In a year littered with 2-loss teams aspiring to college football's throne, it's only appropriate that the Presidential primary field is filled with flawed pretenders. In an attempt to make this approachable for you blog-reading Neanderthals, we give you The CWATCF Primary Voter's Guide, comparing each wannabe-Reagan to one of this season's college football teams.
Go here for links to all of the candidates.
Mitt Romney: 2007 Alabama Football
OK, so this is cheating a bit -- we're really comparing Romney to Saban rather than the Alabama team itself -- but hey, Nick Saban and Mitt Romney might be the two biggest snake oil salesmen in the country. Both have an undeniable record of past successes, but current circumstances preclude them from winning big this year.
1) I believe exactly what you prefer me to believe.
Who knows where these guys stand? Does Saban really hate Auburn? I mean, really hate Auburn? Sure, he can spout platitudes about Tide Pride with the best of 'em, but raise your hand if you think Saban wouldn't take over for Tuberville this minute if the Tigers dangled $4.5 million in front of his nose. Bama fans are right to be hesitant in fully embracing the man.
Likewise, does Mitt really have the xenophobic qualifications necessary to be the Republican nominee? Oh, he claims to hate the gays, though nobody's sure if he actually means it. Since he kicked off his campaign at the Henry Ford Museum, we're pretty sure he really hates the Jews. He's perfectly happy to persecute brown people if necessary ... but it's not a Tancredo-esque crusade for him.
And abortion? Oy. His views have "evolved."
2) Fine, I'll sleep with you, but only if you wear this paper bag.
Mitt's a soulless corporate raider (his entire candidacy is staked on the fact that this makes him a competent manager) an animal abuser, and -- oh my -- a former Massachusetts governor who approved state-sponsored health care.
Similarly, Alabama hired a less-than-friendly mercenary, and Bama fans would probably be happy to torture a dog or two these days. Did we mention that Saban's a Yankee, born and bred in the Northeast? And not The Bear?
3) Hey, is that an elephant in the corner?
Poll question idea for the Gallup operation in Alabama: If this was the Inquisition and you were on the rack, who would you vote for, a Mormon or an LSU Tiger? With a nod to Pat Buchanan, the likely answer: Keep turning the screws.
Saban is/was a Tiger. End of story. Likewise, no matter how many times the Mittster says he loves Jesus, he's going to be a tough sell to evangelical voters ... and everyone else, for that matter. Sooner or later, the Mormon religion will get a full vetting by Christian (and secular) voters, and it won't be pretty.
Here's what you're going to hear on the tee-vee: The Mormon church was founded in 1827 by Joseph Smith, a convicted con man (who spent his early years divining for water) who claimed to find golden tablets with messages from God. Joseph refused to show said tablets to anyone else, and after he transcribed them they "returned to God," i.e. disappeared. Joseph, and subsequent church leaders, claimed that God frequently granted them revelations. A surprising number of these involved granting those same leaders additional (and very young) wives.
Other problems? The LDS embraced polygamy (before it officially didn't, though many fundamentalist sects still embrace it), was an officially racist institution (until 1978!). According to Brigham Young, a church leader, having sex with black people would kill you on the spot (again, the church later changed their mind). Did I mention that they wear magic underwear? And were involved in one of the worst mass-murders ever on US soil?
*Ed. Note: We don't think Mormonism is objectively any crazier than Christianity. 200,000,000 people in this country believe that a long-haired hippie could magic water into wine, walk on water, and fly. Mormons just believe that similar things happened ... um ... in 1880.
Are these facts indicative of Romney's capacity to serve as President of the United States? Probably no more than Saban's Tiger ties are to Bama's success. But that doesn't mean they aren't relevant to the deep-seated opinions of fans and voters.
Regardless of your level of competency, it's damn difficult to overcome the average guy's perception of your past. Romney is smart, capable, and flush with campaign money. In a world void of abortion, gays, and the Religious Right he might make a decent president. But in an era where issue-voting is vitally important, it's difficult to see voters picking a guy with virtually no identifiable positions.
Mitt's big problem is Huckabee -- if evangelical voters have a viable alternative, he's probably toast. Huckabee, however, is a terrible candidate who will (given enough time) suffer from overexposure. If this happens early enough, Romney can win Iowa on Jan. 3 (and he'll likely take NH, too). He leads in Jan. 8's MI primary ... and could ride that momentum to a victory in SC the next week, obtaining an insurmountable lead.
Romney could be your nominee with a few breaks, but something akin to Saban's 6-6 year is more likely. Expect an incredibly embarrassing ULM-caliber defeat along the way.