Sunday, October 4, 2015

Rack and Stack: Political Bizarro World Part II

 It’s bizarro world where everything is nothing like it’s supposed to be. The political party that generally supports abortions is creating Facebook memes in support of the pope who is against abortions, the pope is against gun manufacturers and owners but is protected by Swiss guards who protect him with guns, and the political party accused of never caring about minorities has the most diverse group of presidential candidates, with one woman, one of Indian descent, two Hispanics, another married to a Hispanic, an African-American, and a fully grown Oompah Loompah.

I'll just be over here sipping tea with Kermit.

My blog, my rules, so let’s skip the first two parts and rack and stack the remaining 15 presidential candidates and their chances, on a scale of 1 to Whatever, before anymore drop out, or get stabbed to death with extreme right angles.

Carly Fiorina
1. Carly Fiorina. She’s not in first place, but is kind of hot and makes me tingly in a weird kind of way. Not hot in the same sense as Sarah-Palin-In-A-Black-Leather-Dominatrix-Outfit-Fantasy-But-Perhaps-I’ve-Typed-Too-Much, but hot in an exotic I’m-Digging-Those-Cruella-deVille-Eyebrows kind of way. Yes, Carly, I have been bad, and you can yell at me. Wait … where was I?

Speaking of a Carly smack down, she did just that in her interview with Katie Couric where Couric tried nailing her on global warming. Whether you agree with her or not, Fiorina didn’t just hold her own, she kicked Katie’s ass, and had an answer -- and good ones at that -- for every question. Check it out here. And, just for honesty sake, as a journalist, I gots the hots for Katie, too.

Her detractors will say she lost jobs at Hewlett-Packard before losing her own job there, which she already has an answer for, and has turned around on those detractors. She has a family member -- a stepdaughter -- who lost her life because of drug use, and when she empathizes with families, it sounds sincere and not words a PR flack gave to someone to speak because she needs to sound more spontaneous. She’s shrewd, she’s got business savvy, and she’s  a she not named Hillary, who despite how hard she tries to runs back and forth from positions, no one seems to like. Bottom line: She gets more of the female vote for being a strong woman, and she's a leader America could be comfortable with sitting in the Oval Office.

Carly leaped to the front of the pack, thanks to CNN letting her on the big stage at the last debate, and the way she shredded Donald Trump. And she balances out the Democratic side when Joe Biden runs, gets the nomination and picks Elizabeth Warren. Fiorina will gain steam as others drop, and she’ll be around to the Final Five.

Marco Rubio
2. Marco Rubio. He's my real No. 1 right now, but let's be honest -- the Fiorina stuff was funnier. Gotta lead with the funny. So many pluses here. But there are minuses, too, which worries me, because then someone will want me to do algebra, and I can't remember any of that crap. That's why I became a journalist. First, the pluses. He brings more diversity to the party that is wrongly accused of not being diverse and not caring about minorities. Again, Dems, how can you keep saying that when the field of candidates proves otherwise? And why do people keep believing it? He comes across as thoughtful, articulate, smart, visionary and as a true statesman. Check out this clip of him addressing the Iran deal. His detractors would have you believe this was just political gobbledy-gook to stick it to President Obama, in an era when gobbledy-gook is not used often enough in political blogs. But you know what? It's thoughtful enough to be scary because, let's face it, our current commander-in-chief doesn't come across as the most commandery-in-chiefy type person there is. While Iran still chants about death to America and Israel, these words sound hauntingly prophetic.

Rubio also kicked ass on the last two debates. He makes up for the cloddish anti-immigration stance of Trump, and is someone minorities -- particularly Hispanics and Cubans (and Catholics or Mormons or Baptists, or whatever his religion is at the moment) could trust and vote for. Plus he's got a great story as the son of Cuban exiles, even though he's really not, but that's beside the point. How can Dems attack that without taking bullets from Bosnia on Hillary? That's exactly why he scares Democrats. If Republicans nominate a minority and he gets to the Oval Office, it destroys their talking point that Republicans don't care or aren't about minorities. This scares the hell out of Democrats. That's why when you Google "Marco Rubio" you find a lot of anti-Rubio web sites and articles out there, like this one. In fairness to Rubio, that comes from Mother Jones, which wouldn't know fair and unbiased reporting, if it got smacked in the face and forced to sit through a real journalism class, but it's enough stuff that Dems will bring up more and more and more the higher he rises in the polls.

