The Republicans have a problem. Oh, not THAT one. No, I mean the one about having too many candidates for president. I suppose it’s a good sort of problem to have, if only any of the potential candidates actually had the stuff to be elected president. But for now the problem is that the party is trying to figure out how to hold televised debates with so many people on stage.
You may recall that in 2012 there were as many as nine Republican wannabes on stage at the same time. That included Rick Santorum and Rick Perry, two of the least likely candidates-to-succeed, along with Herman Cain and Michele Bachman, a pair of the daffiest candidates ever to show up. Mitt Romney eventually won, of course, and we know how that turned out in the general election. Though we don;t know how large a role the fact that Mitt once drove to Canada with the family dog strapped to the top of the car might have played in his defeat.
Oh well, onward and upward. And speaking of upward, there may be nearly 20 Republican candidates this year, if you call Donald Trump a potential candidate (and does his hair count as a separate candidate)? The field is filled with lightweights, wackos and never-will-bes. Can you imagine a debate in which you have to listen to Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Rich Santorum, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, and … well, you name ‘em?
Personally I think it would be hilarious. And since Fox News is the major media sponsor, the options become even funnier. Let’s have Sean Hannity moderate a debate with all of those people. The possibilities are endless and endlessly appealing in a bizarre kind of way.
And yet — the truth is that it’s really very disappointing. There’s not a single Republican candidate on the horizon who would seem to have the brains, the background and the intellectual and emotional honesty to be a legitimate candidate for President of the United States. Sad. And especially so when you think about the candidates — or candidate — on the other side. I’m not ready to crown Hillary; I’m not yet convinced she’s the best option for our country. And I don’t like yielding to her by Republican default.
So yeah, the GOP has a problem. But it goes a whole lot deeper than finding space on stage for its most prominent members.