Beyond the Cusp

January 7, 2012

School Assignment: Describe Republican Candidates as Breakfast

We will start our breakfast menu with the Mitt Romney. This basic meal of Cream of Wheat and a cup of gourmet coffee and freshly squeezed juice of your choice, some seasonal choices may not be available, will nourish you but manage to leave you still hungry for something more exciting. The Mitt Romney breakfast is easy to make but every time it is made the cook makes the same error. When preparing the meal the chef reads the instructions and where it says to take two cups of water or milk depending on desired consistency and heat to near a boil; the Romney chef, in an attempt to satisfy all possible desired consistencies uses two cups of water and two cups of milk. This produces a weak and runny meal that though nourishing is not firm and or appetizing.

Next on our menu is the Rick Santorum. This offering is two eggs sunny side up, two strips of bacon or slice of Canadian bacon, a short stack of pancakes and a cup of orange juice. This meal has everything you want to get your day started right but though more exciting than the Romney is still your basic fare. This meal has no options or frills and comes exactly as advertised. There are no substitutions allowed and you are required to finish everything on your plate, even the parts you do not particularly like. We respectfully request you offer a prayer before eating this meal, a short one of thanks is sufficient.

We also have the Newt Gingrich which will appeal to those seeking more zing. This is a meal of Olde Style Waffles with plenty of whipped cream and lots of nearly boiling syrup and has a different fruit between each layer. The fruits have all been aged to bring out their more bitter notes of flavour giving the meal a real bite. The meal is rather expensive and your waiter has been instructed not to tell you what ingredient causes the somewhat odd taste to the waffles and you are sure you really do not want to inspect that too closely.

Our Ron Paul offering has changed drastically from the original. It still retains its options that you can have virtually anything you wish as long as you gather up the ingredients yourself and prepare the meal yourself. There is virtually no help offered with this meal by the staff but we do impose a set of limited rules and fees that you will need to know about. We are not going to tell you ahead of time but you will discover these items as you prepare your meal. We do supply the basics for preparing your meal, a toaster, an iron skillet, an original percolator, and a basic stove and oven. Once you have tried the Ron Paul and found it to your liking, from then on you will refuse to consider any other item on the menu and if it appears the majority are having anything other than the Ron Paul, you will claim that there must be a conspiracy and they obviously have never tried the Ron Paul breakfast.

The Rick Perry is a good Texas breakfast complete with a large slab of fire broiled steak with all the seasonings, as many eggs as you want, as long as it is not three, prepared with a sprinkle of hot peppers and salt, a stack of pancakes, and a good strong cup of coffee. We are sorry that we are out of cream and sugar so your coffee will have to be drunk straight and the steak is not a prime cut and some find it a bit tough and dry. But, all in all, this breakfast will stick to your ribs and if it is to your liking, it has everything you really want; it just lacks some of the refinements of our other meals.

Our final item on the breakfast menu is the Jon Huntsman. This meal has no descriptions and very few even realize it is on the menu. Those who know of the Jon Huntsman will tell you it is the greatest meal you can ever have for breakfast, though they do seem at a loss as to exactly what the meal consists of. This is one of our higher priced meals and we assure you it is worth every penny. We are currently working with the printer and our chef to figure out a description which we hope to have included on the menu real soon.

Thank you for eating here at the Republican Conundrum Diner where everything is not exactly as it seems and there are surprises as menu items are predicted to change anywhere from slightly to drastically. We would like to warn you against mixing and matching from our offered items as this is an as is menu and not a la carte. We are hoping in the future to simplify the menu until we can get it down to one offering which will eventually come with a side dish and dessert. Once again, thank you and can we take your order, please?

Beyond the Cusp

January 3, 2012

It’s Iowa Caucus Day

We have finally made it to the first day where the voices of the people are recorded for all to witness. By this evening there will start the questions about who needs to drop out and who still remains viable either due to doing well or still being mathematically in the race. As is all too often the case, and sometimes I think it is planned to be this way, there are many true conservative candidates and but one or two so-called moderate Republican candidates. For those conservative hopefuls, knowing and admitting this up front is crucial and acting responsibly in the face of these facts vital if we are to have a viable conservative candidate this fall, or even the glimmer of a hope for such a result. So, what is it this writer can predict for the results today?

From what I have read and heard of polls, the race for fist appears to be between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, not much of a surprise there. Rumor has it that Newt Gingrich has fallen off sharply in the final days, much as every other not Romney candidate has after a few short weeks of intense scrutiny after rising to the top briefly. Many of the polls report that the true conservative candidates, Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, and Rick Perry are all closely matched splitting up an equal amount of the caucus ballot as Mitt Romney will garner as he does not appear to be sharing the liberal vote with anybody else, well, except possibly Jon Huntsman Jr. who will probably be statistically absent. Then there is an unknown percentage that will go to Newt Gingrich and totally depend on exactly how much he has fallen from grace. There was one poll that had suggested that Rick Santorum had shown some gains late last week which might place him as the most favored among the true conservatives in the race. I must admit that I hope this is true as Rick Santorum has been my preferred candidate since it became obvious that John Bolton was not going to enter the fray.

