Tag Archives: Pattern Recognition

2016 Republican primary spoilers

I suppose that in this context the word “spoiler” can have multiple significances, so let me be perfectly clear: I mean “Bruce Willis was, himself, a ghost the whole time” type spoilers.

So, for those who don’t want the suspense ruined, sorry. (Okay, not really sorry.) The Republican Party’s nominee for president in 2016 will almost certainly be John Ellis Bush, better known to those who take an interest as “JEB.” Moreover, you can just about bet your life that if the GOP nominee is not Jeb, it will be Rick Perry.

So, now you can safely ignore all of the horse-race speculation of the next 14 months or so—even if you recognize its lack of real substance and were consciously paying attention for the horse-race element only. Because under the surface—a surface which is actually quite transparent anyway—GOP presidential primaries have to be among the most reliably predictable activities in American politics.

You will not hear this from journalists or pundits, of course. In fact I don’t believe you’ll hear it from much of anyone, and you wouldn’t even be hearing it from me except that I’ve decided I just cannot stand the pending absurdity without some entirely futile effort to call it out for the bullshit that it is. Therefore, this once, I shall indulge in political horse-race commentary in order to highlight what is probably the most egregious waste of oxygen in the whole vapid phenomenon, i.e. the fantasy that the Republican presidential primary is ever a “wide-open, competitive and unpredictable free-for-all.”

This was probably true once. It has not been true for getting on two generations now, at least.

Read More →