And make no mistake. He will rise in the polls. When Trump drops -- and mark my words, he will drop -- Rubio will eventually be sitting as the only politician in the bunch at the top of the pack. And Dems hate that because they know he could win it all. But speaking of which ...

Donald Trump
3. Donald Trump. No, he's not my No. 1, and no, he's not my No. 3, but the sooner we get him on this list, and done with him, the better. He's only listed now because he's allegedly No. 1 in most polls, unless you count the one poll where he's not. And that's a funny picture. But just like a pumpkin, when you get to the inside, it's just a big, goopy mess that makes you feel slimy when you touch it. There is no substance here. Just watch or read the interview with Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes. Nothing there but pumpkin slime. His stance is, "My ideas will work, because we'll make America great again!" Problem is, he has no ideas. He appeals to some people right now because he speaks out angrily about illegal immigration, which I get. It needs fixed, but his ideas to fix it are inhumane, impractical, stupid and won't work. The wheels come off this campaign in Iowa, where everyone assumes he will come in first. He won't. He'll come in second, third or fourth. My bet right now is 3rd place, because Iowans take this stuff seriously, and they don't like Trump or yuppie pasta. Trust me on this. The polls are hype. And when that happens, he'll lose New Hampshire. And when that happens, people will compare him to Howard Dean. And when that happens ... doesn't matter. Trump supporters should find someone else now cause he's gonna leave you jilted at the altar.

Dr. Ben Carson
4. Dr. Ben Carson. Surprise, surprise. He's beating Trump in one of the latest polls, so maybe the end really is nigh for Trump. Here's a guy who's a brilliant neurosurgeon, and rose to success with the help of government assistance. He's the Ultimate Success Story. His detractors would have you believe he is now slamming the very programs that enabled him to be successful. One Dem described him as, "I got mine, now screw you." Typical divisive politics. He's not saying do away with welfare. He is saying it needs to be fixed so there can be more success stories like him, and less wasteful spending on people who just want to be lazy and take money. Welfare is to build people up and give them a hand up -- as he got -- and not a hand out. It's not meant to be a method of support for someone's entire life. Yet we know there are people out there who just assume they deserve it, and it's part of their financial plan, instead of getting a job.

Carson has run to the extremes -- as do many politicians in the primaries -- speaking against gay marriage, and his latest about not wanting a Muslim in the White House. His detractors -- including those who wished they were tracking higher in the presidential race -- denounced his comments about electing a Muslim president. They screamed it was anti-American! They bellowed it was against the Constitution! Here's the thing: They're right ... and so is he. But people don't want to admit those uncomfortable truths out loud. One Dem posted online: "Blaming all Muslims for the terrorists is like blaming all musicians for Ted Nugent." I know many Muslims who are good people and abhor the terrorist extremists, just like I know a lot of white people who abhor Timothy McVeigh. I'm sure most Muslims are peaceful and wouldn't harm a fly. But the reality is, after the 9/11 attacks, Khobar Towers, hijackings, shoe bomber, embassy bombings, suicide bombers, atrocities against women and children in Afghanistan, and so much more, the thought of a Muslim as president scares people -- even Dems who are too afraid to admit it. The problem is, you can't say that stuff out loud. Or can you? This is what Bill Maher said about the kid with a clock that looked like a bomb.  When you have staunch Democrats saying these things, it brings Carson's comments into perspective, whether you want to agree with him or not. This form of xenophobia worked for Trump, and it will appeal to a large swath of voters, even those who won't admit it. America wants a strong leader who will speak out against terrorism instead of appeasing those who would support such atrocities. Plus, as one African-American Democrat told me, a large number -- perhaps a majority - of African-American voters have very conservative values. Problem is, before Obama, there has never even been a viable African-American candidate for president. Now we have two in the last eight years. That is something astounding and amazing. And it means anything can happen.

Dr. Ken Jeong.
Yep, really a doctor.
But it won't make Carson president. Saying he should be president because of his brilliance as a physician, is like saying this guy, Ken Jeong, would make a great running mate. Funny as hell, yes, but not with running my country. Carson is bringing in Big Money right now, which means he has breathing room to get out his message and build his base. It means support will build, including from those sides who are tired of politicians only getting the political jobs. This means he survives to the Final Four. But the smaller the field gets, people will decide they'd rather he fix brains instead of all that ails our country.

