If Republicans keep picking dorks as the running mate, they'll never win the White House
Why does the Republican Party have such difficulty choosing anyone normal as its vice-presidential candidate?
This year, the religious crackpots in the G.O.P. forced Mitt Romney to accept Paul Ryan, an Ayn Rand–admiring anti-abortion Congressman who couldn't even deliver his home state.
In a devastating New York Times article, Nobel Prize–winning economist Paul Krugman derided Ryan as an "unserious man" for his loopy fiscal policies, which would drive down revenues while not accounting in any way for how this would cut the deficit.
"The question now is whether Mr. Ryan’s undeserved reputation for honesty and fiscal responsibility can survive his participation in a deeply dishonest and irresponsible presidential campaign," Krugman wrote.
In 2008, Republican presidential candidate John McCain's bid for the White House was destroyed, in part, by his choice of another religious fanatic, Sarah Palin, as the vice-presidential candidate.
Palin wasn't even vetted, according to a great book called The Lies of Sarah Palin, by Geoffrey Dunn.
George W. Bush chose the dastardly Dick Cheney, an alleged war criminal, and managed to win twice—though it's widely recognized that the 2000 victory was due to Jeb Bush's efforts to suppress the vote in Florida. The 2004 victory was possibly stolen, according to a well-researched book by U.S. academic Steven F. Freedman and Joel Bliefuss.
Bush's father lost in 1992 in part because of the presence of the lacklustre Dan Quayle on the ticket. Quayle was ridiculed across the country for being unable to spell "potato".
Some Republican religious flame throwers are likely to blame Romney for this year's loss. The reality is that when you choose an extremist as the number two on the ticket, that worries many voters. Especially when, in the case of Ryan, he calls for the end of Medicare and opposes military personnel obtaining abortions overseas.
The presence of a Ryan or Palin on the ticket increases the turnout of liberal-minded voters, who will vote for the Democrats.
It didn't help the Republicans that Obama's running mate, Joe Biden, thrashed Ryan regarding his views on the Afghanistan war in the only televised vice-presidential debate.
The Straight ran an online poll earlier this year asking if Ryan would help or hurt Romney's chance of becoming president.
The result: 61 percent said Ryan would hurt the ticket, whereas only 25 percent said he would help.
Romney didn't lose by much. If he had chosen someone more reasonable as his running mate, he just might have become president.
But the Christian Right wouldn't allow for this. And that's a major reason why they'll have to endure four more years of Barack Obama in the White House.
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