Slacktory

Republicans at CNBC debate

Maybe you’ve flipped on the TV during a Republican debate and thought,  “Why the hell are there eight people running for this thing? What’s the deal here?” and maybe you’ve tried to figure out who they all are, but just can’t tell the difference from the 30-second sound bites they keep using to try to impress the same group of people. Don’t worry – we asked Miles Lothe to give us the rundown, and he’s got your back, bros. 

You’ve probably heard of…

Mitt Romney

Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mitt Romney, Looking Presidential

I can already hear "Hail to the Chief" playing in my head

Why he’s running:
Mitt Romney is the party heir apparent. He’s also the hair apparent; just look at this fucking guy.

Mitt Romney is 6’2” with a strong square jaw and distinguished salt-and-pepper hair. Look at that fucking stare into the distance. Bro just looks like a President, and he talks like one too. Watching Romney debate is like watching someone take a test with the answer key. Watching him debate bros like Herman Cain and Rick Perry is like watching Usain Bolt run in the Special Olympics. He’s got a ton of business experience, and boy does he know how to tell us about it. By all accounts, he did a great job running his state. Mitt Romney is the smoothest fucking politician there is in this race.

Who supports him:
Romney is the Republican safety nominee – if they can’t find someone they really like, they’ll go with Romney. His current supporters are the ones who think everyone else in the race is either unelectable for some reason, or just literally retarded. Watch him consistently poll #2 for the rest of the race.

Shit they’re willing to overlook:
Last time he ran, right-wing evangelicals made a big fucking deal about him being a Mormon, but that doesn’t look so bad now that they think a Muslim is in the White House. No, more importantly, Mitt Romney is a bit of a flip-flopper, so you’ve got to overlook the fact that when he says something like, “I believe apples, and I’ve always believed apples” it’s a virtual guarantee there’s tape of him somewhere saying “Fuck apples, that shit is terrible.” No one has successfully called him on it in a debate yet, but slowly people are realizing that he’s changed his mind more than a couple times.

Additionally, a lot of Republican “outsiders” think he’s too smooth, which is a fucking ridiculous criticism of a person that happens to be right in this case. They’re suspicious because he knows what he’s talking about and sounds intelligent? Goddammit, Republicans. But in this case, they’re accidentally right – he’s really good at going where the political winds are blowing.

Where they’ll go if the ship sinks:
Well, Romney is already the backup ship, so if he drops out they’ll either go to Huntsman, the second-most handsome Mormon ex-governor in the race, or else go to full panic mode until a different nominee is chosen for them to vote for in the general election.

 

Jon Huntsman Jr.

Former Governor of Utah and Former Ambassador to China

He's like the Republicans on 'The West Wing'

The guy was the ambassador to China under a Democratic president and to Singapore under a Republican President – he’s got mad diplomatic skills. Plus, when he was governor of Utah, he did a ton of really conservative shit like liberalizing gun laws, cutting taxes, and passing pro-life policies, and his state flourished. Bro looks like he makes conservatism work in the political arena.

Plus, Huntsman believes in evolution and climate change. He doesn’t just believe in them; he keeps insisting they’re real in public. Jon Huntsman keeps telling the Republican Party that, you know, science fucking works, and they are not happy to hear that shit. Well, some of them aren’t happy to hear it, mostly in the South.

Who supports him:
To the Republicans and independents that care more about shit like smaller government and don’t give a fuck about the Evangelical moral agenda, a pro-science candidate with conservative cred is singing sweet, sweet music. Independents who are disenchanted with Obama like him. Shit, even center-left Democrats like him. Basically everyone likes him except mainstream Republicans, which is a shame because he really needs their votes.

