They All Suck


They all suck. Let’s just admit it. Every one of the thus far announced Republican candidates for President sucks. From the lecherous adulterer to the egomaniacal nut job to the flip-flopping opportunist with the perfect hair to the guy who hates brown people to the guy we’ve never heard of to the guy who has a better chance of getting hit by a meteor while being consumed by a blue whale being struck by lightening.

They all suck. (Well, okay, Brownback doesn’t suck at all, but I perceive no viability for his candidacy.)

That is one great benefit George W. Bush has right now. Compared to these guys, W. is the BSD (ask John Derbyshire if you don’t know what that is and it has nothing to do with computers) king titan in charge. There is no one to offer inspiration, excitement, or an articulate defense of conservatism out there.

Part of me, frankly, wants Newt Gingrich to run. Don’t get me wrong (or divorced; my wife can’t stand the guy). I don’t want the former speaker to actually win. I don’t know that I’d trust him with that much power. He is the most articulate, honest defender of conservatism out there. His ideas are bold, they are conservative, and they are good. I don’t agree with him on everything, but it would really be nice for him to get out there and pull everyone else to the right, to tell them why they are wrong, and why they are cowards for standing on the shoulder of Reagan while acting like the Manneken Pis on his legacy.

Reagan’s conservative campaign was preceded by Barry Goldwater. Goldwater was caricatured by the Democrats and media as a spooky wingnut, but his ideas were honest, his defense of freedom legendary, and the simple truths of his conservatism spoke to the honest individualism of the American people. He paved the way for Ronald Reagan. That’s what Newt could do.

But who would be our Ronald Reagan, or in current political vernacular, the Republican Barack Obama? Well, I don’t expect him to appear on the Presidential scene by 2008. In fact, all things being equal, I expect no Republican will be elected President in 2008. But by 2010, I expect our Barack Obama — one who actually has a compelling story *and* qualifications — to rise onto the national scene from the Governor’s Mansion in Louisiana, where Bobby Jindal will be in his second term.

Yes, we just might have to wait that long because right now they all suck.

About the author

Erick Erickson


  • Um, no, that was Britney Spears who had the melt down and shaved her head. I didn’t realize I had been exposed as a liberal. Guess I better go have an abortion and burn a flag or something like that.

  • Isn’t this the Erick Erickson site? Didn’t he have meltdown, shave his head or something, and then was exposed as a liberal charading as a conservative? OK if this is not accurate honest I read it somewhere. I didn’t know this site continues on. . .guess you can’t trust everything you hear on the blogosphere.

  • Dennis, one of your paragraphs is simply full of gems.

    Let us start, shall we?

    “I, personally, don’t want a president who puts “working across the aisles” ahead of standing by his principles,” What happens if working across the aisles (how abhorrent!) is one of a candidate’s principles?

    “NOTHING of substance during 8 years in office.”
    I know many Croatians, Serbians, &c. who would vehemently disagree with you. Moreover, those of us who benefited from the relative prosperity would chose to do so as well.

    “He did, however, ignore the warnings of impending danger from Islamic terrorists…that worked out really well.” This of course, could be said about Reagan, Bush 41, and Carter too. But tell me, what action should a president carry out against individuals–not a state–that potentially pose a risk to the United States? The international outcry would be astounding were we, Britain, France, Australia or anyone else to do so. It is overly simplistic to put all the blame on Clinton without thinking about proper actions for a nation state.

    There is more I could say about that paragraph were I to chose to do so, but I do not. I will instead, await your reply.

  • I’m with Christy on Newt. Can you not include him in “lecherous adulterer”? I have hoped that Haley Barbour could be persuaded to run and/or Jeb Bush. Don’t they know that their country needs them? Would they not be good candidates for President and Vice President? They’re way better than any others. And with the media coverage they’ve already gotten, especially Governor Barbour with the way he helped greatly in the recovery and rebuilding of the MS Gulf Coast, I think they could be shoo in’s. Only God can persuade them, according to what I’ve been told, so say your prayers or I think McCain will be the man.

  • Just a quick thought … maybe voters will not be so eager to give one party control of the executive and legislative branches so soon after hearing about the monopoly of power highlighted by the MSM when the GOP had both.

  • The thing that scares me about both of these candidates is that they will tend to bring out large portions of the traditionally inactive electorate. The folks who don’t normally participate, but will do so because of the media hype and novelty.

    Of course, this means more ignorant votes from people who can’t be bothered with learning what the candidates actually stand for – they’ll vote based on the “general vibe” they get from the little bit of media coverage they happen to see between episodes of

    I, personally, don’t want a president who puts “working across the aisles” ahead of standing by his principles, and I certainly don’t put much faith in someone’s apparent competence and communication skills. Far too many people are more concerned with appearances than substance. Why do you think so many people still think Bill Clinton was a great president? He was confident and assured, a great speaker – pretty much the opposite of Bush, and yet he accomplished NOTHING of substance during 8 years in office. He did, however, ignore the warnings of impending danger from Islamic terrorists…that worked out really well.

