Pizza, Perry and a whole lot of nothing

Rob Burkett / Washburn Review

Halloween is just around the corner, and the costume contest is already underway.

For the last few weeks, the Republican party has been participating in the tradition that usually takes place every time there is presidential election approaching with no sitting president.

In what can only be referred to as a bunch of clowns arguing over things that range from the relevant to the absurd, the field has dressed up and gone to debate season.

That’s right folks, its time for the least sexiest mud wrestling contest on earth.

With such distinguished members of the conservative spectrum of politics, like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, throwing dirt over the issue of illegal immigration, what more could you ask for?

Perry, as many will remember, is the governor of Texas, a state that has, according to the San Antonio Express-News, an estimated 1.7 million illegal immigrants currently residing within its borders.

So, of course, with this kind of track record, Romney decided to question Perry’s record on the issue of immigration and border security.

Perry has historically been a moderate on the issue of illegal immigrants. He famously supported a Texas bill that extended in-state tuition prices to children of illegal immigrants

Perry has also referred to the building of a wall across the southern border of the country as “idiocy.”

Perry’s comeback to all of this? Instead of pivoting to what he thinks is a way to fix the issue, he pointed to an incident reported in2006byThe Boston Globe.

In that article, it was found that Romney, while serving as governor of Massachusetts, employed a lawn care service that turned out to have just one of its four employees able to work legally in the country.

Almost a full year after the article broke, Romney finally fired the company.

Romney claims to have never inquired about the legal status of the employees, that really is besides the point.

The two candidates that many believe will be the leading choices in the Republican party decided to play the “any dirt you can throw, I can throw better” defense.

I am not so naive to believe that the process of weeding out the fringe candidates and figuring out who these candidates really are won’t come without some contentious discussion. That said, can we please stick to the script and talk about something that might actually matter?

While he will never be seriously considered for president, at least former-Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, has a platform which he articulates well, even if it’s just a slightly updated regurgitation of his original “Contract With America.”

Gingrich’s only fault is that he is too smart for his own good. While Perry and Romney try to outdo each other in the contest of who can be more relatable to the average voter, Gingrich is doing what he does best, attempting to show how smart and over qualified he is to be president.

While this is probably true, it won’t win him too many points in a popularity contest. As some like to say, “no one likes the know-it-all.”

Then we come to the candidate who has been a tale of two minds.

Herman Cain, former head of Godfather’s Pizza, has been questioned on a variety of issues. Apparently, along with a 9-9-9 plan, which, it turns out, is a 9-0-9 plan, Cain is following the “why answer it right the first time when I can look stupid?” playbook.

The 9-9-9 plan, for those who don’t know, is Cain’s economic plan, which outlines a 9 percent sales tax, 9 percent federal income tax and 9 percent corporate tax.

While this sounds good, what Cain failed to mention is that if someone lives at or below the poverty line, under his plan, a person wouldn’t have to pay any federal income tax. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it might have been good to mention at the start.

Cain’s economic plan isn’t the only house of horrors that has led him up to this point.

On the issue of abortion, Cain claimed originally that he was opposed to abortion under any circumstances. After making such a strong statement that surely engendered love from the conservative base of the Republican party, Cain then turned around and during an interview on CNN’s “Piers Morgan,” claimed that “It gets down to the family. And whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn’t have to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue.”

So, on the one hand, he is hardcore pro-life, and on the other, he is intimating a pro-choice stance? Perhaps he should clarify his position.

So, these are the candidates for the nomination for president from the republican party. As Halloween approaches, I’m not sure I know what’s more frightening, the sugar shock from all that candy out there or the lack of intelligence, character and integrity on display. So to all you voters out there, “Trick-or-Treat!”