Shit they’re willing to overlook:
Well, he’s the thinking Republican’s candidate. Also, he believes in science. Also, he cooperated with Obama to achieve diplomatic goals. Also, he speaks a language other than English. And maybe at this point you’re thinking, “But Miles, those are all things you put in the other categories, too!” Yeah, I know,  but there you fucking have it. In the Republican Party today, being pro-science or even polite to Barack Obama is a mark against you. If there are good criticisms from a Republican perspective of Jon Huntsman, I can’t fucking find them, because no one is bothering to raise them. Statistically, Huntsman has the best chance of beating Obama head-to-head, which makes him Republican Batman: he’s the candidate the GOP needs, but not the one they deserve.

Where they’ll go if the ship sinks:
God, who knows? Probably Romney, unless that ship sinks too. A lot of Huntsman’s supporters are so fucking tired of the Evangelical fuckdickery in the GOP that they’ll actually vote for Obama before they vote for many of the other candidates. They might also be cool with Ron Paul, but that’s a tough leap for anyone to make.

Instead they want…

 

Herman Cain

Former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza

'Hello sir have you heard about my bold plan'

Why he’s running:
Have you ever had someone you trust show you a shortcut for something you were doing the long way? When I was a kid, my parents never told me about the Shift Key, so I did fucking everything with Caps Lock until I was six. I’d hit Caps Lock, type the first letter of a name, and hit Caps Lock again, until my first grade teacher showed me how Shift worked, and it was a whole new fucking world opening up to me. Glorious.

Okay. Herman Cain thinks everything has a shortcut like that, and people want to believe. So he tells us shit like, “Yeah, we can get the economy going by getting rid of the tax code and replacing it with three simple taxes! 9-9-9!” and people lose their shit, because how convenient is Shift, you guys? It’s awesome. Who doesn’t want everything to be that simple? So all he has to do is keep reassuring people that, “No, seriously, it’ll work, just trust me. Foreign relations look complicated, but they’re really simple. Economics? I got that. So much easier than everyone is making it. Immigration? Let’s just electrify a fence, so simple.”

Who supports him:
People who want to believe things are simple. Republicans who get their news exclusively from FOX. Republicans who want someone other than Romney but who can’t be bothered to find someone else on their own, and so want to be told who their candidate is.

Shit they’re willing to overlook:
Mostly, he’s wrong about everything.

Seriously, these sexual harassment allegations are a red flag, and maybe he’s even guilty. Also, maybe he’s not. It turns out, though, that it really doesn’t matter since he’s already not qualified to be President.

You’d have to overlook the fact that, like, every single economist who gets ahold of his plan says it won’t work. “All of the economists, Miles? What about the ones who helped him develop it in the first place?” I’m glad you asked. He didn’t have an economist help him develop it. He’s just working with some guy in Cleveland. Seriously. Seriously. So while he’s like, “Just press Shift. Easy!” A bunch of bomb squad experts are like, “Actually, the Shift Key is wired to a couple pounds of C4 on that computer, so maybe don’t push it.” And all Cain keeps doing is saying, “Nope, they’re wrong. I can’t tell you why they’re wrong, though my friend in Cleveland says they are. So. Trust me. Push it.”

…BOOM.

Where they’ll go if the ship sinks:
Depends. If there’s enough time before the primary, they might try to christen someone else to replace Romney. If the clock is ticking and there’s not time for a groundswell around someone else, they might bite the bullet and go for Romney. Ultimately, they’ll vote for whomever the Republicans nominate without any questions.

Then there’s…

 

Rick Perry

Governor of Texas

'I... I forgot why I'm posing for this picture'

Why he’s running:
Rick Perry exudes the ideals of the gunslinging Washington outsider that Republicans love to love so much. For starters, he’s killed a bunch of Death Row inmates in Texas, more than any other Governor before him. Yee-haw! And when he goes for his morning jog, he packs a revolver. YEEAAAAHBUDDY.

While Romney might explain some technical point about taxes and their effect, and maybe Cain will just keep naming his plan, Perry tends to boil things down to their most primal Republican elements – I would not be surprised if he actually said something as simple as, “Man, fuck taxes.”

