Good question--who is the scariest?

The Carpetbagger wants to know who we think (and by we, they mean all of humanity of course) the scariest Republican candidate for the Presidency is. They limit the discussion to the current top tier of candidates, on the assumption that smeone like Tom Tancredo would win in a walk otherwise (completely justified--though I'd say Ron Paul personally). So here's the choices they provide, along with the descriptions:

* Rudy Giuliani — Matt Taibbi recently made the case that the former NYC mayor is actually “worse than Bush.” Giuliani is autocratic, thin-skinned, and self-absorbed. He’s inexperienced, ignorant about policy specifics, and his only selling point (performance on 9/11) doesn’t stand up well to scrutiny. His campaign is built around demagoguery — driven solely by fear.

* John McCain — A shadow of his former self, the senator appears to be a man who’ll do anything to win. McCain is combative and intolerant of dissent. He defends the indefensible and lashes out angrily at anyone who dares to disagree with him. He’s become dishonest, condescending, and egotistical, while pandering shamelessly to some of the worst elements in Republican politics.

* Mitt Romney — The man appears to have no real convictions at all. On most of the major political issues of the day, Romney believed the exact opposite fairly recently, and has struggled to explain his metamorphosis from moderate governor to far-right candidate.

* Fred Thompson — The actor/lobbyist/senator doesn’t seem to have any real rationale for seeking the presidency, other than the belief he might win. Thompson is at least as phony as Romney — the red truck story should be humiliating to him — and developed a Bush-like reputation for being lazy and incurious. He considers moving to northern Virginia “getting out of Washington” and his most valuable skill seems to be his ability to pretend to be someone else.


They all share one major disqualifying trait in my book and surprisingly, it's not party affiliation. It's a lack of intellectual curiosity. They seem to run the range between absolutely certain of their own rightness (Giuliani, McCain) to completely incurious (Thompson, Romney) and if the last 6 years has taught us anything, it's that we don't want an intellectually incurious person in the White House. Bill Clinton had many disappointing traits--his pro-corporation mindset was near the top for me--but no one could ever accuse him of being incurious.

So that said, who's the scariest of the bunch? Unfortunately for me, this question is made more difficult by the fact that none of them raised their hands at the evolution question. I'm going to go with Giuliani here, simply because he seems to be the most petty of the bunch. He's a very "my way or fuck you" kind of administrator, and can't bear to have someone else take the spotlight. His pettiness was in full bloom during the whole Brooklyn Museum fiasco, and Matt Taibbi hits a lot of the other high points in this piece for Rolling Stone.

The other three are plenty scary--McCain is looking more and more like Reagan circa 1986, just before he completely lost it, and Romney and Thompson are more plastinated than the displays at Body Worlds. They're all worrisome because of the institutional baggage they carry with them--more judges chosen by the Federalist Society, more cronies in charge of federal agencies, etc.--but Giuliani seems to me to be the type most likely to suspend elections or throw brown-skinned people and their allies into "Happy Camps" sponsored by Snacky Smores. Who's your scariest?

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