Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Worst Republican Nominee Ever

Now that Mitt Romney is back to being the most likely (and equally reviled) Republican nominee there are a lot of conservatives saying he will be The Worst Ever. Almost.

1) Alf Landon - 1936
It was the middle of the Great Depression and things were really shitty, unemployment was 17% but things had gotten better the last couple of years. Landon campaigned on a platform that Democrats had spent too much money, made the Depression worst, and was moving the country towards dictatorship. If that sounds familiar it's exactly Romney's campaign stance. A poll of rich Americans showed Landon winning in a landslide. Unfortunately for Republicans, poor people got to vote too.

2) Bob Dole - 1996
Got the nomination because he was Next In Line even though he was an unlikeable person. Had to fight for it against a radical Catholic extremist (Pat Buchanan) so by the time he got nominated he was considered too liberal for Republicans and too conservative for everybody else. The 2012 contest is looking like a clone of this election except Dole was so old he looked like a reanimated corpse while Romney looks like a poorly maintained robot.

2.5) Mitt Romney - 2012
Probable location. 

3) Wendell Wilkie - 1940
Republicans hated the FLOTUS too
Wendell was the sad choice of a brokered convention. A Wall Street millionaire who had never held political office, Wilkie was a flip-flopper before the term was invented. He was a staunch internationalist while at the same time appealed to strident isolationists. He would keep the popular New Deal programs while at the same time accused those same programs of being inefficient and corrupt. With war waging in Europe and Asia the American people decided they'd rather have a third term from a known success than a weather vane who changed his position with the wind.

4) Barry Goldwater - 1964
The biggest landslide loser in Presidential history. He is not ranked higher because he started a movement that culminated in the election of Ronald Reagan 16 years later.
 Goldwater was so radical there is really no one in modern politics to compare him to. He wanted to privatize Social Security, nuke Moscow (just because it's there) and Vietnam, and opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He embraced the insanity, actually saying out loud, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice."

I'm sorry, I was wrong. By today's standards Barry Goldwater would be a mainstream Republican.

5) Thomas Dewey - 1948
Dewey was supposed to be a sure winner. Incumbent Harry Truman was immensely unpopular while a third party campaign by Strom Thurmond (running for the segregationist States Rights Party) would steal votes from Truman without touching Republican states while another Democrat in the race (Henry Wallace) would take liberal votes. Everyone told Dewey all he had to do was say nothing but pablum and empty platitudes, which he did.

Dewey ran the most content free campaign in history. His statement that "our rivers are full of fish" is reminiscent of Mitt Romney "the trees are the right height" platform. Truman won easily.

No comments: