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by Michael Goodell

http://www.mlgoodell.webs.com

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, the Godfather of the Right Wing of the Republican Party, informed CNN’s Soledad O’Brien this morning that, given the way the primaries are set up this year, it may well be that no candidate will have the 1,144 delegates required for nomination. The way things are going, a brokered convention may prove to be the salvation of the Republican Party, and the nation as a whole.

Maybe then we could pull someone in from the sidelines, some responsible adult who would like to be President, could potentially be a great President, but has too much self-respect to submit himself to the demeaning, debasing, debilitating process of modern American politics. It’s hard to imagine a system better designed to keep qualified people from running for office. Then again, in a culture as broken as ours, why should our politics be any different?

The Republican Party ought to be prescribed a heavy dose of Ritalin, because they seem to be incapable of keeping their minds focused on the main objective in this election, which is to wrest control of the country from Hosni Mubarack O’Bama and his henchmen while there is still a country worth salvaging. Instead, three of the candidates seem to be committed to destroying the fourth candidate, the only one who might have had a chance of winning.

It is really hard to imagine Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul as the standard bearer of any party more rational than the Monster Raving Loony Party, while Rick Santorum, though well-intentioned and sincere, looks more like a Baptist Youth Minister than the leader of the free world. You can almost hear his Inaugural Address, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but–say, do you kids want to play volleyball?”

Romney at least looks the part. In fact, if he could just learn to keep his mouth shut, he would be the candidate straight from central casting. Unfortunately, he has a tendency to speak honestly and openly with reporters. This is almost criminally stupid. He has to understand that he can’t say things like, “I like to fire people,” or “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” It doesn’t matter what the context is. It doesn’t matter how reasonable the statement is.  Seriously, how unproductive, if not disastrous would a domestic policy be if it focused only on the bottom ten percent of the population, on the drug-addicted, the mentally ill, those who chose to drop out of society and now are on the outside looking in. Romney is right, there is a safety net for them. Still, he has to understand how bad that sound bite sounds, and he also has to understand that this year it’s not just the Obamafied media who will quote him out of context and twist the meaning of his words in a way they know is false, but do it because it brands him as an unelectable plutocrat; this year it is his fellow Republicans doing that, too.

The fact is, you can’t defend him for his comments, because he has made them, and either he doesn’t understand how bad they make him look, or he genuinely doesn’t care. Unfortunately, what this string of gaffes suggests is that Romeny is in fact just that out of touch. One cringes to imagine him in a debate with O’Bama, announcing that “some of my best friends are Negroes,” or that he recalls having long talks with Erma, his mother’s maid, which really helped him understand the African American community.

To be honest, the worst thing imaginable would be a President who understands what it’s like to be just an average Joe, who’s just like the guy next door. Being President is tough work, requiring good judgment and the ability to tap the talents of thousands of individuals. Rarely does the President fix his own plumbing, or paint the White House himself. There are other people to do that. Theoretically, he needs to spend his time doing more important things, like playing golf, and basketball, and flying the wife and kids to Hawaii for vacation.

Most Americans realize they wouldn’t want their next door neighbor to be President. Most Americans don’t even want their next door neighbor serving on the Neighborhood Watch Committee. But they want a guy who can at least pretend he could be their next door neighbor. Lately Romney seems determined to convince us that he’d rather eat a tuna casserole than be that pathetic guy.

So, lets keep our fingers crossed, and hope the four remaining Republican candidates continue to bludgeon each other all the way to Tampa, where a grown up with common sense and good Conservative values can step from behind the curtain and save the day.

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