Dear GOP: time to get serious

As an independent liberal (but not a Democrat) who believes that both parties need to be strong and credible in a two-party system, I have to ask Republicans: when are you going to decide that the entertainment portion of your nominating contest is over?

The economy is a disaster. It’s impossible to deny, and President Obama has been utterly feckless in his response to it due to his own timidity, his delegation of policy authority to people who shouldn’t have it, and opposition from John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. None of these things reflect well upon this president, because a true leader can overcome opposition in order to get his or her policies enacted. Obama can be inspiring, but he’s plainly not an effective leader and as a result he is in serious trouble politically. President Obama is completely beatable this year, but your party’s problem is that the domestic economy isn’t the only issue and we all know it.

Let’s face it, would any of you be able to sleep at night, knowing that Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum had access to the nuclear football? These are not serious people and you know they’re not serious people; it is long past time that you tell them to get off the stage. They may say things you like to hear and they provide great entertainment value, but do you really think any of them are mature and stable enough to be trusted with the unilateral power to incinerate the planet several times over? Where that authority is concerned, this is not a hypothetical question. The President of the United States is legally and technologically empowered by his or her status as C-in-C to launch a massive nuclear attack against Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan or any number of other potential targets.

  • Herman Cain is a novelty candidate who is not only utterly ignorant of foreign policy, he revels in that ignorance.
  • Rick Perry evidently rode the short bus to the Texas governor’s mansion, and might be trusted with the football simply because he probably wouldn’t understand how to use it.
  • Ron Paul’s libertarian ideas may be appealing, but libertarianism operates in a stubbornly anachronistic and isolationist void. His ideology simply provides him with nothing credible to say on foreign policy within a globalized security and economic environment.
  • Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum are not worth taking seriously, period.

That leaves your party with only three active candidates who might be credible custodians of the American nuclear arsenal: Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman. I know you’re not fond of any of them. Neither am I, but those are your only credible choices. If you don’t pick one of those three as your nominee, you can expect Barack Obama to cruise to a landslide re-election.

Voting starts less than two months from now. Amateur hour is over.

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