Ross Douthat is freaking out over the results of the Iowa straw poll and the entrance of Rick Perry to the point that he is saying that now it’s time for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to enter the race.
In his view, Mitt Romney is a phony, Rick Perry isn’t moderate enough for the general election — “Imagine if the Democratic Party nominated a combination of Al Franken and Nancy Pelosi for the presidency, and you have a sense of the kind of gamble Republicans would be taking with Perry” — and he doesn’t count Michele Bachmann, the winner of the straw poll, other than to call her the spoiler. So the Great White Hope comes down to an obnoxious education-cutting union-busting governor who has repeatedly said over and over that he was not interested in running. The only advantage that Chris Christie would have is that he would seem somewhat normal by comparison.
I guess it is a sign of how far the Republicans have fallen over the cliff to hear the Very Serious People discuss Rick Perry, who spoke in favor of secession and hangs out with neo-Confederate groups, and Michele Bachmann, whose record of outlandish alliances and bizarre takes on history is the stuff of legend, as if they were your mainline candidates for president instead of occupying the same space on the stage as the urine-soaked homeless guy on the corner who screams about the aliens in his shopping cart.
President Obama faces a tough re-election campaign with a sour economy, high unemployment, and a Congress that is more interested in sabotaging the country for their own re-election purposes than actually getting anything done. But if the GOP nomination process proceeds the way it did this past weekend, at least they’re cutting him a break on who to run against.