Apparently, there is a "new normal" when it comes to presidential politics.
It seems that the campaign is now two-and-a-half to three years. I don't know if most people manage to tune it out until the end or if they are fatigued by the end.
The only good thing about this interminable process I can think of is we get to see how the candidates react to crisis.
Every candidate for office is human. That means that every candidate has problems.
Fortunately, the American system of governance was set up in the Constitution so that as long as we adhere to the Constitution, we do not need to have saints or Boy Scouts for politicians. Saints and Boy Scouts are needed only when the government has massive power and massive control; a benevolent dictatorship.
This year's primary process is unusual. This time, we get to see the candidates over and over and over and over again as their weaknesses, sins, character flaws, and failings are exposed. Each one of these create a political crisis for the candidate. We get to evaluate how they handle it.
Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann were subjected to comparatively minor scandals, adultery and homosexual issues, and both flamed out.
Newt Gingrich cheated on at least two wives and is in his third marriage. This aspect of his life is a bit messier than even the description suggests. He also has a history of not "playing well with others," and egotism.
Newt insists he is older and a changed person. He has rediscovered God and sought forgiveness. Forgiveness, incidentally, removes impediments to Heaven, not the White House. So far, he has put his skeletons on full display and continued to press forward.
Mitt Romney has been hit with issues involving his founding venture capital firm Bain Capital, requests to reveal his tax returns, investments in the tax haven Cayman Islands, and finally, of simply being rich enough that the presidency would be a huge pay cut for him.
Like Newt's adulteries, this line of attack should have been as obvious as the nose on his face. Yet, when the political crisis comes, Mitt display a tendency to dither first, dodge second, then open up.
Ron Paul was the editor of the "Ron Paul News Letter," which he apparently did not always read. The newsletter published articles that have been construed to be racist and anti-homosexual. He has disavowed these articles and insists that we move on. The media have not yet gotten around to highlight his opinions on drugs and the terrorist attack of Sept. 11.
Ron Paul is a non-interventionist. He is blasted over and over again about his insistence that we get out of the affairs of other nations they will leave us alone. This has been his political crisis. He has been unrepentant and tries to explain his reasoning when given a chance.
Rick Santorum has yet to have the spotlight turned full upon him, yet. I dug deep for you the reader. The only scandals I could find are his disdain for public schools and opposition to homosexuality. Santorum believes that homosexuality is subject to regulation by the states in the same way that states can regulate polygamy, bestiality, child molestation and incest.
Rick Santorum has yet to be put into the crucible on these issues.
Barack Obama has yet to get the proverbial 3 a.m., phone call as far as we know.
However, he has had to deal with Marines tinkling on dead terrorists, Iranian missile silos being built in Venezuela, Iran threatening to close the Straits of Hormuz and threatening to torpedo one of our aircraft carriers, Iran finally admitting to its intent on building a nuclear bomb, not to mention unemployment rates reaching 17 percent (when the numbers are not monkeyed around with).
Obama ignores problems, hides problems, or declares that problems are actually successes. Unfortunately, it seems that when the better choice is to zig, Obama inevitably chooses to zag.
We the voters don't get to create our candidate. We can only choose from among those who are willing to campaign for the office. It is na*ve to believe that there is any perfect candidate. The best part of exposing all of these flaws is seeing how the candidates react to it.
As President, there is a 100-percent chance that something will go wrong. If that was not the case, the office wouldn't be so important.
These political crises give us a chance to measure the true metal of our candidates and hopefully, select the best from among the lot.