We're getting scads of political calls these days. We just don't pick up the phone anymore if it's a Des Moines area code. Three times we've had messages on our machine from Mitt Romney, at least one of which we suspect may have been the actual man and not a recording. There's a Republican debate in Sioux City next week that I'm going to try to get to. Living in Iowa is kind of cool when you're a minor political junkie like me.
But I'm frustrated about how the Republican field is shaping up. Right now it looks like Romney or Gingerich (unless someone else makes some dramatic surge in the next couple months, which I suppose is not out of the question). And I don't care for either choice. Romney's the safe one, I guess. He's pretty much Steady Eddie; not likely to get any surprises out of him in the coming year. On the other hand, he's not likely to stir up much passion, either, unfortunately.
I kind of liked Gingerich from the first debate, and more with each subsequent one, but I know why. He's an intellectual. He speaks my language. Unfortunately, he's got a reputation for being undisciplined in a multitude of ways, and that makes him unreliable in a multitude of ways. I think he can rally the base, but I don't think he can unite the country or Congress to get anything done. And I don't think he can beat Obama.
And beating Obama is the important thing. I've been put in a political position here that I really don't like -- I'm going into this election (so far) not pulling for a particular person, but against someone. I am an almost-anyone-but-Obama person . . . and I don't like that.
It's not that I don't like the man. He seems like a fine person. He's decent and respectable. He's got an impressive list of accomplishments, especially considering where he came from. I think he's very sincere in wanting to do what he thinks is best for the country. I just disagree with him STRONGLY about what is best for the country.
I'm very, very worried about the road he has started us down. And if re-elected, he will see that as a mandate to continue in the same vein. Eight years of this direction will be very, very difficult to turn around.
I used to avoid talking about politics in this blog, but I may be doing it a lot more in the coming year. It's all just too troubling to me to let alone.