The Republican candidate field is an embarrassment of richness. And surnames. It features politicians mouthing poll-tested and PAC-bought positions against this and that today and that and this tomorrow — until the polls or PAC funding changes.
What else should we expect when we don’t have laws that apply China’s one child policy to Republican families?
Any natural born U.S. citizen can run for office, although some helpful opponents of current (money) front-runner Ted Cruz are reportedly examining whether his Canada connection can be their new Kenya disqualifier: Even if Cruz’s birth in Calgary acts as a border-hopping disqualifier for some Republicans, we’re still edging closer to a Republican candidate minyan at the same time the Democrats are edging closer to a Hillary Clinton coronation.
Several Republican candidates are already poll testing how skillfully they can weave their religious beliefs into their platforms. It’s a longing for the good, old days when men were men, women were women, slaves were 3/5th of a person, baseball games finished in under three hours, and separate but equal was the unquestioned law of the land.
The Middle East has even infiltrated Republican politics. The hard question? Do we love or do we REALLY LOVE Israel? In fact, because of the influence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Republican party is facing an internal struggle between those candidates who strategically love Netanyahu’s Iran policy mainly in the hope of weakening the Democratic hold on the Jewish vote, and those candidates who strategically REALLY LOVE his Iran policy in order to better position themselves as a possible beneficiary of Sheldon Adelson’s largess… or as a possible Netanyahu vice presidential candidate.
Who are these Republican candidates?
In this corner, Governor Scott Walker, the anti-union, anti-ISIS fighter. Walker has compared his battles against Wisconsin’s unions to fighting ISIS. He evidently feels that his tough budget cut battles with 100,000 U.S. firefighters and cops has steeled him for battles with Islamic militants massed in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan or wherever it is that Walker’s Islamic militants can militate for higher salaries and retirement benefits.
Then we have former Texas Governor Perry, the closest thing to a male Sarah Palin. He has significantly advanced his candidacy by adding glasses and subtracting platform points — leaving only the easier to remember ones. Perry should now appear more presidential since he’ll be able to actually see the teleprompters.
Let’s not forget future Metro Traffic Wizard Chris Christie, someone who likes to treat press conferences as sporting events. Just the idea that we’d move from boilerplate answers to the type of clever insults thrown around in wrestling match interviews should earn him a few votes — at least from the news execs who know that conflict attracts a much larger audience.
We even have a Canadian-born candidate officially running – Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz. Cruz gave his announcement at Liberty University, an evangelical college founded by Jerry Falwell, a televangelist, who, prior to his death in 2007, encouraged the integration of religion and politics. That was the only integration he ever encouraged.
Falwell’s spirit seems to animate Cruz’s actions today. Cruz regularly weaves religious messages into his speeches, although Cruz has not yet carried out Falwell’s legacy of condemning the civil rights movement, Jews, preachers who fail to preach the right (wing) political messages, and gays and their evil recruitment efforts. (Look for their gay-recruitment signs right next to the U.S. Army recruitment centers.) Give Cruz a little more time to build his resume on the campaign trail and he should prove a loyal Falwell soldier.
Cruz is the most hated Republican candidate, at least among those Republicans named John McCain. (Of course, that assumes when McCain called Cruz a “wacko bird” he didn’t mean it as a term of endearment.) Also, while it is not widely known, one of the reasons Cruz prances around so much when he speaks is because Republican leadership took away his Capitol Hill restroom key in retribution for his government shutdown efforts in 2013.
Rand Paul is also running, mainly because it’s a Texas family tradition to run quirky, losing campaigns. Paul is what’s known as a Larry David-isolationist — someone who should be sequestered far, far away from normal humans. Rand’s main appeal is likely to two sets of voters — those who play rhyming games with candidate’s first names and those who like their candidates to have short tempers and even shorter foreign policy positions.
The most fascinating candidate is Jeb Bush, also known as the other Bush — the one who didn’t own a baseball team, carouse, have an alcohol problem or get us into his family’s second war in Iraq. Voters who like dynastic rule have already formed the Royal Bush III PAC.
Of course, these and other Republican candidates are running against the Democrat’s top email destroyer and her always good for a gaffe (possible) first husband. So things are not as bleak as they might otherwise seem, especially if Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu seizes the opportunity to offer his services to the Republican party.
Netanyahu may not be able to run for President — pending Republican efforts to offer an amendment to the Constitution granting Sheldon Adelson-backed candidates that right — but imagine what a great advisor he would make. How many other advisors nicknamed Bibi are there?
And he could pull an anti-Alan Dershowitz. Let me explain.
Dershowitz, the self-appointed expert on anything and everything, especially identifying anti-Israel supporters lurking within pro-Israel groups, had his chance many years ago to serve as Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. But he instead opted to continue his well paid legal defense of aggrieved slimeballs, at least one of whom criminally interrupted the television broadcast of the 1994 N.B.A finals and attracted the largest ever viewing audience for Los Angeles rush hour traffic. But we digress.
Netanyahu can better serve the U.S. than Israel. What else is there really left for Netanyahu to do on behalf of the ONLY DEMOCRACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST? At least that’s how the ADL, ZOA, AJC, CUFI (better known as Christians United For Israel or Pastor Hagee’s tribe), PETA, NASCAR and AARP like to describe Israel, especially when Israel is criticized for doing less stupid than her neighboring cesspools. (Let me back up a bit. Maybe PETA, NASCAR and AARP don’t typically comment on Israel. But Israel does have animals, cars and elderly people, so it’s always possible they will in time. Although the AARP, for fairly obvious reasons, may have less.)
Here’s the deal: Israel has democratic elections — at least for most of the people who live to the east of the Green Line. That excludes several hundred thousand post-1967 residents of East Jerusalem. The elections also exclude almost two million Palestinians that Israel exercises various degrees of governance over in the West Bank. But Netanyahu did win, so I am not here today to argue about shades of democracy, which, by the way, I’ve heard was poorly written, had gratuitous sex and led to a movie that was even worse.
It is inarguable that Israel does have a much more advanced (and certainly confusing) system of electing its leaders than most other countries not only in the region, but in the entire world. (The Mars and Jupiter elections could be real game changers though.)
We should all be proud of Israel’s election process. It included several prominent U.S.-based campaign advisors, plenty of great insults and a huge amount of scare-mongering. What else is there? But wouldn’t we all be happier and wouldn’t it be even more fun, if we could just encourage Israel’s recent Prime Minister choice to move his talents to where they’re a more natural fit?
Netanyahu’s pre-election anti-Arab racist messaging is a superb Republican party anti-immigration fit and should receive the same welcoming Republican party embrace as his congressional I-am-not-naïve-like-Obama history lesson did. And why not? It’s unlikely that the Republican primary candidates are already skilled enough to use campaign speeches and social media to mobilize their backers by highlighting the other guy’s minority voters going to polling places. (After all, it’s much easier to pass disguised voter i.d. laws.)
Netanyahu can also focus on what he and his fellow Republicans learned best from Democrats in the Bush years: How to take the bi out of partisan. Netanyahu knows all about building, securing and maintaining walls. Isn’t that what the key point-scoring, one-upmanship and xenophobic wings of the Republican party have encouraged?And he knows that those pesky illegals have no claim to a home in Palestine — either the cute little town about 100 miles outside of Dallas or the one a few miles from Jerusalem.
Netanyahu also knows how to build a coalition around strategic stasis. Which is just what a Republican – led U.S. would offer to replace the type of long-term strategic planning that threatens to disrupt so many of the Republican party’s deeply held confirmation biases.