Notes about undemocratic, non-representative findings aside, the victory of Mitt Romney in this weekend’s Iowa straw poll is heartening and troubling. Heartening, because it positions as the Republicans’ leading hope a man with no discernible positions, whose chief political experience is four years spent running away from Massachusetts while running for President. As Talking Points Memo points out, it speaks to a lack of enthusiasm for the field. Half the leading Democratic contenders should be able to make mincemeat of this guy.
The disheartening part is that so many damned people in the straw poll voted for this inflated ball of suit and hair. Hasn’t anyone learned anything from watching his performance in Massachusetts? If there is one lesson to be taken away from the last seven years, it is that electing a weak façade of a politician for president means handing over control to the back-room apparatchiks that have been setting up secret prisons, wiretapping America’s citizens, waging war on moisture, and dismantling checks and balances systematically since Cheney and Bush took office. And nothing about Romney’s track record in Massachusetts suggests that he is prepared to say no to the cabal.
I would really like to see both parties giving us a vision for how the country is going to move away from the Bush/Cheney administration’s lunacies. I don’t think that’s going to happen in 2008.