When you are running for the president of the United States, being tired shouldn’t cut it. Making outlandish claims with no evidence to support them shouldn’t be acceptable. After you’ve had six months on the campaign trail "needing to bone up" on policy shouldn’t be a suitable excuse.
There is something seriously wrong with our Republican presidential candidates.
None of them seem to realize the gravity of the position they seek, nor have shown the ability to rise to the challenges of the job.
Yet somehow the party has defended, even welcomed it. Every month there is a new star candidate who rises to the top of the polls to challenge former governor Mitt Romney. So far we have seen Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Hermain Cain and now Newt Gingrich gain support in the-everyone-but-Mitt sweepstakes. The problem is, with little political acumen, all have so far crashed and burned.
Why? Because so far the only qualification the Republican base seems to think a candidate needs is to be able to hurl the most creative 'Obama is a socialist' insult at our current president.
It’s great that Cain was a successful business man and that he worked his way out of poverty. But a feel-good story does not qualify or prepare someone for the presidency. Especially when that person — as is the case with Cain — has no previous policy experience to speak of. Would you hire Cain as the top medical expert at a surgeon’s hospital or to run a baseball team? Of course not, he has no qualifications in those fields. So why would you elect him president?
Cain has no experience in politics other than a few previous failed runs for Senate. With no substantive health care policy or energy policy to speak of (both are less than a page each on his website and offer few actual ideas), a penchant for changing his mind on key issues and an inability to remember what just happened in Libya, how is Cain qualified?
His tired excuse on why he was completely confused on Libya doesn’t hold water either. Texas Governor Rick Perry, too, has used this same defense on multiple occasions. Unfortunately, the presidency is a 24/7 job. If you can’t handle the rigors of a two-month long campaign, you shouldn’t be running. If Perry can’t work long hours, he isn’t qualified for the world’s most demanding and important job.
Then there is Michele Bachmann, another flash-in-the pan Republican candidate who during a debate claimed that the vaccine against HPV, a sexually transmitted disease and the leading cause of cervical cancer, could cause mental retardation. Her proof? A Florida woman who approached her after a debate. Worse was the fact that she claimed later on national television that she never made the comment.
Think about it for a second. If approached by a complete stranger on the street, would you trust them explicitly? No, you’d at least want to take the advice of somebody who stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. Or, you know, the experts.
And then there is Newt Gingrich, the latest flavor of the month. Good old Newt, the only member of Congress to be disciplined for ethics charges. One of the few Republican leaders with substantive policy expertise, it’s the whole morality issue which trips him up. I usually share the belief that one’s private life should remain private, but in this case, well ... Newt started it.
For a man who crusaded to impeach Bill Clinton for his affair, it seems hypocritical that he was having an affair with a women 23 years his younger during the proceedings. Or that he challenged Clinton’s morality after he divorced his first wife in the hospital while she was was bedridden recovering from cancer because he was having an affair.
If that isn’t enough hypocrisy, how about his recent remarks at another debate that Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) should possibly face jail time because of his purported relationship with lobbyists from Freddie Mac. Hang on, didn’t Newt accept more than a million dollars from them for 'consulting fees?' Yes, yes he did.
So far, each month-long flirtation with a new candidate has proven two things: First, that Republican voters aren’t excited about Romney and second, that the other challengers are in no way qualified to serve as this country’s commander-in-chief. It’s fine not to like Romney, but they must come up with a viable and vetted alternative. If Republican voters are serious about their country they should get serious about their candidates. If not, they will be taken as a joke and easily defeated come next November.
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