BY RICHARD L. FRICKER
Americans have some rather clear choices regarding their immediate future. Next week, as a matter of fact, which to choose: Watch an old movie on Netfilix, something on Hulu or the Republican candidate debate?
On one side you can catch that show friends have been talking about with a bowl of popcorn and a close friend. Or watch a bunch of wannabes carp at each other while trying to not make more of a fool of themselves.
Does anyone think any of these folks are going to say anything that’s actually important to the nation? Doubtful. This is campaign fodder, not policy. In fact, this isn’t even the big show. The convention is nearly a year away and the presidential election even further.
No! What will happen is simple: Perry will continue to pander to the right. He knows he can say anything, about any group of fellow Americans as long as he alludes to the Almighty. He knows his base will forgive anything, no matter how wrong, stupid or silly.
Perry is on a roll. And it is a big roll. But, he and his minions should be mindful of another Texan who was on a similar roll, Ross Perot.
Perot charged the national campaign stage like a Pecos Bill whirlwind and faded just as fast. It must be said Perot, unlike the current crop, launched and maintained his campaign base on his own perception of fiscal policy, without asking or invoking divine intervention.
His campaign failed, and here is the lesson for Gov. Perry, when the press and opposition research folks [OPO] began peeling away the skin on his campaign onion. Perry may be loved by the Tea Party, Jesus Party, high rollers in corporate American and maybe even some mainstream GOP, but the layers of his onion will get pealed.
The most memorable thing about the Perot campaign came from his journalistic nemesis, fellow Texan, the late Molly Ivins. She remarked that with all of Perot’s speeches and political dicta, he still sounded like a Chihuahua.
Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann will be on stage just trying to survive. Once the darling of the far right, Bachman has faded to third or fourth place in the nomination race depending on which poll is out front at the time.
Romney is holding steady. He keeps trying to find a base willing to go public with their support. In the end it may be Romney who weathers the storm, if Perry and Bachmann both make that one gaffe by which the public sees them as clowns rather than candidates.
It’s been hard to tell between Perry and Bachmann which candidate the deity likes best – both have played the God ticket at every opportunity.
Could it be that one is the Almighty’s real choice and the other a “False” choice put forward by Beelzebub? How is a good Christian to know the difference?
Perhaps a forensic pathologist should examine the two for “marks.” Such an exam would be in the public interest, and should be televised to ensure transparency.
The other candidates will be on stage as extras, spear-carriers as it were, with no meaningful chance to survive the campaign gauntlet. Which is sad in a way. Jon Huntsman appears to be the most sane, experienced and capable of the litter. That being said, he has been completely ignored in favor of the rolling Tea Bag God show. His chances are equal to that of the proverbial snowball.
The debate will end with pundits and experts telling the audience what they just heard, much like watching pro-football. And it will be rehashed and rehashed.
So, why watch, unless a dove descends atop one of the candidates backed by a choir of angles … nah.
Thus, watch a bunch of wannabes watch each other, or catch a movie with a friend? This is America, the choice is yours.
– Richard L. Fricker lives in Tulsa, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. His latest book, Martian Llama Racing Explained, is available at http://www.richardfricker.com.