By the end of the caucus some things should be made a little clearer, but not sufficiently to force anybody to act too hastily unless the results should leave them feeling at the end of their rope and honestly think they have no honest hope of winning. But, I do think that the three through and through conservative candidates need to assess who among them has the best chance of taking the nomination and making that determination as quickly as is possible. I would think that by the end of the Florida primary voting that should one of the three have a significant lead over the other two, then it may be best for the other two to suspend their campaigns while possibly still holding the votes won so as to kind of hold them for safe keeping as they remain beholden to vote for them in the first round. With the Florida Primary being held on January 31, 2012 and Super Tuesday coming just over a month later on March 6, 2012; slimming the field down to the most promising conservative candidate between Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry would be an intelligent move thus allowing the strongest of the three to have the best shot at an uncontested run with the whole of the conservative body of primary voters backing them rather than splitting that vote three ways as has been the results in past primary elections.

I know that right now there are people screaming “Foul” and pointing to the fact that the selection of delegates is supposed to be proportional instead of winner take all as was the case in previous elections. Well, that is true in theory and theories are beautiful things while reality is almost always quite a bit uglier. Truth is that there are sufficient loopholes and fudge factors built into the proportionality system being tried for the first time that quite a few states may as well be winner take all and others will not be as straight proportional as one might like. For a breakdown on the whole picture of the proportionality myth, I offer links to Talking Points and the Washington Post. Given the information that a fair number of states are finding ways of going so far as to go district by district in an attempt to get around the proportionality rules by awarding each delegate to the person winning in that particular district and then possibly splitting the delegates only if no other option can be found or using other gimmicks to retain as much of the feel of winner take all, would you want to not have an honest conservative as the Republican candidate and risk not defeating President Obama? I do not want to see such a possibility if it can be avoided by any honest means, and having the conservative candidates agree that after Florida, the one with the most delegates takes the lead and the others give their support in an effort to unify the conservative electorate.

There is one more reason I so desperately desire having a real through and through true conservative win the Republican nomination. Despite the presumed well known, recognized, mainstream, and unadulterated truth that only by running a moderate, middle of the road Republican will allow the Republican Party candidate to win sufficient moderate voters to win the election, I believe something entirely different. If we send a moderate, mushy, middle of the road, compromising Republican candidate up against President Barack Obama we will be guaranteeing his reelection. The first and, by far, most important objective is to nominate a candidate that will excite the main body and conservative base of the Republican Party and get them excited and out to vote in force. The truth of the matter is that the United States has become a polarized country with a very small number of honestly mushy, middle of the spectrum, undecided voters. Presidential elections are not won by running to the middle and have not been won that way since very likely President Eisenhower or President Nixon at the latest. Since then either the true Progressive Liberal (or so perceived) has won or the hard right Constitutional Conservative (or so perceived) has won. Jimmy Carter was not a centrist. Ronald Reagan was not a centrist. George H. W. Bush was not considered a centrist in the first election and was seen as one after breaking his “Read my lips; no new taxes,” pledge where he lost the election. Bill Clinton, despite all the effort to paint him historically, was not a centrist. And Barack Obama is most definitely not a centrist. All right, I left out the one possible centrist who won when running against another perceived centrist. We need to get the conservative base of the United States excited and it may as well be the Republican one as any. Anything less and we risk losing the election and possibly the entire future of the United States. It’s your choice.

Beyond the Cusp

December 14, 2011

The Argument Over Newt and Mitt and Everybody Else

Listen or read any Republican, Conservative or Libertarian outlet and you can go numb all over with the commentary of who is the least problematic, Newt or Mitt. For every argument given in favor of Gingrich, Romney, Paul, Bachmann, Santorum, Huntsman, or Perry you find dozens of reasons against each of the other candidates. What is amazing is that much of the negative commentary appears to be taken directly from the mainstream media talking points. By the time you have visited a small sample of the commentary you will have sufficient negative coverage of all the republican candidates making none of them at all appealing. I am not so ignorant that I have not realized that negative campaigning is more prevalent than proud statesmanship touting the positives of your preferred person. I understand that it is much easier to tear down the opponent than to take a positive stand for your preferred candidate and to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous ridicule as everybody else will then need to tear you down to make their candidate appear to stand taller. It is sad that the method in modern politics for standing tall against your opponents has sunk to the level that the route most utilized is to bomb your competition into oblivion and succeed solely by being the last one standing. The problem is that by taking the low road to campaigning will result in a badly damaged and compromised victor who will start the real campaign for the Presidency with high negatives and a steep hill to climb just to get out of the hole dug in the primary process. With such in mind, here are my views of the Republican prospects for President.

