Ames Straw Poll: Who’s the most conservative of them all?

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We are just a mere fifteen months away from the 2012 elections and the answer to the question of whether or not Barack Obama will be a one term president. With the conclusion of the Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa this weekend and the Fox News Debate that preceded it, we still have no idea who Obama will be up against but we do have a good notion of what type of person he or she is likely to be.

It appears, to nobody’s surprise, that a Republican President in 2012 regardless of which candidate wins, would still be placing the rich and privileged above the poor.  When asked by Byron York at the Fox News Debate whether the eight candidates would oppose a budget deal that contained ten dollars of spending cuts for every dollar of revenue increases, every candidate agreed to oppose. No matter how bad the economy or the debt gets, the rich won’t have to pay a cent.

The results of the Ames Straw Poll a couple days later came as no real surprise either, with the victory and top choice for the GOP  nomination going to Tea Party and evangelical darling Michele Bachmann. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty  came in a disappointing third and dropped out of the race soon after. The biggest surprise was the second place finish of libertarian Texas Rep. Ron Paul who has virtually no chance of winning the nomination because of some of his liberal foreign and social policies.

Michele Bachmann

The results of the poll were overshadowed slightly because of Rick Perry’s decision to throw his cowboy hat in the ring. Perry, who succeeded George W. Bush, has won three straight terms as the Governor of Texas; his evangelical Christian conservative background and success in Texas make him an instant Republican front runner.

So, with Perry in and Pawlenty out, the playing field remains at eight with virtually nothing dividing them except Ron Paul’s liberal views and Mitt Romney’s ability to win in a liberal state. An article written by Howard Fineman, Senior Political Editor of the Huffington Post, summed it up beautifully in an article the other day saying all eight candidates seem to believe, or at least dare not say, that they DON’T believe in a new Ten Commandments:

  1. Thou Shalt Not Raise ANY Taxes
  2. Thou Shalt Pass a Constitutional Amendment to Make Abortion Illegal
  3. Thou Shalt Pass a Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage as the Union of a Man and a Woman
  4. Thou Shalt Repeal “ObamaCare,” AKA the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  5. Thou Shalt Repeal The Dodd-Frank Banking Regulation Act
  6. Thou Shalt Pass a Constitutional Amendment to Balance the Federal Budget
  7. Thou Shalt Only Give Military Support to “Our Friends”
  8. Thou Shalt Limit the Power of — If Not Entirely Abolish — the EPA
  9. Thou Shalt Drill, Mine and Frak to the Widest Extent Possible
  10. Thou Shalt Take the Name of President Obama in Vain

This list of ten conservative ideological views leaves little room for a candidate to stray further to the right. In fact, if anyone in this lot of conservative republicans wins the nomination and runs against Obama on this type of platform, they would get slaughtered. Americans on average tend to be more in the center of the political spectrum and yet the race for the nomination seems to be a contest to see who is the most conservative. It might work in the primaries, but it will surely backfire once the race for White House takes shape.

Like all elections these days, the winner of the upcoming primaries will win on character more than content, name more than substance, and whoever can demonize Obama the most. With this criterion it’s no surprise to see Michele Bachmann win the first major test, but it’s still very early in an election process that is expected to see political donations rise above three billion dollarsthat’s right, three thousand million. Who needs character or content when you have money? Let the bidding begin!

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