Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

GOP's Shameless Olympics of 2011

A candidate will emerge from the 2012 Republican primaries only after running a gauntlet of embarrassment this year.

As polls show low public faith in Obama leadership, his potential successor will have to survive a field of self-promoting clowns unprecedented in presidential history.

Take Newt Gingrich (please), claiming his adultery (in two marriages) more excusable than Bill Clinton's because he was aroused by patriotic fervor and isn't a lawyer while urging voters to elect him to save their grandchildren from living in "a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists."

Meanwhile Michele Bachmann wows Iowa Tea Party voters, extolling "the king of conservatism, Steve King," her fellow fruitcake in Congress who celebrated the murder-suicide of a "tax protester" flying a plane into an office building of the Internal Revenue Service, "an agency that is unnecessary," exulting that "when we abolish the I.R.S., it’s going to be a happy day for America.”

Gingrich and Bachmann are setting the bar for shameless stupidity high, but pizza magnate Herman Cain is matching them with a promise not to appoint Muslim Americans to his Cabinet or federal courts in order to stop a "creeping attempt...to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government."

Then there's phantom candidate Donald Trump, who invented 21st century self-promotion. If he gets serious, the atrocious Comedy Central roast of his hairdo, sex life et al by has-beens and never-will-bes is a gold mine for attack ads.

No wonder that Jim DeMint, the Tea Party's senior senator, is urging other Republicans to enter the race, while not entirely ruling out himself.

All this could be an insidious plot to make Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty and even Sarah Palin look sane by comparison, but the underdogs themselves could be riding a receding tide as a new poll shows the Tea Party matching unfavorable ratings of Democrats and Republicans.

As the games go on, the odds have to be tilting in favor of Barack Obama, no matter how many wars he starts and budget battles he loses. The eventual Republican candidate may be ruined by a Pyrrhic victory in the Shameless Olympics of 2011.

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