Who supports him:
Southerners and gung-ho Republicans eat this guy up for being the most in-your-face Republican we’ve had since, well, that other gunslinging governor of Texas they seem to love so much. 

Shit they’re willing to overlook:
Rick Perry doesn’t do words so good, ya’ll. He’s a “do-er, not a talker”, except that talking is the most important thing you do as a politician. So… he should work on that? Perry has been owned harder and more often by Romney in debates than anyone else, and it’s not even close.

More than anything, Rick Perry just really, really wants to be President. Obviously all of the candidates WANT to be President, but none so badly as Rick Perry. He’s treating this whole process as a job interview more than anything else. He wants it so bad, please just tell him what to say so you will vote for him already.

Where they’ll go if the ship sinks:
Unfortunately for Perry, the ship kinda has sunk, and all his supporters went to Cain. So now he’s trying to recapture them with talk of new tax codes and job creation. We’ll see if that works out.

If you’re looking for a party insider, though, consider…

 

Newt Gingrich

Former Speaker of the House

Firm supporter of second-family values

Why he’s running:
Newt was the most important Republican in the 90’s, period. Bro just knows policy – he’s the wonkiest of the candidates. He led the charge to pass a ton of really important, big-deal Republican initiatives, even under Bill Clinton. Now, he’s taking one more run at it. He’s got pockets deeper than fuck and a well-known name. If anyone is going to slingshot from the back, it’s going to be this motherfucker: remember, at this point in the last election cycle, in November 2003, fucking Rudy Giuliani was leading, and Fred Thompson, the guy from Law and Order, was in second. But sure enough, John McCain, the old dog with a reputation for getting shit done across the aisle, pulled through. Newt, trying to do the same thing. Might pull it off.

Who supports him:
After eight years of gunslinging W. and four years of smooth-talking Obama, some Republicans are ready to go back to a more policy-driven Republican party. Newt is the fucking man when it comes to that. Old dogs who can’t learn new tricks trust Newt, so people who want to wind the clock twenty years back are going to look to this guy. Plus, he was on the tailend of the whole “moral majority” thing, so Evangelicals who don’t think Bachmann or Santorum can pull off the right policies will look to Newt.

Shit they’re willing to overlook:
Newt is kinda boring, and just a little bit jowley. His face makes him look like a toddler. And he keeps saying “class warfare” over and over. But there aren’t any glaring problems with Newt for Republicans; he’s into lower taxes and a balanced budget and smaller government, a bunch of stuff that give Republicans boners. If you’re into that sort of thing and don’t mind a wonky guy like Newt, then you’re good. If you’re not into that sort of thing, you’re probably not a Republican anyway.

Oh, there is the thing where he tried to impeach Clinton for getting a beej while he was cheating on his own wife. But he married the new girl later on and converted for her, so that’s cool, I suppose.

Where they’ll go if the ship sinks:
Newt’s ship better surge quickly, but it could. Newt’s followers might figure out that Huntsman is awesome, or they’ll jump to Santorum or Bachmann and hope for the best.

 

Rick Santorum

Former Senator from Pennsylvania

Spokesman for Bing

Why he’s running:
Rick Santorum is the most valuey of all the candidates. Yeah, sure, Bachmann and Gingrich like to talk about American values and religion and whatnot, but Santorum is the Prince of Value Voting. He can turn anything into a morality issue – it’s really kinda cool to watch, when it’s not absolutely terrifying. For fuckssake, he believes that the recession was due in part to the moral collapse of America. If you let him, he’ll tell you that the root word for economy is the Greek word for “home”, and so somehow, we have to protect family values. Family Values, of course, means that gay people can’t get married.

That’s not the only thing he’s got going for him; he’s also got stances on foreign policy and the economy that are reasonable, but those are secondary things. Values is what he does.

Who supports him: 
Mostly, people from Pennsylvania. Also, people who really, really, really care about (preventing) gay marriage, or otherwise think that somehow moral decline is leading to the decline of America.

