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Republican Race

January 5, 2012

(Photograph: AFP/Getty/Reuters)

Seeing unworthy opportunists suffer is one of life’s most wholesome pleasures and the lift to my day from seeing the distress of the Republican defeated in Iowa is a case in point. In June Newt Gingrich was declaring in one of the first debates he would not – this, apropos of nothing – place a Muslim in his cabinet. This to win cheap applause from the fundamentalist party base, living lives threatened by demons and foreigners in a country they imagine at daily threat from enemies. That he could even speculate on joining Israel in a “land invasion” of Iran and chose to thrown in the observation there is no such thing as the Palestinian people shows what a deeply unfit person he is to even be allowed to haunt the precincts of elective politics.

Michele Bachmann’s defeat is as happy as Newt’s. How joyful to see her egotism deflated after hearing her mix of jingoism and religiosity through the debates, even as she -withdrawing from the campaign – declares Obama a socialist.

Ron Paul’s respectable showing is the biggest breakthrough for realist policy in memory. He says the public sector cannot afford to do the things it is doing especially run navies in all the world’s oceans. And he got 21 percent of the vote – even arguing against war with Iran (which, if it comes, will be the third war of choice against a Muslim nation in the 10 years after September 11 – and the first two have been catastrophic failures).

It is nonsense to say that a hard fought Republican contest will hurt them in the Fall. Reagan and George W Bush faced tough fights through to their nominations. So for that matter did Obama; remember how he was going to be hurt by women staying at home in the general election after he battered Hillary? Romney would be a serious alternative to Obama and of all the Republican contenders except the admirable Paul the less likely to walk into war over Iran.

  1. Luke Walladge permalink
    January 5, 2012 9:27 pm

    Your thoughts on Jon Huntsman, Mr Carr?

  2. Nate permalink
    January 5, 2012 10:30 pm

    Is it not dangerous to even air any support for Ron Paul? Is there really any justification for supporting some of his favorable policy positions?
    Over Huntsman? Who appears to be the only statesman other than perhaps Romney.

  3. Arthur Mankey permalink
    January 5, 2012 11:24 pm

    Seeing shits suffer.. Pleasure? Really? Certainly expected better from you Bob. Maybe you’re jet lagged.

    • Bob Carr permalink
      January 6, 2012 12:26 am

      I agree. See my edit.

      • Arthur Mankey permalink
        January 7, 2012 8:23 pm

        I’m impressed Bob, cheers.

  4. January 6, 2012 12:14 am

    Someone asked why Ron Paul coming third was a victory. I said it stopped a few more ratbags entering the race such as Palin. Just a thought.

  5. Ivan Pagett permalink
    January 6, 2012 8:29 am

    Interesting times. Maybe they are about to chose an Alan Alda republican just like on TV. Would this make Aaron Sorkin God?

  6. boy on a bike permalink
    January 7, 2012 6:52 am

    Whilst the primary process is much too drawn out for my liking, and it sometimes throws up some odd candidates, it does give the public a good view of the candidates in all their glory – and all their follies. You generally know what you’re getting come voting day.

    Which is a very refreshing alternative to that of head office dumping preferred unknown, unqualified candidates on electorates over the wishes of the local party members. That might be one reason why some Australians find the US process to be so engaging and interesting.

  7. boy on a bike permalink
    January 7, 2012 9:06 am

    And it’s worth remembering that there are a lot more positions than the President that are up for grabs.

  8. TerjeP permalink
    January 7, 2012 10:28 am

    It will come down to Romney and Paul. Once Santorum drops off as a contender, which will happen soon, then many of the Christians who can’t bring themselves to vote for a Mormon, and many that just want a strongly Christian candidate will switch to Paul. Romney is still the favorite but Paul has the money and the organisation to make this a long fight. It would be fantastic if Paul made it through and became the candidate (not because he is a Christian rather than a Mormon mind you). And I’d have spasms of delight if he became US president. His is the political philosophy, a free society, that has been absent from politics everywhere for far too long.

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