Taking them in no particular order, let’s start with Newt Gingrich. Mr. Gingrich has the most experience in the operational mechanisms of Congress and the political power games played in Washington. With little doubt, he would probably be the most efficient and successful in forcing through his plans and legislative agenda. Unfortunately, my preference is for there to be little or no legislation or additional regulations and empowerment of the Federal Behemoth we call the Government. Then we have Rick Perry. Rick Perry appears to have been an efficient guarantor of the State of Texas as their Governor thus must have good people and ideas. Some of his success has also been a since it ain’t broke, let’s leave it alone approach which works for Texas where much is going well. I would be most happy to let him continue doing well in Texas under the same theory. Jon Huntsman is obviously a very intelligent man and appears to have a great grasp of foreign policies, especially when pertaining to Asia and China. This may be due to his having been appointed by President Obama as the Ambassador to China. To say more I would need to know more about Mr. Huntsman. All things considered, should a miracle occur and he becomes the Republican candidate, by what I know now I could easily support him, but would feel more comfortable knowing him better. Such knowledge would be produced should he become the candidate and my lack of knowledge about Mr. Huntsman is my fault, not his. Ron Paul is running again and his positions have not changed, but the situations surrounding this particular election is different than his previous attempts. Many of the problems we are currently facing lend themselves to making Ron Paul’s ideas more appropriate and appealing. In many ways, he could be said to be the candidate of the moment. Considering that summary to be accurate, that leaves the question of where would Mr. Paul take the country once the problems of the moment are put to rest? If you are an isolationist and believe that we should leave the world to its own devices and simply have trade relations and otherwise a hands-off approach as long as nobody attack or harms us, then Ron Paul is your candidate. My problem is I believe that Mr. Paul would probably set such a high level before seeing a need to react to foreign impingement that we might delay taking needful actions until the late time would make the cost in lives and treasure prohibitive.

Mitt Romney is probably starting to feel a bit like the Republican step child. Despite his steady performance and support in the polls, Mr. Romney has watched as the press has seemingly gone through the other candidates one by one and supported them in a charge to topple him. Each has temporarily surpassed Mitt Romney’s lead only to fall again out of contention, or completely out of the race as per Mr. Cain. Mr. Romney has been the steady standard which all the others have been measured against and seemingly the default candidate if all others end up being found lacking. Mitt Romney is competence and the one who always colors the picture with care to stay within the lines, and as such is a safe bet. Perhaps that also makes Mitt Romney also less exciting and as he will obviously still be available at the end, the convention, seems the Republicans, or at least the press, are determined to try every other option before accepting that Mr. Romney is their man. Michelle Bachmann was touted as the Sarah Palin replacement. This was so unfair as Michelle Bachmann serving on the Intelligence Committee has vastly more foreign policy and world situational awareness than even the other candidates as well as over Ms. Palin. Mrs. Bachmann has made some misstatements which perhaps should have been avoided by her advisors doing a more efficient job in keeping her informed and prepared for whatever questions might be posed. Mrs. Bachmann is a solid conservative and a religious person who holds her religion as a personal treasure. Where she is not shy about her religiosity, she also does not hold it to the point of being an ideologue. Unfortunately, some have tried to use the importance of religion to her as a bludgeon against her. This should backfire as I would bet that the vast number of Americans would share her religious feelings. From what I have seen, Michelle Bachmann is also somebody I feel I could support knowing what I currently know about her.

Rick Santorum is currently my candidate of choice. Many have claimed that despite Mr. Santorum holding views with which they agree, that he is somewhat personality-challenged, which would make his campaigning for the Presidency a difficult challenge. My response to them is that first of all, the campaign for the Presidency will be a difficult challenge with or without being Mr. Personality; and second, last time we elected Mr. Personality and Mr. Santorum is the perfect opponent of Obama’s shallowness and would be the perfect opponent who could claim substance over style as a badge of honor. Rick Santorum is a straight up person who boldly and plainly states his positions unapologetically and remains consistent and on message very well. Mr. Santorum would appeal to social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, most foreign policy conservatives (especially those who are pro-Israel), and has led a life that would not be offensive to religious conservatives. Most of the other candidates appeal at most to two and mostly to only one of the different groupings of conservatives. Truth be told, from all that I know, and I have been a Rick Santorum guy since his days in the Senate, Rick stands on the same side with the most closely aligned views of the subjects across the entire political landscape as I myself hold. I doubt I could make a candidate I would fall in line with and support in virtually every way any better if I was to make one in a laboratory. Mr. Santorum’s straight line manner of answering questions with little flair and no beating around the bush, asides and conditions would make a stark contrast to President Obama’s so-called thoughtful meanderings designed to evade and give false implications and obfuscating on every subject. My feelings are that Rick Santorum is the perfect opponent for President Obama as you would be hard pressed to find a more opposite candidate who would strike a more stark contrast making the people’s choice any simpler. It would be a choice of Obama or the anti-Obama, what could be simpler?

Beyond the Cusp

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