A flip-flopping mannequin with no ideas of his own, a religious zealot who should have been born in 1430, an overweight womanizer with ambitions to build a moon colony, and a shrimpy cult leader with a thin layer of good ideas coating a cake of lunacy and failed ideas walk into a bar, all explaining to the bartender that they want to be President. The punchline? One of these walking, talking caricatures of ideological extremism will end up facing off against President Obama in the 2012 general election. You were probably hoping I'd say "The Aristocrats!" But nope, no luck there I'm afraid.
Here's another punchline for you: polls show that likely Conservative voters are overwhelmingly picking their candidates for one sad quality above all others... said candidate's perceived ability to defeat President Obama in the general election. It doesn't matter that the candidates all offer up slightly-varied versions of the same nonsensical, catastrophic trickle-down economic theory that we've tried off and on for thirty years now with failure after failure, recession after recession. It doesn't matter how flagrantly they blast supporters with a double-standard of getting government out of your life, but into your bedroom. As long as they seem to be capable of defeating President Obama, they're good enough for a vote, or perhaps a sip of Kool-Aid in the case of Congressman Paul.
The same day President Obama was nominated by the Democratic Party at their 2008 convention, a rather large swath of Conservatives belted out one phrase in unison: "He'll be a one-term President." It was months before he'd inevitably defeat John McCain, an election he won by what some call a landslide victory. More months still until he'd be inaugurated, and step into the Oval Office as our Commander in Chief for the first time. They had no idea what he'd do in office, and never really cared to give him a chance, one way or the other. Whatever he'd do would be bad, whatever he said would be protested, and if they could safely be frozen in carbonite for his four years, they would.
And so it has been since that fateful day back in August of 2008, when then-Senator President Obama took to the stage in Colorado and accepted his party's nomination. The radical elements of the right have questioned his birth certificate, they've insulted him in every manner they could think of, they've argued with his every move, and when he's done something great, or even historic, they've mitigated his success and offered it as kudos to everyone not the President, sometimes even taking the credit themselves. They've set new filibustering and obstructionism records on Capitol Hill, they've AstroTurf-rallied under the banner of corporate sponsorship, and while surely they'd disagree with this ascertation, they've even gone so far as to issue veiled threats of violence against him on occasion.
This opposition has phased the President at times. Wouldn't it phase you? And he's caved on issues that some of us on the left aren't too happy about. But overall, he's done a great job, especially given the circumstances, raking in accomplishments that you either already know about, and/ or wouldn't give him credit for, depending on which side of the aisle you're sitting on. Has he been the perfect President? No. No one ever has. It's ludicrous... no, let's just call this one what it really is... it's stupid to assume anyone can be "the perfect President." But he's done well, and that's why I'm voting for him again, as millions upon millions of other Americans will. And that's also why the GOP has only become more flabbergasted since he took office.
Conservatives have been responding to him by shoving moderates out of their party and arrogantly insisting it be their way or the highway. With each caucus and each primary, they move more and more toward nominating the most radical right-wing candidate they can muster, not realizing that it's only pushing them further and further away from actually winning in 2012. But hey, I'm not trying to stop you guys. I'll leave that to those moderate Conservatives you're alienating, who won't show up in November to back the lunatic candidate you choose. Because I'm a guy who appreciates a good joke. And in November of 2012, the joke is going to be on you.