Shit his supporters are willing to overlook:
Actually, Santorum believes it’s metaphysically impossible for gay people to get married. Which is wrong. That’s just… what? Also, his last name has become synonymous with… well… just Google it sometime. Santorum’s views are an odd mix of crazy and competent, so if you can buy into his vision, he’s your man. If you can’t, well then, he seems a little off the reservation.

Where they’ll go if the ship sinks:
Bachmann or Gingrich. Or maybe Cain if he can say the right things about marriage. But probably Bachmann.

 

Michelle Bachmann

Representative from Minnesota

Haha that silly Tea Party won't amount to oh hi there.

Why she’s running:
Michelle Bachmann is the Tea-Partyingest candidate in the field. Sure, other candidates say things that Tea Party members like, but Michelle Bachmann is ­hardcore Tea Party. She’s the only one who identifies directly as a member of the Tea Party, and she is riding the fuck out of that wave. That’s pretty much all there is to say; she’s had a couple terms as a senator, and she’s always done the sort of things that would one day launch her to Tea Party Darling status – proposing an amendment to the Constitution banning same-sex marriage, questioning sciency stuff, fighting any effort to preserve the environment, and so on.

Who supports her:
Hardcore Tea Party members. The people who were dumb enough to think that Sarah Palin could capture the disenfranchised Hillary supporters last time around.

Shit they’re willing to overlook:
Like Santorum and Gingrich, either you buy into her particular brand of politics or you don’t. Michelle Bachmann voted against raising the debt ceiling, which would literally have collapsed the global economy, so there’s that. If you’re a member of the Tea Party, she’s your gal, but if you’re a member of the Tea Party, these “words” are just meaningless and confusing symbols to you, so nothing I’m writing is helpful.

Also, her husband Marcus notoriously runs a “pray away the gay” style therapy practice. Coooool.

Where they’ll go if the ship sinks:
Santorum or Gingrich, or to whichever not-Romney happens to be polling best.

 

Ron Paul

Representative from Texas

Ron doesn't need this. Ron's gonna start his *own* party.

Why he’s running:
Ron Paul is easily the most powerful politician in the world to have the views he has. He believes in Libertarianism, the view that we should be free to do whatever we want as long as it doesn’t interfere with other people’s right to do whatever they want. He also wants to run government with the Constitution, and not much else. If Ron Paul gets his way, the federal government will be, like, five dudes in a smoke-filled room doing as little as possible. He wants to dismantle the fuck out of the government. He is running because he doesn’t think anyone else running comes even close to having a complete set of views.

Who supports him:
He has an absolutely fanatical following, mostly other Libertarians, who go nuts over him. Ron Paul is in a class of his own – while supporters of Santorum and Bachmann, for example, will see plenty of overlap and common ground, Paul’s supporters often have an all-or-none philosophy about him: we need to get the fuck elected out of Ron Paul, because no one else will do.

Shit they’re willing to overlook:
Oh man. In one sense, they have to overlook a ton of shit. In another sense, they don’t have to overlook anything at all. What distinguishes Paul’s shit from the other candidates’ shit is that it’s not a personal blemish or a slightly insane view in isolation; Paul’s shit is his deeply held philosophical commitments, like the fact that he wants to return to the gold standard, abortion should be a state’s rights issue, and all drugs should be legal for anyone who wants to use them. The income tax is theft, according to Paul. It’s really incredible how deep his views run, and a lot of people find a lot of traction with them.

Where they’ll go if the ship sinks:
Fucking wildcard, here. Paul has threatened to run third-party before, and if he does, they’ll all follow him there. His supporters don’t usually feel any party loyalty; they’re trying to elect a guy, not a party. … Yeah, I have no clue what these guys will do if Paul doesn’t get the nomination. 

  • 123

    Outstanding

  • sj

    Brilliant, and sadly accurate.  

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