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The 2012 Republican National Convention: Welcome to Willard’s World

Willard Romney’s Long, Strange Trip to the Top

“A President’s hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right.” -Lyndon B. Johnson

The 2012 Republican Presidential Candidates. Photo: Mark Bialek-Zuma PressThe race for the 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination was filled with ups and downs, verbal taunts and some raw, unscripted comedy. It’s also been one of the most negative campaigns in recent memory as the candidates have  made it clear over and over again that they have no real concrete plans for how they plan to solve America’s problems, other than defeating President Obama.

Obama’s election in 2008 was seen as the start of a new beginning after George W. Bush left office. In fact, Obama, even when he first declared his candidacy for president, has been cruelly referred to as a Muslim, a Communist, a Marxist, a Socialist (yet, not a Maoist, Trotskyite or even a Bolshevik…go figure?), a monkey and according to Rick Santorum in an infamous YouTube clip, a “government nig.”

Clearly, the racial divide still exists in this country with many using the aforementioned names and slurs to perhaps mask a deep seated unease with having a president who is African-American. Some have no problem with Obama personally, they just don’t approve of his policies, yet in our politically correct world any criticism of Obama could be seen as being racially motivated.

Obviously the promise of hope and change that Mr. Obama initially offered has been somewhat slow in coming. This has especially been fodder for his critics, who expected immediate change and that within twenty-four hours of his inauguration, everything would be okay and we’d all be dancing naked in open fields, with dandelions in our hair and peace and love would reign throughout the land.

The warm and fuzzy Republicans running in 2012 would have better ideas.

Enter the Republican Candidates

This year’s Republican debates featured an endless stream of negativity and bitching between former Massachusetts Governor and the savior of the 2002 Winter Olympics Willard Romney, former Pennsylvania Senator Little Ricky Santorum, Ron Paul, Ronald Reagan’s heir and former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newton Gingrich, Texas Governor Rick Perry, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, and Pizza magnate Herman Cain. Mysteriously absent from any of the debates were candidates Gary Johnson, Stewart Greenleaf, Fred Karger, Andy Martin, Jimmy McMillan and Buddy Roemer. Gee, imagine how different the race might’ve been if they were included…

Bachmann withdrew from the race the day after the Iowa Caucus due to her dismal showing in the polls, all along touting that she was the only candidate who could beat President Obama; guess that was a misguided projection, and apparently Switzerland didn’t want her either…

Perry was viewed as a prominent candidate and the one to actually give Romney a run for his money. Yet, he fumbled his way through the debates, not being able to answer basic questions about what agencies he’d cut and drawing excessive controversy for his ‘Strong’ TV ad, where he stated that “there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but your kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas,” which emphasized his opposition to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and President Obama’s alleged “War on Religion”. Perry would retreat to Texas, where he miraculously decided to stay in the race.

Aside from his obvious likeability and the fact that he had successfully beaten cancer, businessman and Tea Party activist Herman Cain seemed almost like dead weight at times. It probably didn’t matter that as CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Cain was responsible for shutting down close to 200 restaurants which inadvertently cost thousands of people their jobs, yet he remained popular. However, Cain fumbled badly in several interviews and after a spate of sexual misconduct allegations and an open contempt for Muslims, he dropped out of the race as well.

Jon HuntsmanHuntsman scored an endorsement from the Boston Globe, which many felt would help his fledgling campaign; it didn’t. Throughout the debates, Huntsman faced repeated attacks from his competitors with real tact and appeared more moderate and shall we say less ‘crazy’ as some of the other candidates…yet, with all the mudslinging and name calling (typical, right?), it was inevitable that the field would dwindle. Huntsman too would drop out of the race and support Romney.

Then there was the shocking news that Rick Perry was dropping out of the race and was supporting Gingrich, before changing his mind and backing Romney. Nobody cared.

The always boisterous and amusing Gingrich sparked controversy with his comments that children should learn menial jobs while in school (many believed that this was a swipe at African-Americans and his repeated criticism of President Obama as a “Food Stamp President” and for being a Saul Alinsky radical…whatever the hell that means). There was continual bickering over which candidate was the most conservative, with Gingrich asking Santorum and Perry to drop their bids for the nomination and to support him, since he was the official heir to Ronald Reagan. Gingrich would eventually succumb to the Romney machine, leaving the race as well…but how about his wife’s hair!

While Congressman Ron Paul has an army of followers, and while some of his ideas were appealing, he has struggled throughout the campaign, yet he refused to give in to the Romney machine.

Then there was Rick Santorum who ran one of the most negative, homophobic and racist campaigns ever; a Christian Conservative crusade against gay marriage, unprotected sex, pornography and all religions, especially Islam. Despite his personality among this demographic (and his cute and fuzzy sweater vests), Santorum never really had a chance as his antiquated fire and damnation approach rendered him an outdated cliché. Also, Burt Lancaster was a helluva lot more effective in Elmer Gantry…. He dropped out as well and lamely backed Romney.

Willard’s World

Willard "Mitt" Romney. Photo: NewscomFrom the start, Romney had been ordained as the presumptive nominee, and yes, he has successfully purchased the much desired nomination at this year’s RNC.

Romney slowly rose in popularity (it’s the sideburns…no, really), yet he would not be immune from criticism after claiming he was unemployed, yet had $10,000 to place frivolous bets with Rick Perry during one of the debates. Even more controversial was his claim that he was in the 15% tax bracket, and that most of his income stemmed from speaking fees (approximately $300,000 worth of wit, wisdom and seminars on how to fire people) along with sales of his books, with millions of dollars tucked away in off shore accounts in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere. Then there was the Bain Capital controversy, the prep school hijinks his unwillingness to release his back taxes and his continual flip-flopping on his positions in regards to social issues, which haven’t helped him either. Aside from his low standing with Latino voters and Women, Lech Wałęsa thinks he’s the shit, and wasn’t that a great speech at the NAACP?

And so, after 472 nationally televised debates filled with thrills, chills, laughs, some tears and a helluva lot of surprises, “The Mitt Romney Show” has finally gotten underway. Here, the numerous delegates will munch with glee on Chick-fil-a sandwiches, nurse on the nipple of Conservatism, laugh at the misfortunes of the poor, abuse minorities (even though they hired a few to speak this year in order to give an appearance of ‘diversity’), and crack some hilarious rape jokes.

In fact, this year’s Republican Party Platform has clearly combined the more hardcore elements of the Malleus Maleficarum and Mein Kampf, without the bubbly references to flowers and puppies, so we can be sure the usual hatred and venom toward Liberals, Commies, the Occupy Movement, and sexually active women (aka ‘prostitutes’ and ‘sluts’) will be spread thick like Nutella on a piece of toast.

Dave Bower is Co-Publisher of The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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