5. Jeb Bush. He's toward the top because everyone keeps saying he is. They keep saying he's truly a moderate. I believe he is. But he's just so damn boring right now. Dude's got a lot of money, and he'll stick around a long time because of it. I like the idea of someone with moderate ideas who knows how to compromise, but others keep attacking him for that. Some are saying they'd rather have a Ted Cruz over a Jeb Bush. Those people are idiots. Still, Bush better step it up. He looked weak when he demanded Trump apologize to his wife, and he didn't. He's polling at 8 percent, according to this article in the Investor Business Daily.  That means Big Money will come in at least until Iowa. Definitely a Top Six. Probably a Top Five. Most likely a Top Four after Trump drops, but he's got to do better.

Mmm ... Pasta.
6. Pasta: Technically hasn’t officially announced its candidacy, but still jumped in the polls after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker dropped out, with the exception of one guy in Iowa who asked, “Wait, is that that fancy all-you-can-eat pasta from that highfalutin Olive Garden place they just opened up over in Junction City? Cause if it is, we're simple folk in Iowa and don't need no yuppie pasta around here.”


John Kasich
7. John Kasich. This guy excites a lot of people because of four letters: O-H-I-O. Nobody takes the White House without Ohio. He's the governor of Ohio. Elected and re-elected. Big Money People want him to stick around to be the VP nominee. He's made tough decisions. He's moderate. He came across as truly compassionate in explaining why there needs to be reform, but we can't forget those who need a hand up in society. And yet there are those who would shun him because he is everything Ted Cruz isn't. Is he excitable enough to beat The Hillary Machine, excite the masses or be heard through the clutter of all the other nominees? Remains to be seen. He's only polling at 4 percent, and Big Money People wished it would be higher for their VP strategy. Hovering in the Danger Drop Zone. His goal is make it to Iowa and impress from there.

Small pic of a big Chris Christie
8. Chris Christie. Republicans hate him because he embraced Obama after Hurricane Sandy. Democrats hate him because he's a Republican and forcefully and succinctly fought teacher's unions. Other people love him because he speaks his mind and is blunt. Other people hate him because he may or may not have shut down a bridge as a political attack. And those same people hate him because he was smart enough to give a press conference immediately that took the heat off him. He's a smart guy and a tough leader, but he's too bombastic, and not sticking out in an overcrowded field. And hovering at 2 percent, he'll be one of the next Big Names to drop. And others to drop will be ...

Ted Cruz' nose.
9. Ted Cruz. For the love of God, people, no. No, no, no, no, no. Staunch Constitutionalists (Conveniently enough, also the name of our Founding Father's garage rock band), love the guy. He says he'll strictly follow the Constitution in making all his decisions. It's people like him who caused the government shutdown, which not only affect thousands of government workers, affected millions of people in our own country. He'd play a game of chicken with Putin, and still not blink as nuclear bombs rain down across the world. There are those who think this is the direction the Republican Party should go. They argue Mitt Romney lost because he was too moderate, but Real Americans will vote for a Real Man who stands up for values like this. Those people aren't paying attention to Real Elections that have taken place in the Real World. He is not the savior of the Republican Party, and has caused more damage with his refusal to bend. And he has a funny looking nose.

Exterminate ...
10. The Dalek. With its motto, "Exterminate the unions, exterminate the universe," could they seriously be any worse than Cruz? And I'm pretty sure Dr. Who isn't an American citizen, but after he thwarts the Dalek, it would make for some interesting side stories leading up to the election.

11 through Whatever. George Pataki, Bobby Jindal, Jim Gilmore, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum and probably a couple others I'm forgetting. Pataki is too liberal even for the moderate conservative base, Bobby is brilliant and another minority who appears to not want to be transparent and is just not registering with voters, Huckabee crossed the line of letting his religious beliefs steer his governing ideas, Rand Paul is better than Cruz but would hurt America by becoming too much of an isolationist, and Rick Santorum is, well, Rick Santorum.

Bottom line: Trump falls apart in Iowa and New Hampshire. Rubio, Bush, Fiorina and Carson make the Final Four.

P.S. -- Just so he doesn't bitch at me any further, in all fairness, it was Kenosha Unified School Board Member Kyle Flood who figured out the Biden-Warren thing. I think he's right on that one.

What do you think? Place your bets. Then when you're done, make sure you add your e-mail address on the right to follow the blog that way, or join through Google +. Share this blog on your Facebook page, and you will be entered into a contest that will randomly award nothing to anybody, aside from my wit and dashing good looks.