The Great GOP Primary Crash and Burn: 5 Republican Would-Be Saviors Flame Out in Hilarious Ways
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In a normal democracy, a competent opposition party would have no difficulty in defeating Barack Obama next year.
After all, unemployment is still around 9 percent, economic growth is sluggish at best and the Democratic base feels disenchanted with the hope and change they voted into office a mere three years ago. A competent opposition party shouldn’t have to nominate a superlative candidate in this environment; instead it can win by simply nominating someone with decent hair, who can string together words in a language vaguely resembling English and who has no obvious debilitating mental illnesses.
For Republicans, this generic good-hair, able-to-talk, not-overtly-insane candidate is Mitt Romney. But there’s just one problem with this scenario: The Republican base hates Mitt Romney. The reasons for this are pretty obvious since Romney’s work establishing a universal health care system in Massachusetts provided the main blueprint for Obamacare, the healthcare law passed in 2010 that the GOP base feels is the ultimate symbol of an overreaching and tyrannical government. And that’s in addition to Romney’s assorted flip-flops on issues such as abortion and gay rights that have given social conservatives fits over the years. In fact, Multiple Choice Mitt is such a notorious opportunist that his entire political career can be summed up by paraphrasing a classic Snoop Dogg song: “Take a stance when it’s popular, but drop it when it’s not, drop it when it’s not.”
So the Republican base has spent the past year looking for someone, anyone, who can be the anti-Mitt Romney in the GOP primary. The problem is that the GOP has been unable to find even one half-normal human to stand in against him. The result has been a hysterical roller-coaster of a primary season where new candidates rise rapidly as GOP “front runners” for a month before flaming out in spectacular and hilarious ways. In this article we’ll chronicle the assorted saviors that Republican voters have fallen in love with for brief periods of time before quickly recoiling in horror upon realizing they’ve become smitten with a unelectable lunatic.
Failed Savior #1: Donald Trump.
How he rose: Ugh. Remember this? Trump’s major appeal to the GOP base was akin to G.G. Alin’s appeal to teenage boys: They loved him because he would say whatever the hell he wanted no matter how many media squares would get offended. Want to publicly question the validity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate? Trump went there. Want to speculate that Obama was hiding his birth certificate because it listed him as a Muslim? Yeah, that was Trump territory, too. Want to imply that Obama only got accepted into Columbia and Harvard Law due to the dread specter of affirmative action? Trump was your guy.
The result was that Trump depressingly surged to the head of the GOP pack in April, according to a CNN poll. But the Donald’s rapid rise in the polls was only matched by his epic crash less than two weeks later.
How he fell: It became more difficult for Trump to publicly crow about his birther credentials after Obama actually released his long-form birth certificate. Making matters worse, the release of Obama’s birth certificate came just days before Trump attended the White House correspondents’ dinner where he was roasted relentlessly both by the president and by comedian Seth Meyers.
This sort of public humiliation took away a lot of Trump’s mojo since he was no longer viewed as an all-American bad boy with the guts to speak truth to power. Instead he was seen, correctly, as a clown. He announced that he was not going to run for the presidency shortly afterward.