A funny thing about this Republican primary season is that you never hear the past President mentioned. The GOP field seems to steer clear of George W. Bush as though he was some married gay couple. What's this say about the GOP's track record of picking presidential candidates?
It goes beyond that. In the past 32 years we have had 20 years of a Republican president and 12 of a Democratic one. Democrats have no problem mentioning Bill Clinton, yet Republicans ever only want to mention the first eight years of their 20, which would be Ronald Reagan and when they do that they only seem to remember the second term of Ronald Reagan, ignoring the first when the Gipper did things like raise taxes. So out of 20 years of occupying the White House, the right only wants to remember 20% of their years.
This really comes as no shock. Since President Obama assumed office the right has been on a covert mission to wipe the collective American memory banks of the Dubya presidency. President Bush oversaw the largest economic collapse since the Great Depression, yet the right continues to try and insist that it was all President Obama's doing. We have even seen one Republican candidate, Michele Bachmann, go as far as to try and make us believe that Barack Obama was President in 2003 and ordered the invasion of Iraq.
But what does all this say about the Republican Party's track record of picking winners? Now that primary season has officially started, it's something really interesting to consider. The right is tasked with choosing the "not him" candidate right now and the him I'm talking about isn't President Obama, but rather other GOP candidates. "I'm not voting for Newt, I'm voting against Romney" or "I'm not voting for Romney, I'm voting against Ron Paul". It's really an interesting thing that is going on and one that speaks ill of a political system where one major party can't really choose a winner, but rather an alternative to "that guy".
I like making predictions, so here's one. Should the eventual Republican nominee go on to beat President Obama then we are certain to see more lost years of Republican presidencies. When they leave office in 2016 or 2020 the right will reboot the mind erasing machine and try to wipe the memories of President Romney or whoever it might be because one thing is for certain - the Republican field is a field of panderers.
What does that mean? Well there's only one thing standing in the way of President Obama going onto a second term as POTUS and it's not the right, but rather the left. The left needs to put aside their differences and get behind the man because no matter how much you may disagree with him, I think there is one thing we can all agree on - he is much better than a President Romney, Gingrich or Santorum. Focus on putting the man back in the White House and then focus on getting him to make needed changes to improve his legacy.
The second term is the most important in a presidency, so 2013-2016 could become the years that President Obama actually does make real change. Then the left can sleep at night knowing at least we put a President in office that we believe in and not one that amounts to "he isn't the other guy".