So I’ve been following the Republican “debates,” an act of abuse only slightly less painful than self-flagellation. To call the field “undistinguished” does a disservice to the term “mediocrity.” There are 14 declared candidates, though for some reason the media thinks there are just seven “serious” candidates-Michele Bachman, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum. Herbert Cain’s shocking win in a Florida straw poll may force the media to call it eight, though nobody with the slightest knowledge of politics would think that Cain, Gingrich, Huntsman, Paul, or Santorum has a better chance of surviving than a Hershey bar on an El Paso sidewalk. Who is Cain? Oh, he’s black. I don’t think so! Newt is yesterday’s fish wrap, Huntsman is an unknown Mormon battling a known Mormon, Paul should be heading the Libertarian ticket, and Santorum would be a jihadist if he wasn’t such a “serious” Christian.
Of the second-tier candidates, only one--former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer--has any name recognition, and then only for those with long memories as he was ousted in 1991. What a set of doozies the rest are. There’s Fred Karger, a gay activist, who never got the memo that Republicans hate gays. Career flight attendant Tom Miller is definitely lost in the clouds, as is Vern Wuensche, whose platform is that CEOs should be in charge of America. (Who’s the VP candidate, Bernie Madoff?) The field also includes Andy Martin, who launched the Obama-is-a-Kenyan campaign, and Gary Johnson, a man so nondescript I had forgotten he was once governor of New Mexico. My personal favorite is Jimmy McMillan, who looks like a bounty hunter and once ran for office on the Rent is Too Damn High ticket.
Then it struck me--why not Dan Quayle? He could package himself as a prophet and proclaim, “I was dumb before my time.” Wouldn’t a man who said “I made good judgments in the Past. I have made good judgments in the Future...” be perfect to lead 21st century Dumb Democracy? His supporters wouldn’t know what the hell he meant when he says, “What a waste it is to lose one’s mind. Or not have a mind is wasteful….” But they wouldn’t care! They’d understand when he told them it was time for the “human race to enter the solar system.” Or not. Who cannot love the principles of a man who stood up to Sam Donaldson and asserted, “I stand by all the misstatements I made.” Tell folks that he’s from Indiana, the Hoosier state, and he’ll wrap up white, male, breast-fixation voters who think Hoosiers is the regional name for the Hooters chain. Now that Dan’s older and has lost some of his pretty boy looks his handlers could say that his gray temples give him more gravitas. This would go down well with GOP voters who would say, “Hell, yes, I like a little gravitas on a potatoe.”