It might not look like it at the moment, but President Obama has a pretty easy path to victory in 2012. All he has to do is sit back and wait for the Republican Party's slapstick band of weirdos, religious fanatics, and angry white racists driven mad seeing a black man in the White House, implode from the weight of its own ridiculousness.
Recent polls have shown that a generic Republican candidate would beat Obama, but the problem with the current crop of GOP candidates is that they are anything but generic. When Ron Paul is your sanest candidate, you know your party is in trouble.
The Republican Party had a major credibility problem even before Donald Trump claimed that Obama was not born in the U.S. and demanded to see his birth certificate. But as the media followed Trump's every idiotic word, most of his party just agreed with him, and the GOP looked like a bunch of racist lunatics. When Trump claimed that Obama wasn't smart enough to get into an Ivy League college, but only got there because of affirmative action, the rest of the party watched and incredibly seemed to agree. This bolstered the logical theory that the Republicans are indeed a bunch of racist idiots, driven mad by a black man more intelligent, articulate and even-tempered than any of their own misguided and bizarre leaders.
Not only did the GOP as a whole fail to dismiss any of this birth certificate outlandishness, but had no comment on candidates who raised the specter of Sharia law in America or dismissed global warming as a socialist plot.
The fact that political lightweight Rick Perry is the newest and best GOP choice sums up the state of the party. Perry has been described as a “stupid George Bush”, but the median IQ of the rest of the GOP hopefuls falls somewhere between Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul.
Although a bit cartoonish, Ron Paul is very articulate, and has attracted somewhat of a cult following. And he is looking pretty smart these days, when matched against the rest of the GOP airheads. However, he has shown some very radical views. For example, his national defense strategy is to allow Iran to have their nuclear weapons because everyone else has them. The reasoning is obviously that the U.S. will always have more nuclear weapons than Iran, so that if they threatened us, we could simply blow them off the map. Paul does have a good point, though. We need to decrease our military spending and think more about our own economy. Obama knows this, but his views are less extreme than Paul's, and he was able to kill Osama bin Laden while simultaneously reducing our troop levels in Afghanistan.
Obama has taken a cautious, level-headed approach to national security, as he has with the rest of his presidential decisions, including the economic ones. You may agree with him or not, but considering the gridlock in Washington caused by the Tea Party and the resistance of the more moderate Republican base to stand up to them, it's amazing that Obama has been able to get anything done at all. The budget negotiations were a disaster, but they weren't Obama's disaster. In November of next year, when voters are alone in the booth, they will remember the chaos caused by a few right-wing nut jobs who were not willing to compromise, default or no default.
According to his Web site, Ron Paul is “America's leading voice for limited, constitutional government, low taxes, and free markets”. Once a fringe candidate, Paul's views are becoming more popular with some on the right simply because they are exactly the opposite of the Democratic positions. The fact that Paul has consistently stuck to his views without wavering sets him apart from the rest of the GOP field, many of whom take whatever positions are popular with their base at any given moment. Front runner Mitt Romney, for example, has turned political flip-flopping into an art form.
It would be an entertaining race if the colorful limited government advocate Paul was the GOP candidate, and Democrats would wholeheartedly approve. But we all know that won't happen, so the focus right now is on Romney and intellectually challenged Rick Perry, who Republican strategist Alex Castellanos says "benefits from an uncluttered mind". Besides not being very sharp on topics outside his comfort zone, particularly foreign policy, Perry's problems are obvious, starting with the fact that he's being compared to Bush. Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann, winner of the meaningless Iowa Straw Poll, is ahead in many opinion polls, but Republican insiders know that she can't win the general election. First of all, her political views are based on religious extremism and not the facts, and second, she's a Tea Party favorite.
Of all the candidates, Romney looks the most presidential, but sounds the least presidential, at least from the GOP standpoint. Many in the Republican establishment are furious that Romney enacted a health care law in Massachusetts that required people to buy insurance, which was similar to Obama's plan. Romney said that his plan was not like the national law because it applied only to his state. In fact, it was exactly like the national law, expanded to all the states. Romney's consistent inconsistency is why the Democrats have said that he's not pro-choice, he's multiple choice.
The recent debt ceiling negotiation fiasco and subsequent credit rating downgrade seemed to be an indication that Obama is in trouble. Neither party was happy with the deal, and each party blamed the other for the way things were mishandled. But Standard and Poor's, the organization responsible for lowering the credit rating, blamed the GOP for causing it, at the same time the GOP was blaming the Democrats.
Americans are fed up with both parties, and politicians in general, but Obama's path to a second term is starting to look pretty good. The Republican Party is in disarray, and the nuttiness of the candidates compounds the fact that the party is being brought down by the Tea Party. This is not only causing political infighting, but is making the voting public aware just how far to the right the party has moved and how unpopular its positions have become. Not only are they talking about tax cuts for the rich, but cuts to Medicare, deregulating Wall Street and greenhouse gas pollution.
People are unhappy with the current political climate, but the majority don't blame Obama, and they sure as hell don't want to put the Republicans back in charge. Let's look at it this way: the odds are that the GOP will retain control of the House of Representatives next year, and they could theoretically win control of the Senate, given the number of seats up for grabs in 2012. If that happens, a Republican presidential victory would give them total control of the Federal government. Considering that nobody wants the Tea Party running the country, that may be the best argument the Democrats have for keeping Obama in the White House.
Even if the Republican Party could find a candidate more qualified than the current group of oddballs, the Tea Party has already done its damage. In addition, the far left of the Democratic Party may not like the concessions that Obama has had to give to the Republicans, but the liberal criticism aimed at him will position him well with moderate and independent voters, much as President Clinton was helped in his 1996 campaign against Republican Bob Dole. In that case, Clinton engaged in “triangulation”, a strategy by which he positioned himself as a moderate centrist. Clinton was aware that winning over the independent voters was the key to winning the election.
Once the debt crisis is safely in the rear-view mirror, Obama will be able to bring sanity back into vogue, and his critics on the left will at least vote for him, considering that he's their only real choice. By being cautious and level-headed, he has been able to compromise, even with the right-wing Tea Party stinking up the process. Obama will win in 2012 because the Democrats will unite behind him, independents will jump into his corner, and Republicans will split their loyalties between the moronic Tea Party and their more moderate lunatic fringe.
It doesn't matter whether Obama wins or the Republicans lose, it will be the same result. And it doesn't matter how many Democrats ubiquitous candidate Sarah Palin has in her crosshairs. When it comes to the 2012 presidential race, the GOP is D.O.A.