The low caliber of the Republican candidates is proving itself again. Today, I watched a compilation of clips from a Rick Perry speech last Friday where he seemed drunk. Bachmann, Newt, Santorum ... nobody wants these egomaniacs with no realistic sense of themselves to be president. It would be too dangerous.
This should be a great year to run for president as a Republican. Then why is the field so bad? Because of the Tea Party. Romney is the only major candidate not pandering to them. I suspect that other potential candidates couldn't stomach the political atmosphere. They weren't prepared to spew hate the way the Tea Party demands, and they didn't want to be the Tea Party's target either.
Does the Tea Party run the Republicans now, or is it just the only part with a voice that still works? I think it's time for Republicans to push back. Some sane Republican should talk some sense--talk respectfully about Obama's successes and failures, talk about how to compromise on deficit reduction and tax reform. Instead of having 8 flavors of Not-Romney, we should have at least 4 flavors of Not-Tea-Party. That would be a Republican race that I and most of the country would cheer on. As it is, we're laughing, or just shaking our heads.
P.S. I know these ideas aren't news. However, today it's all I can think about, so I'm exorcising it onto my blog. That's part of what my blog is for.
Extras: Flashback 2008, no more hacks, this devastating bit from Jon Stewart that I've cited elsewhere in the blog and is completely relevant here too.