate
"The Democratic Party has been the active instrument of breaking down traditional marriage." Newt Gingrich, Christianity Today 4/2009
Needing only two more marriages to field a wife-only basketball team, ethics-challenged former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will have to deal with his biggest opponent, the former Newt Gingrich. His legendary shut down of America, his compassionate bedside manner ("The bad news is, you have cancer, Mrs Gingrich. The good news is, you won't have to be married to me anymore.") and his crusade to impeach rapscallion Bill Clinton while carrying on his own peccadillo makes for more Late Night comic stand up material than Christian conservative credentials.
"I smoked pot when I was in college." Rich Santorum, 3/11, National Review, defending Gingrich's chronic infidelity (including while he was chastising Clinton's infidelity during the impeachment years) as no impediment to wax morality from his soapbox.
Poor Rick. Just when he has worked so diligently to establish himself as the Christian conservative darling he felt it necessary to flaunt his past drug experiences. That would be bad enough, but then he felt it necessary to expose his don't Bogart that joint history to justify Gingrich's promiscuous glass house value judgments of others. Better that he just stuck with his equation of gays to animals.
"...what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy " Sarah Plain, CBS News (2008)
"(The bailout is) becoming a slush fund for the Treasury Department's favorite big players, just as we had been warned about." Sarah Palin at Tea Party convention (Feb, 2010)
Needing to campaign next to congresswoman and potential presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to appear by comparison the sane candidate, it seems that Palin was for the bailout before she was against it. But perhaps her greatest obstacle will be her inability to finish what she starts. Never will there be more scrutiny of a vice-presidential candidate than there would be of a Palin running mate as voters take odds on how long a term Palin would choose to serve. Question is, will voters accept Sean Hannity taking over mid-term? Aware she would need to take a deep pay cut to hold the presidency, the former Alaska ½ governor may only choose to run to increase book sales, TV ratings for her next Fox News show and attendance at her steel cage Twitter match with comedienne Kathy Griffin.
"[Obama's] perspective...growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather." Mike Huckabee, Radio Interview, February, 2011.
Huckabee now claims he meant Indonesia. Perhaps he meant amnesia as not only was Obama not raised in Kenya but he was neither raised by his father or grandfather. Huckabee's Obama born/raised in Kenya giving Obama an un-American point of view stylings may endear him to the birthers who still feel the illegal alien infiltration by our 44th president makes rich grounds for impeachment. Unfortunately they also give Huckabee all the credence of a viral right-wing email. If he keeps playing to the wingnut extremists, the only place Huckabee will be listed as a serious candidate will be on Glenn Beck's conspiracy corner blackboard.
Yup. That Michele Bachmann.
There's more, but with all the tough decisions President Obama has had to make the most difficult may end up being deciding which Republican candidate he'd most be dying to run against most.
Award-winning TV writer, Steve Young, is author of Great Failures of the Extremely Susccessful (www.greatfailures.com)