}

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Then there were none: Most sane clown leaves

George Pataki, the 70-year-old former governor of New York finally tumbled off the Republican Clown Bus, ending a campaign he never had any chance of winning. The fifth clown candidate to drop out, Pataki was the only semi-sane candidate in the Republican race, and now the remaining clowns range from scheming and pandering incompetents through to the batshit crazy—though several cross those easy boundaries.

Pataki never had even the remotest chance. The Republican Party is controlled by far right religionists, economic extremists, and obscenely rich oligarchs and plutocrats. There’s simply no room for any candidate who isn’t one or, preferably, all three.

Pataki’s main liability was that he wasn’t extremist enough. He favours a woman’s right to choose in reproductive matters, while all Republican candidates must be opposed to women’s rights, especially in reproduction and their own health. Pataki also favoured protecting the civil and human rights of LGBT Americans, while all Republican candidates must promise to pass laws enshrining discrimination against anti-LGBT people under the new Republican Party brand of Religious Freedom™. Sure, Pataki inexplicably opposed marriage equality, and while that made him just like ALL the other Republican candidates did and do, it wasn’t extremist enough to make up for his mainstream positions on women’s reproductive choice or LGBT equality.

In his departure, Pataki said: "While tonight is the end of my journey for the White House as I suspend my campaign for president, I'm confident we can elect the right person, someone who will bring us together…" I agree—but that person can only be a Democrat since all the Republican candidates are nuts to one degrees or another and/or so dead wrong on the issues as to not be worthy of any consideration whatsoever.

Actually, even Pataki must see that, at least partially. He said—pretty accurately—"Donald Trump is the Know-Nothing candidate of the 21st century and cannot be the Republican] nominee." But, of course, The Hair might be the Republican nominee, and even if he isn’t, none of the other clowns offer any kind safe alternative. Pataki was the only remaining candidate left who was neither crazy nor an idiot.

One of the eleven remaining clowns will be the Republican nominee—there is no one to save the party, no sane, sensible person who can rescue them. Republican primary voters are wildly out of step, not only with mainstream Americans, but also the mainstream of their own party. So, those primary voters won’t care that the remaining clowns are all so awful. The question is, will mainstream American voters in general care?

As of today, there's still 10 months, 10 days until the US presidential election.

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