So, I haven't written about politics in a long time. (Granted I haven't blogged much at all in recent months, but that's not the point.) I've started several political posts, and they still sit as drafts, probably never to be published.
Now, with the 2012 election coming up (uh, well, in 16 months), you'd think I'd be all over this stuff. As most of you know, I love me some politics. That hasn't changed. I love heated debates over important issues. I love standing up for what you believe in. I love talking points and fear-mongering and competition and beating the other guy... but what I don't like is hypocrisy. And I see so much of that on both sides these days that it makes me want to ignore them all.
Give or take a few races, I've voted Republican or Libertarian all of my life. Why? I'm a small government kind of girl. I want the government out of my business. I'm fiscally conservative and pro-capitalism. I believe in the Constitution - I believe in gun rights and freedom of speech and states' rights. I believe in the individual and the private sector. The alternatives to these things have never made sense to me.
But I no longer feel like the GOP errs on the side of me. We've got a gazillion candidates for president and they seem more interested in talking about gay marriage and family values than they do the economy or terrorism. Who cares? I'm pretty sure people who are blown up and/or homeless/jobless aren't sitting around, thinking about whether the gay couple up the street can tie the knot. The fact that John Boehner became Speaker of the House in 2010 made me sick. The election made it clear that Americans want real change, not second chances for the same old folks. You've got these Republican talking heads who claim to be anti-nanny laws or pro-Constitution, but they only practice what they preach when it fits their agenda. Too much, "I'm right and you're wrong." I'm not saying anyone should ever concede to something they're against, but don't say you're for, oh, freedom of religion and then pitch a fit about someone building a mosque.
As for the Libertarian Party, well, there's a good reason people don't take them seriously. I've noticed they tend to be very "my way or the highway" about issues. If you agreed with them on nine things but not all ten, they look down their noses at you or so has been my experience. Hell, if you so much as shower regularly they look down their noses at you. (Just kidding, folks...) There's a lot of snobbery in the LP and a lot of unrealistic views of the world.
I'm not writing this to tell you I'm going to vote for Obama in 2012. That's something else I don't understand. As much as the GOP is irritating the hell out of me right now, I'm not gonna run out and support someone who is even further away from what I believe in like so many people did in 2008. *Do not mention Peggy Noonan, do not mention Peggy Noonan*
But I am writing this to say I can't get excited about the 2012 election. The candidates, so far, are a joke. I have friends who say, "don't write them off... someone great will eventually emerge." That's silly. Good candidates don't "eventually emerge." Good candidates come out swinging from day one, and they gain momentum until November '12 or they don't.
First, we have Mitt Romney, or as I like to call him, Massachusetts Mormon Ken. We didn't like him last time; why are we supposed to like him now? What is that? I blame the overzealous media for pushing him down our throats because he was the only person likely to run for a while. Now, I wouldn't mind looking at that gorgeous mug at the occasional press conference or SOTU, and I think he's got some good business chops, but the guy is a politician tried and true. He says what you want to hear. I'm sick of that.
Then there's Tim Pawlenty who a lot of my conservo-friends actually like. If you're not sure who he is, he's the one that makes you hum the theme to Revenge of the Nerds to yourself when he speaks. Or even when he just stands there. If there was even the slightest chance I would have voted for him (and let's face it, there wasn't), I lost all respect when he flat out lied at a recent debate because he was too afraid to stand up to Mitt Romney to his face about the MA health care junk. (Google it.) You just don't forgive things like that. Between that and his thoughts on Cap & Trade, bye-bye, T-Paw. Don't let the door hit you on the way back to whichever one of those non-important middle states you came from. (Jokes, Minnesota. Just jokes...)
Speaking of states I'll probably never visit, Michele Bachmann is doing really well. And as much as I hate to admit it, she's really impressed me a lot more than I thought she would. Unfortunately, the media has deemed her Sarah Palin lite and every little thing she's ever done in her entire life (other than, you know, her career and family accomplishments) will and has been scrutinized to the point of making her look like a joke. Seriously, all I've heard about her this week is that she likes slaves but her husband does not like gay people... or something. I wonder if the media has ever investigated or will investigate her role as a foster mom?
Herman Cain is another one who my GOP-voting friends have tried to shove down my throat. He's developed a cult-like following. He's like the Ron Paul for people who bathe and work for a living. But that's just it. He doesn't stand a chance. He's good at firing people up and saying the right things, and I'll admit, I like that he has no previous political experience. I also like that he owns up to his mistakes and shortcomings and doesn't hold back, but... well, yeah. What more can you say? He's got the fire but there's very little backing that up.
Newt Gingrich is delusional if he thinks we're gonna ignore his John Edwardseque past, ridiculously run campaign and climate change commercials with Ms. Pelosi. Ron Paul is just delusional. Rick Santorum is like Catholic Conservative Gestapo Ken. As for ThaddeusMcGaryJohnHuntsmanRoemer, well, if this primary was a sandwich, those guys would be the condiments and few people buy a sandwich because they really like the condiments.
The bottom line? I'm not pumped up about this election...yet (she says hopefully). My vote shouldn't have to go to the least annoying person. It should go to the best. The best isn't running. At least, not yet. I still hold out hope for a few folks who shall remain nameless. If one of those people jumps in at the last minute, I might start blogging about it. Who knows, I might even get around to finally replacing the McCain bumper sticker on my car. But until then, you'll have to settle on posts about my dogs, whatever book I just read, and Ed Helms.