    While the conservative mindset certainly produces some degree of pragmatism, I don’t know that the reverse is necessarily true. Pragmatism is an important part of a candidate’s make-up, but only when tied to the right ideals. Many pragmatists will support higher taxes and more government control. Plenty of pragmatists are supporting surrender in the face of opposition from terrorists in Iraq.

    Personally, good ideas will always win out over any other aspect of a candidate’s character. Unfortunately, too few Americans care enough to inform themselves adequately or accurately about the issues at stake, and too many politicians are more concerned with keeping their jobs than the future of this nation.

  • “Whichever side wins over the apathetic, ignorant voters – the ones who simply accept what they see and hear from mainstream media sources (aka the DNC) – is the side that will be celebrating in 2008. Democrats and the media have been capitalizing on voter ignorance for years.”

    If this were at all the case, Democrats would not have had to wait until 2006 to return to power.

  • I’m hoping Mark Sanford will run. He could be the dark-horse from Arkansas for us in 2008.

    I agree, no matter how much is sucks that we have to put race and gender above conservative qualifications, if Obama or Clinton run, we’re gonna lose votes to the novelty of a female of black candidate.

    On a slightly brighter note:

    Don’t forget we have to endure 8 years of Nixon/Ford and four of Carter before we got a Reagan.

  • In other words, if we work together to elect pragmatic politicians then conservatism will fall in line. These elected officials would be so busy trying to run the country ethically to save the taxpayers money that there would be no time to pass laws that debase our family based values. If people could turn their backs on politicians and work more in their communities, conservatism would grow like wild flowers. That would happen because we could trust the politicians to do the people’s business in the most cost efficient manner.

    Pragmatic minded Republicans should work hard to get a pragmatic Democrat elected because a Republican does not have a chance in 2008. Those in the middle want a candidate strong on immigration reform, and help in the global market in order that our workers can compete. I know Erick does not like Webb, but I think that he could win the Presidency.

  • Senator Webb is so correct when he says that we have too much of a division between the haves and the haves not. I know from my business that young couples are deep in debt because home mortgages are at all time highs. When I was first married, it was the rule of thumb that a person have a minimun of 10% down for a house and the money set aside to pay closing costs. Homes were financed for a maximum of 20 years, and many couples saved by living in apartments until be able to pay cash for a home.

    Now, younger couples are hawked in debt on a home, two car payments and sky rocketing medical costs. But because everything is financed into the future, these younger couples feel like they are soooo well off. Thirty year mortgages, cars financed for five or more years and with no cds or other investments. In other words, most do not have enough saved to live two weeks without a paycheck let alone six months. Until, people wake up to the fact that the middle income class is disappearing, we will not have a common ground to get elected officials to get our country turned around.

    If you have a home with a mortgage on it, and a car with a loan, you own nothing. But most people do not understand that basic concept. Thankfully, we earned our living and can carry on into the future. But the American dream is turning into a nightmare for the younger generation.

  • “I’m predicting another compromise from conservatives..”

    I hate to you this but… yeah Duh. People like Brownback (Mr. Goodness, Greatness, great balls of Christianity) who the right may well love would turn off a large percentage of the middle.

    The left has the same problem. The lefty “true believers” can’t win over the middle. We talk of red and blue states without recognising the large number of purple.

    Many elections are reaction to the previous office holder. I think the attribute the electorate is most looking for is not conservatism nor progressiveness but competence. A person who has ideas, a plan to get them done, who can speak to the nation, and can work with congress would dominate the election even if the electorate was squeamish about some of the candidates ideas.

  • You’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head concerning the current crop of GOP hopefuls. There are several candidates that would have my support based on their ideas and beliefs, including Brownback, but they just don’t have a chance.

    I agree with you about Newt as well – he has the best ideas of anyone out there right now, and this group needs someone to contrast true conservatism against the watered-down “compassionate” version we’ve had forced down our throats for the last few years. I don’t know that I want to see him in office either, but he would certainly force the entire debate further to the right.

    My biggest concern is what happens after the nomination. With the media already pushing America’s First Woman and/or Black President, whoever represents the GOP is in for an uphill battle to win over The Middle.

    It frightens me to think about it, but elections like these are determined by those who care and know the least about politics and government. Whichever side wins over the apathetic, ignorant voters – the ones who simply accept what they see and hear from mainstream media sources (aka the DNC) – is the side that will be celebrating in 2008. Democrats and the media have been capitalizing on voter ignorance for years.

    Before this past election I thought we had finally started winning over hearts and minds with actual ideas…and perhaps, if GOP leaders had not lost sight of those ideas, we wouldn’t have experienced such a huge setback. The media will do their best to take the shortsighted public’s mind off of ideas, distracting them with their portayal of political rockstars and turning the race for president into an episode of American Idol.

    Unfortunately, this election will be all about turnout, and I don’t see anyone on the right with the ability to energize voters. I’m predicting another compromise from conservatives who recognize that winning over the “hearts and minds” of people who don’t use either will be too much to ask of anyone but Rudy.

By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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