My computer is finally working again, so I can throw together a quick post. Unless the market tanks hard, and soon, it doesn't appear that Hillary will be pushing Obama aside. We can't quite count it out yet; a former Goldman employee is actually facing charges, so if Obama proves serious about holding the banksters accountable, the elites could replace him with a more palatable figure. Still, until we receive more information to the contrary, it's safe to say that Obama will remain a Wall Street candidate.
Only one of the Republicans candidates interests me in the slightest, but I find amusement in handicapping the race. Huntsman, Bachmann and Santorum should wash out soon. Perry has plenty of establishment cash, but he can't manage to string together more than a couple of sentences. He looks presidential--and yes, pathetically, that does matter--at least until he opens his mouth.
That leaves Newt, Cain, and, of course, the frontrunner himself, Romney. Gingrich has a certain appeal; he's coherent, and consistently bashes Obama, which plays well with the base. But he has nothing in the way of specifics to offer; trimming waste and reducing regulations were goals he should have achieved during the Contract With America. However he may campaign, he remains a Washingtonian insider. When this election cycle ends, Newt will be back on television, arguably where he belongs.
Cain is presently challenging Romney for the lead. This says more about the lack of fervor for Romney than does about Cain, whose pro-life credentials are, shall we say, dubious. Moreover, Cain, like Romney, was in favor of the TARP bailouts. With the still bankrupt banks looking like they could use another injection of cash, the last thing the Republican base wants is a candidate who will support a bailout. Last, but not least, Cain's vaunted 999 plan will increase taxes for most Americans. His plan is catchy, but does not stand up to scrutiny.
This leaves Romney alone. Actually not quite. Ron Paul's appeal is limited; he has been marginalized when he has not been ostracized as crazy. Moreover, despite their purported desires for limited government, many Americans still cling to Empire; Paul's insistence that we mind our own business, paying only for defense is too often seen as isolationism.
Still, Paul has offered $1 trillion in spending cuts--in one year. Romney promises that he will create all sorts of jobs, but cuts will come to a mere $20 billion. Now the raison d'etre of the Tea Party was opposition to government spending, which has left out country deeply in debt, and impoverished children not yet born. If the Tea Party is serious, they will have to support Ron Paul. His other views are simply not relevant given the enormity of the debt problem.
I have no doubt whatsoever that the Republicans will spurn Paul for the "more electable" Romney. But if the chance of a Paul nomination remains remote, it is less remote than it once was. Perhaps the Stupid Party will, just this once, fail to live up to its name. If they make the right choice, I will offer a very joyous mea culpa.
Regardless, a choice we shall have, between yet another lackluster establishment candidate and one who has a lengthy history of consistent opposition to that opponent of life and liberty, the State. Such is more than we could have expected this late into the republic's decline. May we choose wisely.