Last night's debate has left me frustrated and disappointed. Putting aside for a moment that at times, the debate audiences are living embodiments of lefty stereotypes by applauding people dying without insurance and booing gay soldiers, the fact is this was supposed to be our election.
President Obama has lurched us so far to the left of mainstream American values as to make his re-election the fevered dream of a madman. We had a financial meltdown worse than any in decades, which left our country so desperate that we elected an inexperienced, one term Senator and former community organizer who promptly took what was terrible and made it catastrophic.
The numbers are in and they are not good. Unemployment staying high, consumer confidence is low, approval ratings low, the world laughs at our weakness while Iran arms itself and Israel is targeted.
I saw a bumper sticker last year that said, "If Jimmy Carter gave us Reagan, then Barack Obama should give us GOD." This is not yet turning out to be true. Things seem quite the opposite really. So far the only thing I see Barack Obama giving us is four more years of Barack Obama.
Instead of an assemblage of our best and brightest, articulating the values and ideals put forth so clearly by the tea party these last three years, we seem to have a panel of damaged goods best relegated to sniping at each other or making statements that cause their staunchest allies to stare in bewilderment.I used to like Michele Bachmann, but she lost me when she started screaming about 12 year old little girls every 5 minutes and seemed to believe that fostering 368 children qualifies her above the other candidates. She regularly attempts to appeal to the basest of emotions while trying to convince people she was the tip of the spear in Congress. My recollection of her time in Congress seems to revolve around fancy speeches and symbolic actions that moved the ball neither forward or backward. Also, she has big hair.
Santorum is great if he could escape the dungeon of single digit polling and focus a little less on the gaypocalypse. As Erick noted earlier, his answers made him sound like someone that would earn a nickname from Mark Halperin.
Newt says awesome stuff, but he seems to be working harder to tweak the debate topics rather than be president. If he wasn't Newt, I have no doubt he could be a frontrunner. Since we have memory of the things he's said and done since being in Congress, he continues to poll where he probably should poll. He has a great future in news contributing.
Ron Paul is an anti-Semitic insane person.
Gary Johnson is Ron Paul with less charisma.
Herman Cain is a great guy but he can't seem to escape relative obscurity. Not to mention that his 9,9,9 plan creates a new tax, tax, tax.
John Huntsman is so slimy in his approach, I keep waiting for him to rip his skin off and reveal that he's actually John Edwards.
Mitt Romney is a solid leader. Unfortunately, what he wants to lead us to might be so far from the ideals we've been espousing as to make one wonder why we bothered protesting in the first place. Plus: Romneycare people. Romneycare!? Are you kidding me?
And now Perry is losing me. In spite of what people think, I only battled what I considered silly vetting because i wanted to see what he was made of on my own, without beinf distracted by "true conservative" screams that he's a commie who wants to strap kids to tables and forcibly inject them with a dose of mental retardation. Now that he's been in a few debates, I feel that I've seen what he's made of, and it makes me sad. He seems to have the debate skills of a mute foreign exchange student with all the wit of John Kerry. Meanwhile he uses lefty tactics like telling people that disagree with him that they "don't have a heart." When you have the highest job creation in the country during a recession that many blame on the incumbent, and you can't get a Luntz panel to remember that because you spoke with all of the coherence of a dental patient with a numbed mouth, you may have issues in the generals.
I suppose that leaves Mrs. Palin, but she is for some reason continuing to stay out of a debate that she could potentially be scoring home runs in to help rehabilitate her image, which, despite what she may be being told, she would need to do to have a shot at the White House. Meanwhile, while she sits it out, I have Palinistas going so insane that they make Paulbots looks positively reasonable. While anyone would enjoy being told they aren't a patriot unless they support someone that isn't even running, that's just not in the cards for me and many, many others. No matter her good points I just can't spend my energy on someone who isn't running. And even if she does get in, there's no guarantee that she'll be everything she's been hyped to be or that she won't end up disappointing as Perry has.
Who does that leave? Will the candidates step it up and get it together? Will someone else jump in that will fulfill the prophecy that I saw on the bumper sticker of a used Honda?
I don't know. What I do know, is if we lose to Barack Obama in 2012, Democrats and the media will view it as a mandate. And where they'll try to take our country as a result will make these last 3 years seem like a cake walk.