America’s Cycles of Change

Republican Candidates Massacre: Weeks of the Long Knives

Sun, 21 February 2016

Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina have done their job. Seven Republican candidates for the presidency are gone from the presidential race: Four of them in the week after New Hampshire. Now Jeb (Jeb!) Bush has joined them too.

The political guillotines have been falling faster than Madame Defarge could knit.

My book Cycles of Change: The Three Great Cycles of American History & the Coming Crises that will Lead to the Fourth, (Amazon-Kindle2015) makes clear what has been happening and why.

The clichés that served the Republican Party so well through the Reagan era have run their course. Marco Rubio was right about one thing: It is time for a new generation of political leaders to rise across America.

But it won’t include him.

As I explain in Cycles of Change, a new age has generated new dangers, new problems, both domestic and around the world for the American people to deal with.

New Problems in a new age require new ways of thinking to deal with them: Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt all understood that.

That is why Republican leaders, especially the governors who thought they did well by attracted miserable pay, burger flipping jobs to their states have been dropping like flies in the primaries and caucuses. Chris Christie is a case in point.

I’ll miss him.

Make no mistake – Christie has been a lousy governor, at least in his second term, for New Jersey, and he would have made a disastrous president. But at least his Straight Talk Express did expose so much flatulent nonsense form the young Senate up-and-comers in the Republican race.

Above all, Christie should be remembered and cherished for his fatal demolition job of little Rubio – The Boy in the Bubble- on February 6 in the last GOP televised debate before New Hampshire.

That exquisite slam-bang takedown did not help Christie one whit in New Hampshire, a tough, old industrial straight-from-the-shoulder little state where his message should have resonated. He still came in only sixth. So now he’s gone.

The worthless Carly Fiorina is gone too. She ran Hewlett-Packard into the ground, but Republican primary voters, showing infinitely more good sense than that fateful H-P board that made her (briefly) a CEO, hardly even placed her among the also-rans.

As for Jim Gilmore, he got half as many votes in New Hampshire – give or take a dozen – than Vermin Supreme, a joke candidate who wears a boot on his head.

Gilmore finally left the race after New Hampshire. But why had he stayed in it at all unless he was really auditioning for the next series of The Walking Dead?

At least political zombies Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee finally accepted their fate.

Santorum won the Iowa caucuses in 2012 and Huckabee won in 2008 and both at least until February 1 of this year still believed with perfect faith that A) they could replicate that cosmic achievement and B) that it would somehow propel them to the nomination in Cleveland and thence to the White House.

Deranged fantasy and obsessive fugue states come no worse than that.

However, for Rand Paul, whose campaign never even spluttered towards any kind of life, some words of genuine regret.

I am no libertarian but Paul would have made – and would still make – an exemplary attorney general or secretary of state. He is sane, measured, balanced and decent –and repeatedly showed great moral and political courage as the only voice speaking out against one ugly and needless excess after another in the Republican debates.

He alone of the dead-and-gone candidates deserves to be missed.

Even Jeb! Is gone. I’ll miss Donald Trump making him his comic punching bag in all those Republican debates.

If The Donald wins the presidency, Jeb! Could have a brilliant career as the buffoon whom The Chief Executive wheels out to throw a custard pie in his face at the end of every press conference.

Ted Cruz faded where it mattered the most in South Carolina, giving Marco Rubio another spurt of infantile, childish hope.

What Cruz may get back some of his swagger in South Carolina but even there, The Donald is attracting the votes that should have gone to him.

Also, Cruz‘s campaigns shenanigans playing low and dirty in Iowa will backfire badly on a candidate whose lack of likability tripped up his brilliant political intellect: Richard Nixon anybody?

As for Rubio, he came third in Iowa in the caucuses and just scraped in second in South Carolina and was immediately touted by the worthless passing dinosaurs of the political establishment as The Coming Man yet proved so spineless and inept that he threw it all away by melting down in front of a national television audience within five days.

The Boy in the Bubble turned out to be a Five Day Wonder too. He’s cooked and done as well.

Now we have a clear Trump drive to the coronation with Rubio likely to eclipse the far more worthy but boring John Kasich to become the last establishment candidate standing to at least attempt a gallant last stand around the GOP elephant against The Donald.

And as Porky Pig would rightly say: Th-That’s all, folks.

Martin Sieff is the author most recently of Cycles of Change: The Three Great Cycles of American History & the Coming Crises that will Lead to the Fourth (Amazon-Kindle2015) and Gathering Storm: The Coming Seventh Era of American History & the Coming Crises that will Lead to It (Amazon-Kindle 2015).