Republicans are hoping to find a star for 2016.
It's still three years before the next presidential election but already potential candidates are maneuvering for a shot as the party's top contender.
Not so long ago, maybe three years or so, a number of Republican politicians unfurled their plumage -- strutting before the party hoping to be the choice for the coveted award at the Republican National Convention -- the GOP nominee for the presidency.
They all pretended to have what it takes to become the top dog. But the field eventually narrowed, settling on the 'strongest' in an extremely weak field, Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney emerged after about 24 excruciatingly long months of incoherent banter from one front-runner after another. The obstructionist party could not make up their minds on a candidate, one that best represented their constrictive ideas and ideals.
At the start of that numbing two-year process names were being tossed around like a political football. Clearly 25 or more names were brought forward to run against incumbent president, Barack Obama. And after each potential candidate was excised the question that followed was, "Is That All You've Got?"
As was the case last election, new names emerge with each perceived seminal moment. And like the months leading up to the last election hopes soar amongst the right-wing electorate each time a new intransigent slays a windmill -- only to become fleeting in the current Republican environment.
But that's the nature of the Republican Party since the interdiction of the Tea Party. The Republican paradigm has changed. The new paradigm consists of sound bites and transient impressions.
Marco Rubio was heralded early as a rising star, a conservative candidate of a color and history that would show the country the starchy party could embrace someone from an under-served faction of their party. Someone who shares their tunnel-visioned views of the world -- an austere, colorless, utterly pallid world.
Here we go again.
Rubio's name isn't being mentioned much in Republican circles any more after his erstwhile effort at immigration reform. But others are in line waiting for the blessings of those that make up the party's leadership -- a fractured group no longer sure of what they stand for.
And, like three short years ago, there will be many. They will rise and fall just as they did during the two years prior to the 2012 election. The dead list, remnants of the 2012 election: the Palins, Sanfords, Barbour, Daniels, Pawlenty, Huckabee, Cain, Perry, Trump, Santorum continued to grow until Romney emerged after the primary in Texas.
A similar list will materialize leading up to the 2016 election but this crazy merry-go-round is beginning a whole year earlier than the previous election. The nominee likely will come from none of these early aspirants.
Rubio gave way to Rand Paul whose star, not all that bright and somewhat flickering, is just bright enough to raise expectations of a vocal and aggressive faction of the party. Paul is now being overshadowed by another, more obnoxious and arrogant hopeful, whose following is equally vocal and equally small, Ted Cruz. Cruz's shutdown of the government fired up that miniscule faction of the base despite adding millions to the deficit they virulently oppose.
Already, a new challenge has arisen to threaten both Cruz and Paul in the form of New Jersey Governor posing as a moderate, Chris Christie, who was recently reelected in a blue state by a margin of nearly 30 points.
And Santorum is beginning some crazy talk about possibly running again after being the brides maid in 2012. Even crazier is cheesehead, Scott Walker, claiming that a Governor -- surprisingly just like him -- would be the Republicans' best chance at the White House.
But, so many more are still looking at their options. Jeb Bush and Bobby Jindal. And who's to say Bachmann, Trump, or Palin won't hint at a run in 2016?
Here we go again!
Are Republicans going to walk the same well-trodden path hoping for a different outcome? How many more members of their narrow-minded, ideological, intransigent, and exclusionary party will think they're qualified to be the leader of our democracy only to have there dreams dashed by a capricious electorate?
Their ideas are still stale, still oppressive, still unimpressive and appeal to only a fraction of the population -- an archaic population that is slowly dying off.
It's a long, long road to the 2016 nomination.
Here we go again!