Seems to me that Tim Pawlenty has effectively put himself out of the running as a viable candidate for the Republican nomination for President:
Likely Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty won’t be joining mock candidate Donald Trump in his efforts to put birthers back on the political front burner: “I, for one, do not believe we should be raising that issue,” Pawlenty said Tuesday morning on MSNBC’sMorning Joe. “I think President Obama was born in the United States.”
Now, there are only three reasons that a Republican candidate would make a statement like that. He or she could believe they would not be overheard, he or she could be under oath, or he or she could believe that one can win the Republican nomination by being the sole candidate seeking to appeal to the vanishing slice of Republicans who have not taken leave of their senses.
The first two don’t seem to apply, which leaves the last possibility, but given the fact that Pawlenty has been sucking up big time to the teabaggers, that seems unlikely too, so we must seek for a fourth solution, which would be that Pawlenty’s not very smart. I, of course, exclude the possibility that he is just being honest, because honesty is a quality not seen in a Republican for decades, and scarcely seen in a Democrat. Pawlenty should realize that the safe response to questions about Obama’s birth is as follows: “I believe that there have been serious questions raised, and I think the President should answer them”. Always understanding, of course, that no answer could ever be sufficient, even if Obama unearthed live coverage of his birth by a Hawaiian television station. This response gives comfort to the frothing millions while preserving deniability should the candidate actually get the nomination, at which time, of course, they will want to work their way back toward an appearance of rationality.
To add to his woes, Pawlenty has yet another grievous strike against him, and I’m not talking about the fact that he induces a catatonic state in the listener. While he was governor of Minnesota, he encouraged the banks in his state to offer Sharia compliant financial instruments. Since Muslims, like early Christians (who have, as we all know, cast off the prohibition) are not allowed to pay interest on loans, it is necessary to design Sharia compliant financial instruments that allow them, for instance, to buy a house. These “instruments” are, in fact, simply devices in which the lender charges the equivalent of interest, but the arrangement is defined in such a way that it is not called interest. This is a form of hypocrisy practiced by all religions, and it is harmless. Harmless, and probably good for the banks, which can bury a higher interest rate in a vehicle like that than in a normal loan, where they have to disclose the rate. But, as every Republican primary voter knows, Sharia law is a bogey man second only to the one that currently inhabits the White House.
So, Pawlenty is toast. The nomination will be going to one of the other improbable candidates.
This, by the way, will be the first in a series of post in which I prove conclusively that not a single of the declared or semi-declared candidates has any chance of getting the nomination. Yet, as we know, one of them will, so I will only be “wrong” about one of them, but even then, only in a very limited sense, as the survivor of the “I’m crazier than you” competition will end up being the biggest loser of them all. For there is one fact of political life that has been constant for lo these many years: an also ran at the convention lives on in the world of politics; a losing presidential candidate is immediately relegated to the role of laughingstock, except, perhaps, in the strange case of John McCain, who lives on, zombie-like. But the 2012 Republican candidate will be a historical first: the victim of a drubbing at the hands of a man who has ineffectually presided over a major economic downturn, and is therefore unlikely to escape what will be, in his or her case, a much deserved fate.