Is this the beginning of yet another game of Republican Whack-a-Mole, when it comes to the 2016 Republican presidential nominating process? If so, it's beginning to resemble their 2012 Whack-a-Mole fiasco.
The following article in Salon asserts that their most recent 2016 front runner, Chris Christie, has already been supplanted by another...Rand Paul.
You remember the 2012 GOP nomination lunacy, don't you? Just a quick refresher: With Mittch-A-Sketch Romney looking like their most likely nominee about a year and a half out, conservatives and libertarian-leaning Republicans were freaking out that Romney, one of their most milquetoast candidates who actually implemented government-run health insurance in his state while governor, as weak as he was, appeared to be their “strongest” candidate (the word “strongest” here is used very loosely).
And, thus began an ongoing game of Whack-a-Mole, whereby Romney was able to keep whacking down each successive new GOP front runner that seemed to arise on a monthly basis. There was Newton LeRoy Gingrich, riding in on a white horse (it was actually a kid's toy rocking horse painted to look like a white horse), who became the newly designated front runner in polls, because he placated the right enough. Then, when the public became appalled at the prospect of Gingrich being a major party nominee for president, up sprung Michelle Bachmann. Then Rick Perry. Then Herman Cain. Then someone else. And, eventually, Rick Santorum became the last standing “front runner” that Romney needed to defeat in head-to-head primary battles. (We probably left someone out, because there were so many new “front runners,” seemingly a new one on a monthly basis, it's hard to keep track, even in hindsight.)
Well, it appears that Republicans may be engaging in Whack-a-Mole again in 2016, only this time their game appears to be starting even earlier. and this time, instead of Romney doing the "Whack-a-Moling," the candidates could well be in a Whack-a-Mole free-for-all among themselves. It seems to have started already.
Up until recently, Chris Christie appeared to be the front runner for the Republican 2016 presidential nomination, by virtue of the fact that he led all other Republicans in primary and general election polls.
Well, after having undergone a brutal month or two, whereby he has actually fallen slightly behind a couple of others, Salon has declared Rand Paul the Republican Party's new “front runner.” (Of course, the word “front runner” here is also used very loosely, because, according to recent polling even the most popular of Republican candidates can only barely break above a dozen percentage points (showing how fractured the party really is).
Is it just a matter of time before the Republican Party becomes horrified at what the nation sees as their likeliest new Republican nominee? Causing Tea Partiers and main street Republicans to get all panicky again, looking around desperately for some new shining knight on a Potemkin-Village illusion of a white horse to save them?
Who is next? Rick Perry? Again? (Because his implosion didn't sufficiently demonstrate clearly that he was simply not presidential material?) Ted Cruz? Marco Rubio? The Medicare-hating Paul Ryan? Or, will they reach deep down into their bag of tricks to concoct an even scarier notion of a “front runner,” like Scott Walker? Or, looking back to the good old days when their front runner was a two-term senator rejected for reelection by his state...Rick Santorum, spewing...Santorum all over the place? Stay tuned.
It appears that we may just have another game of “Whack-A-Mole” in store for the 2016 Republican presidential primary season. The only difference is that Romney won't be the one doing all of the whacking.