The GOP horse race for the 2012 Presidential nomination hasn’t yet started, but of the dozen or so apparent contenders, two are…or should be…dead in the gate.
Both are bright (one bordering on brilliant politically), both are energetic, and both would be able to raise enough money to run an effective campaign.
The problem is that both have flaws that will, or should, kill their chances at the GOP nomination.
Each have ethical flaws that doom them in the GOP. Their flaws would not hurt them in the democrat race, progressives following Saul Alinsky’s adage from “Rules for Radicals” that the ends justify the means…any means, but they do matter in the GOP primaries and at the convention.
Each also has at least one fatal flaw in their policy/politics views.
One is currently considered a dark horse, and one is now a favorite. Let’s take a look at these two, and why they will not get the nomination:
• The dark horse, Donald Trump. “The Donald” has his positives. As I said earlier, he is bright and energetic, and paying for a campaign should be no problem for him as he has already expressed a willingness to spend $600 million dollars f his own money on a campaign…and there is the ethical rub. He shouldn’t have the $600 million to spend.
Trump has turned bankruptcy into a business model, costing thousands of people millions of dollars while he walks away from deal after deal scot free.
There was a time not so long ago when bankruptcy was an option, but only the LAST option, when things went south for a person financially; a last resort when all other options had been exhausted. To many, “going bankrupt” was even a matter of shame.
Not so with Trump. Depending on your sources and how hard and deep you dig, Trump has bankrupted, personally and in business, at least 20-30 times, taking bankruptcy as an easy way out of difficult financial situations rather than “fixing” things, and in so doing has left countless people holding the bag financially.
Ethics matter to GOP voters, many of them old enough to remember when bankruptcy carried at least a bit of a stigma. Those people will turn away from Trump in droves.
Trump also has a policy/decision making process problem. In a recent interview with Bill O’Reily on FOXNews, when asked about his stance on abortion and if he would work to make it illegal, he answered with how he “feels” about abortion and said he would base his decisions on abortion law on those feelings.
We do not need a president who operates on “feelings”, we need a president who operates on the constitution and the rule of law. As is often said, we are a nation of laws, not of men, and operating on “feelings” ignores that truism.
• The political “Whiz Kid”, Newt Gingrich. No longer a kid like he was in 1994, Gingrich is still a whiz, perhaps the most astute politician in the GOP, if not in American politics as a whole. He is bright and a great student of American history, especially the revolutionary period.
As such, one would expect him to know, and be responsive to, the founding fathers’ admonitions, especially that of George Washington, against fealty to party rather than principle. In his Farewell Address, Washington warns against party politics thusly:
“It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration….agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one….against another….it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption…thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”
Rather than take that to heart, Gingrich is the ultimate party hack, choosing party over principle, the GOP over the people, time and time again, as best demonstrated in the 2008 election cycle.
Not even having a dog in the fight, Gingrich could…and should…have been silent on the race for New York’s 23rd congressional seat. Dede Scozzafava, a “moderate” Republican favoring abortion and being pro-union while having an anti-second amendment stance, was the GOP nominee. New York is one of the few states with a strong third party, the Conservative Party, and their nominee was Doug Hoffman…staunchly anti-abortion, anti-union, and pro-second amendment, all basic tennents of republicans.
Gingrich endorsed Scozzafava over Hoffman, choosing the Republican Party over republican principles.
Gingrich falls far short of the average GOP voter’s ideal candidate when it comes to ethics and morals as well. Gingrich has two failed marriages behind him, both due to his infidelity. If that weren’t bad enough, his problems keeping his pants zipped occurred while his then-wives were dealing with illness, one having cancer.
His excuse? In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network Gingrich said:
…that there were times, when “partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country… I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.”
In another interview, with Chris Wallace of FOXNews, Gingrich blamed his infidelity on the pressure of his job as speaker of the house in the ‘90’s. To use Wallace’s words, that excuse is “rather lame”.
Gingrich doesn’t have a clue what pressure is. Based on his excuse, every serviceman and woman coming back from being shot at in Afghanistan and Iraq has an excuse to sleep around. Based on his excuse, every police officer involved in a shooting incident with a criminal should seek comfort in the arms of a mistress rather than a wife. Based on his excuse, every businessman watching his business crumble in our current poor economy should be keeping a harem.
Mr. Gingrich, I know people who are under pressure, REAL pressure, and you have never been one of them.
The gate is about to open on the horse race for the GOP presidential nomination, and there will be several real contenders.
These two won’t even leave the gate.