George Will: Huckabee, Gingrich, and Palin Not “plausible Republican presidents”


    I don’t agree with George Will on much (anything?), but I agree with him 100% about this.

    Let us not mince words. There are at most five plausible Republican presidents on the horizon – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Utah governor and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, former Massachusetts governor Romney and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.

    So the Republican winnowing process is far advanced. But the nominee may emerge much diminished by involvement in a process cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons.

    Among the “careless, delusional, egomaniacal…” candidates Will cites specifically are Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich, both of whom have gone completely off the deep end into lunacy with their ravings about Barack Obama, Kenya, the “Mau Mau revolution,” a bust of Winston Churchill (huh?), and god knows what else. Clearly, these people long ago misplaced their marbles, the only question being where – or where?!? – are the men in the white coats to take them away to the funny farm?

    In all seriousness, though, George Will for good reason leaves Huckabee, Gingrich and Palin (let alone Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and others even crazier and less fit to be president, if that’s even possible) off his list of “plausible Republican presidents.” I also strongly agree with Will that “when self-described conservatives such as Malzberg voice question-rants like the one above and Republicans do not recoil from them, the conservative party is indirectly injured.” My only question is why other conservatives, those who care about their movement, don’t join Will in drumming these wackos out of their party? Are we so entrenched in “red team”/”blue team” that we can’t criticize anyone from our “side?” Well, I’m proud to report that here at Blue Virginia, if you look through our archives, you’ll find PLENTY of criticism of Democrats, and that won’t stop anytime soon.

    Bottom line: most (or all) of us here are strong Democrats, but we’re also strong environmentalists, strong supporters of gay rights, of womens’ reproductive freedom, of progressive taxation, of a fair and just society, of high-quality health care for all (as a fundamental human right, also as smart policy), of a strong public education system (and opposition to the “for-profit” model or anything else that damages the public schools), etc. We’re not going to abandon those principles, even if it means calling out anti-progressive Democrats, cuckoo-for-cocoa puffs Democrats, etc. And no, that doesn’t weaken us; sunshine almost always makes us stronger, as is sticking to the core progressive principles that made our party great in the first place.

    P.S. As a progressive and a Democrat, I of course am hoping beyond hope that Republicans DO nominate one of the non-plausible candidate, thus guaranteeing that they lose in a landslide to Barack Obama in November 2012.  As an American, however, I’d feel much more comfortable with a Republican Party that stepped away from its embrace of the lunatic fringe (John Birch Society, Tea Party, whatever) and returned to the sensible conservative party it the GOP was for much of its history (including when I started out my involvement in politics as a Teenage Republican back in the late 1970s in Connecticut).

    • KathyinBlacksburg

      For example, Mitch Daniels was Bush’s budget director and now he tries to blame the economy on everyone but himself and his dim-witted Chief of State, who drove the train into the ditch.

      And Haley Barbour?  Bring it on!

    • Of course I agree with Will too — but found the column weird in that just a few days ago Will was alleging high speed rail = government mind control. Now he’s taking a stand against birtherism? Why is one conspiracy theory OK but not the other?

    • Teddy Goodson

      When the Republicans and their tea party wing rode high in the 2010 elections, every one of them developed presidential fever; they swarm like blow flies over a carcass, so delusional they cannot recognize how the voters are having serious buyer’s remorse once they have seen how appalling the Republicans are when finally in charge.  

      The more experienced GOP leaders, who smugly thought they could use the tea party-wing nuts for their own purposes, suddenly are in a panic and, like George Will, are desperately attempting to de-fang the devils they have turned loose. I suspect we outside observers will be able to watch several months of civil war and purges within the GOP as the somewhat-more-adult grab for the reins.

      They are going to try to find someone, anyone, they can dress up as a sensible modrate and turn him into a hero—- some one like, say, Jeb Bush, or Jon Huntsman, or Crist, or maybe Pawlenty or Daniels. Look for a tsunami of publicity and propaganda about each, until they decide which one will be the “jewel in the heart of the lotus,” the absolutely perfect, indispensible Great Leader of America, and then there will be a deafening, mind-numbing dump of adoration for that chosen one (combined, of course, with continued sludge and vicious attacks on Obama). Already, my eyes glaze. Thanks to all their corporate money, they’ve got the resources to indulge in this kind of show.