Thursday, February 9, 2012

If the GOP field were a Top Chef, they would be Hosea

So now it's Santorum?

Clearly the GOP has gotten on the fast train to crazy town.

Not that I care much what Republicans do, but this guy is unelectable, and somebody should think about mentioning it to the GOP voters.

(While old Santorum has stayed away from the jaw-droppingly dumb things he's said in the past, the New Republic has compiled a list of Santorum's greatest hits. If you ever feel that Dan Savage has been too hard on Rick, read it.)

Maybe it's because Top Chef was on last night, but I couldn't help but think about which candidate would be which Top Chef -- until I had a realization:

They're all Hosea Rosenberg.

If you don't remember Hosea, he was the Top Chef that nobody liked much. He wasn't particularly talented or memorable -- except that he cheated on his girlfriend on the show with Leah (who was not only taken, but living with her boyfriend at the time.)

It seemed impossible that Hosea would ever become Top Chef -- until he did.

He mastered the TC phenomenon of never quite doing a bad enough job to get kicked off -- but never doing a good job, either. The guy who should have won (Stefan) did slightly worse in the finale, and Hosea got the top prize pretty much by default. (It felt mind bogglingly frustrating at the time.)

And that pretty much sums up the GOP presidential contenders. They all share at least two of Hosea's three bad qualities. It's just a question of who will out-worse the others.

(1) His loose morals.

Newt Gingrich seems to have that one down pretty pat. But I would also argue that Mitt Romney's willingness to say anything -- anything! -- depending on who's listening to him suggests a certain liberal relationship with the truth.

(2) Nobody likes him.

Willard Mitt Romney -- desperate to be liked. As a result (and for other reasons) despised.

Newton Leroy Gingrich. The most despicable serious candidate in modern times. Every member of Congress who has any memory beyond 2000 knows just how dangerous a guy this is -- as well as nasty, vindictive and unappealing. A small number of tea party supporters think he'll destroy President Obama in a debate (they are mistaken), but that is the extent of his support.

Rick Santorum. So openly homophobic and anti-choice that nominating this guy would be the equivalent of just giving up on any Independent votes.

(3) He's always second worst.

This describes Romney, Santorum and Gingrich. All three of them are a joke. They only become credible when you look at all three of them together. (Ron Paul is a different discussion.) A real statesman -- someone with experience, decent looks, a conservative voting record and the ability to form a complete sentence -- would blow these guys out of the water.

And yet it hasn't happened.

One of these guys will be the GOP nominee (provided we don't get a brokered convention) -- and 2/3rds of the GOP will feel it is the equivalent of giving the prize to Hosea.

They'd be right. All three are Hosea.