Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Huntsman Plays the Sanity Card

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

In a bold, if not utterly reckless, maneuver, former Utah governor John Huntsman has moved to separate himself from the Republican presidential field of dingbats and troglodytes.  The candidate who was well on his way to being little more than a footnote in the race for the GOP nomination has apparently decided that the most effective way to draw attention to himself and his struggling campaign is to spout some common sense and speak a little truth.

This heresy began last week when Huntsman tweeted the following:

“To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming.   Call me crazy.”   

(I’ll bet the rabid dogs of the Republican right are calling him more than that!) 

Huntsman followed that attack on right-wing orthodoxy with appearances on Sunday talk shows where he chastised Governor Rick Perry for his remark about Fed Chairman Bernanke being, or preparing to become, “treasonous,” and took a couple of potshots at Michele Bachmann – a notoriously easy target.

Running for President as a Republican is a two-phase process.  During Phase I (the crazy one that we are currently witnessing) candidates stampede to the far right in an effort  to win over the conservative purists, religious fundamentalists, tea party kooks, and others of that ilk who will swamp the caucuses and primaries and ultimately select the candidate.  Phase 2 requires more skill and finesse.  Once a candidate is chosen, he or she then has to rush toward the middle of the political spectrum in an effort to garner enough votes to actually be elected.  It is in Phase 2 where the candidate must minimize the nutburger influence of his party and appeal to the masses.

Huntsman’s  dalliance with common sense this weekend will not endear him to the element of his party that will choose the nominee.  I have read opinions suggesting that he may now be playing a different game and is focused on presenting as a moderate for the 2016 race – after the Republicans get trashed at  the polls with their extremist selection of 2012 – regardless of whichever extremist that winds up being.    Another possibility might be that Huntsman expects a quick pivot toward the middle immediately after the candidate is chosen,  and is positioning himself to be a logical vice-presidential pick.

Hey, John, they’re Republicans.  Don’t count too much on logic being a factor in any party decisions.

But even though John Huntsman may be trying to go where the public already is on some of the more contentious social issues, he remains the product of a rich and pampered background who espouses basic conservative economic principles.  One of his acts as governor of Utah was to bring about the simplification of the state income tax.  The system had six levels ranging from 2.3 to 7 percent.  Those with low incomes paid less, and the wealthier paid more.  Under Huntsman’s watch the state went to a single 5 percent level for everyone – a flat tax, if you will.  That, of course, translates to the rich paying less and the poor paying more.

And it just doesn’t get any more Republican than that!

Caveat emptor - buyer beware!

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

...And so by definition being sane is the opposite of being a Tea Party Birther...