God knows they should. Because of there was ever a time for the Republican nominating electorate to finally get serious about 2016, it's right now.
I've made no secret of my abject contempt for the fiction of the "citizen-politician" and the mentally deranged idea that the presidency of the United States is an entry-level job that any Joe Jackoff on the street not only CAN be thrown into and do a better job than the "professional politicians," but SHOULD be. I'll say it again, and again, and again until Republican primary voters finally "get it": If you are diagnosed as needing open heart surgery to save your life, you're not going to call up the nearest Les Schwab and ask for the mechanic who is "really good with a wrench"; you're going to want the best heart surgeon you can find who's performed this procedure a thousand times with a 100% total success rate. If you've been falsely charged with first degree murder and are facing the death penalty if convicted, you're not going to look up Joe Pesci's character in My Cousin Vinny or Steve Dallas from the old Bloom County comic strip or that wino passed out on the nearest park bench; you're going to call O.J. Simpson's legal team and get the trial relocated to the ethnic equivalent of downtown L.A. Well, here's a newsflash, folks: the American presidency is a much more important job than heart surgeon or defense counsel, because neither of the latter two involve nuclear launch codes and the power to get the entire country laid waste and millions of people wiped out.
But sure, let's turn all of that over to a man whose foreign policy qualification is his mental magic eight-ball and a gentleman who thinks the ChiComms are about to take Damascus.
I wish I could be as confident that that hideous fate will be averted as the GOP "establishment" is:
The Paris attacks will prove the national security inexperience of Donald Trump and Ben Carson — and the issue will be crucial to their downfall, establishment Republicans say.
"The losers are going to be Donald Trump and Ben Carson on national security," Katon Dawson, the former chairman of the South Carolina GOP, told Politico. "As the Republican base sobers up, they are the two, if this story lasts a long time, it's going to hurt."
IF the Republican base sobers up. And that's one great big honking "if".
"The severity of the attacks in Paris crystallize in people's minds the importance of having somebody in the commander-in-chief spot who has made the kinds of decisions, gone through the kind of decision-making process, that an experienced leader has," Fred Malek, who has advised many Republican presidents, told Politico.
No, Fred, I don't think the attacks in Paris will crystallize anything - because they were in Paris. They happened overseas, someplace else - not here. For those of you who are remember your American history, recall how intractably ingrained isolationism was in this country in the 1920s and 1930s, all the way up to December 7th, 1941. If the Japanese had done everything else they did on that "day of infamy" - EVERYTHING, including the attack on the Philippines - even that wouldn't have put so much as a dent in that "Fortress America" mindset, and the U.S. would have remained stubbornly and suicidally neutral. It took the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, on Hawaii, on American territory, killing over 2.500 Americans in the process, to finally shock - or "crystallize," if you prefer - the American people into the needed paradigm shift for national survival.
Today is really no different. Leave aside for now (and my next post) what Barack Obama is saying and doing vis-a-vie the Paris attacks (although the very fact that he's a two-term president does telegraph where I'm going with this); polling indicates that Americans want a stronger fight against the Islamic State at the same time that they are still adamantly against redeploying the significant U.S. ground forces (with or without a NATO fig leaf) that will be necessary to mount it. Translation: Americans are still diffident at best about the looming national security threats to our country; they're still not serious. And that includes Republican voters. How on Earth else (aside from the fact that this was a Reuters/Ipsos survey, and they're even farther up The Donald's ass than Newsmax is) could this poll show that voters consider the most qualified candidates on each side to deal with terrorism to be Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (i.e. the Bonnie & Clyde of American politics)?
I will never forget the shocked, stunned looks on the faces of New Yorkers on 9/11/01 as the World Trade Center towers were burning and collapsing. You know why? Because they were among the same people who voted for the policies that led to those attacks. I will also never forget the newspaper front page the next day that showed the flaming, smoking towers and Pentagon under the gigantic, all-caps headline, "BASTARDS!!!!!". You know why? It was the San Francisco Chronicle. What was the lesson? It happened here. Which meant it could happen here again. Under no other conceivable circumstances would there have been public support for invading Afghanistan (including the infamous Libbygate leaker Richard Armitrage threatening Pakistan with implied nuclear attack if they didn't let us overfly their territory to reach Taliban/al Qaeda targets) and eventually, Iraq.
But that was fourteen years ago. The public focus started evaporating within six months, and was long gone by the time of the disastrous election of Barack Obama seven years later. And now that rot has completely infused and infected the Republican Party as well, which is why two complete neophytes and greenhorns - one dignified, one a complete buffoon - sit atop the GOP primary polls.
I want to believe that even the two wet-behind-the-ears first term senators that are the only other even second-tier candidates in the GOP race can somehow supplant them, but how likely is that? I'll answer that question in a way that none of us, least of all I, want to hear, but it's the brutal truth: It will take at least a Paris-magnitude attack right here in the good ol' U.S. of A. to finally "crystallize" that needle of public sanity back in the right direction. Probably another equivalent 9/11. This is not rooting for such a horrific event; it is a prediction of it.
When all of you woke up on that mid-September Tuesday to see airliners plunging into skyscrapers, would you have been more or less afraid, more or less confident, to know that instead of an experienced political executive and leader in the Oval Office, we had Al Czervik....
....or an American national security apparatus that was, essentially, already decapitated?
Hell, maybe the Paris attacks will give Chris Christie that long-awaited boost he's been looking for. Heaven knows with the jihadist savages at the proverbial gates, I'd feel safer with him calling the shots.
UPDATE: Carson and Rubio have passed Trump in Colorado, BTW. So the news isn't all bad.