I received an e-mail today from the Republican National Committee.

They wanted my input — mine! — on who their 2016 nominee should be!

Friend,

You are one of a handful of conservatives whom I have selected to take the confidential 2016 Presidential Straw Poll.

The battle for the White House has already begun.

That’s why we must start identifying potential nominees right now to lead the party in the 2016 elections. And we need your input.

I need you to take two minutes and fill out our survey to give us your opinion on the potential 2016 Republican candidates.

[LINK REMOVED]

Thank you,

Sharon Day
RNC Co-Chair

Here was the list of candidates I could choose from:

  • Kelly Ayotte – New Hampshire Senator
  • Haley Barbour – Former Mississippi Governor
  • John Bolton – Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
  • Jeb Bush – Former Florida Governor
  • Herman Cain – Former CEO
  • Ben Carson – Neurosurgeon & Author
  • Chris Christie – New Jersey Governor
  • Ted Cruz – Texas Senator
  • Mitch Daniels – Former Indiana Governor
  • Newt Gingrich – Former House Speaker
  • Nikki Haley – South Carolina Governor
  • Mike Huckabee – Former Arkansas Governor
  • Bobby Jindal – Louisiana Governor
  • John Kasich – Ohio Governor
  • Peter King – New York Congressman
  • Susana Martinez – New Mexico Governor
  • Sarah Palin – Former Alaska Governor
  • Rand Paul – Kentucky Senator
  • Ron Paul – Former Texas Congressman
  • Tim Pawlenty – Former Minnesota Governor
  • Mike Pence – Indiana Governor
  • Rick Perry – Former Texas Governor
  • Rob Portman – Ohio Senator
  • Condoleezza Rice – Former Secretary of State
  • Marco Rubio – Florida Senator
  • Paul Ryan – Wisconsin Congressman
  • Brian Sandoval – Nevada Governor
  • Rick Santorum – Former Pennsylvania Senator
  • Tim Scott – South Carolina Senator
  • John Thune – South Dakota Senator
  • Scott Walker – Wisconsin Governor
  • Allen West – Former Florida Congressman

Plus, there was an option for a single write-in candidate.

There’s not a candidate there I want to vote for. Some of them, like Mitch Daniels, I wish a near-fatal ectopic pregnancy upon.

Then I thought about who I could vote for, depending on circumstance. And three names came to mind:

  • Jeb Bush
  • Mike Huckabee
  • Jon Huntsman

Obviously, Huntsman would be a write-in choice. I think it’s unlikely that he’ll run in 2016, but he is the Republican I could most vote for because he’s the most moderate and realistic. He’s the only possible GOP candidate that would’t send Teddy Roosevelt into a spluttering rage and abject apoplexy. No, I take that back. Huntsman probably would, but TR would see him as the least bad choice.

Huckabee? That’s an odd choice. I’m an atheist, he’s an evangelical Christian who sees the world through that prism. But he’s also a populist in the John Edwards mold, and he is one of the rare Republicans to understand economic inequality and its dangers. I have always thought that Huckabee, because of his economic populist message, is the most dangerous candidate the GOP could field.

Jeb Bush would, I think, be very much a moderate in his father’s mold. He’s trying to reinvent himself as someone who can appeal to the extreme right, though, and that makes me a bit leary of him.

Those, of course, are sane choices.

So, naturally, I didn’t vote for them at all in this wholly unrepresentative online survey. :)

The Republican Party isn’t a moderate and realistic party any more. It’s a party of extremists and zealots. It’s a radical party, not a conservative party. (The conservative party today, frankly, is the Democratic party. There isn’t a liberal party of note in the US today.)

Therefore, I voted for three batshit insane candidates —

  • Ted Cruz
  • Rand Paul
  • Louie Gohmert

I really considered Santorum, but Congress’ Village Idiot (Gohmert, that is) deserved a mention.

TR would punch all three of them in the mouth — and they would deserve it. They have no love of country, no concept of the common good. They are in the pocket of moneyed interests and have no interest in helping their fellow man. They have forgotten what it means to be a Republican. They have abandoned the party of Lincoln. They are radicals, not conservatives. They want to watch the world burn.

I did my duty. I participated in the GOP straw poll to pick 2016’s candidate.

May TR forgive me.

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