In which I explain why the GOP field sucks even more than usual
Salon asks, "This is really the best the GOP can do?". The answer to that is a resounding no. They have a number of people who would be better candidates than Rick Perry or Michelle Backman or Herman Cain. They just aren't running this year. There's only one real candidate in the GOP primary and that's Romney. To the extent anyone else has a shot it's only because Romney is weak with the GOP base.
The reason there's only one real candidate in the race is because Obama is sucking up all the money. It's 1991, only instead of having an incredibly popular war president with a 90% approval rate that causes all the heavy D hitters to sit out, you have a guy who has so sucked up to corporate interests and who has been so effective a corporate tool, that he's likely to raise a billion dollars and so all the R heavy hitters are sitting out. Why take that on when you can wait four years for the big money to swing back your way?
So Romney is basically Bill Clinton. A guy who would have little to no chance at winning the nomination if it weren't for the fact so many of the other "real" candidates were sitting out. But because they are sitting out, he's got a chance at the nomination and because the economy sucks, he has a decent shot at winning the presidency, which he will probably never have again.
It also tells us what we can expect from a second Obama administration. His re-election is being bought and paid for by his real constituents, corporate America, especially Wall Street. They are the reason why he's not facing a tougher challenger in a year in which the economy is going to suck (mostly because he chose to service his donors for the first three years). And if Romney should happen to pull an upset, then he'll still service corporate America because he'll need them in 2016.
All of which is to say that when "progressives" celebrate how weak the GOP field is and how insane they are, what they're really celebrating - even if they won't admit it - is that Obama is big money's choice in 2012 (just as he was in 2008). Of course, no one really wants to talk about that for very long. Better to pretend that Herman Cain may someday become President and so let's talk about the ridiculous tax policy he's proposed as if it's anything other than a distraction.