“Your country…does not need you – any of you!”

Beautifully coiffured, impeccably dressed, their smiles displaying the very best of 21st century orthodontistry, and lined up like tailors’ dummies for the latest TV debate, the candidates for the Republican Party presidential nomination were a sight to behold.

Is this bunch the best the Republican party can dredge up? These are potential leaders of the free world for heaven’s sake. Of course, maybe John Doe in Desmoins, Iowa was impressed by their good words, who knows? But to those looking in from the outside, the whole show was cringingly awful, from Rick Perry’s ‘brain lapse’ (he has a brain?) to their appalling grasp of world politics. Here are some of their comments about the Arab Spring:

First, Michele Bachmann, the God fearing, totally unfathomable darling of the Tea Party told supporters, “You want to know why we have Arab Spring? Barack Obama has laid the table for the Arab Spring by demonstrating weakness from the United States of America.” ‘We have the Arab Spring’…what is she talking about? Add totally incomprehensible dimwit to the list.

Next up, Newt (Newton, Leroy) Gingrich, Baptist, three times married, former Speaker of the House, pronounced the Arab Spring to be “the result of the Obama foreign policy’s grotesque failure”. Gingrich went so far as to call it an “anti-Christian spring”, apparently believing that longstanding authoritarian rule was the only thing protecting religious minorities in the Arab world from unbridled persecution. Ah, so that’s what the Arab Spring is all about – or perhaps the message he would like to get across to John Doe in Desmoins, Iowa. The whole thing is anti-Christian. The Bible belt will lap that up, Newt!

And then Mitt Romney, the leading Republican presidential contender, complained, “we’re facing an Arab Spring which is out of control in some respects because the president was not as strong as he needed to be in encouraging our friends to move toward representative forms of government”. Actually Mitt, that was Obama’s first reaction, but he soon realised he was on to a loser, way behind the curve – which is where you appear to be. By ‘our friends’, presumably he means Mubarak et al? He actually believes that they could have been encouraged to move towards more representative government? C’mon Mitt – not in a million years! Mitt clearly lives on another planet and gets his world briefing from Fox News.

Last but not least of those who dared to make any comment on foreign policy, Texas governor Rick Perry, he of the brain lapse. He labelled the administration’s policy “naïve, arrogant, misguided, and dangerous”. Perry summed up his point by emphatically saying, “the Obama administration has appeased the Arab street at the expense of our national security”. Appeased the Arab street, what could he mean? The poor, oppressed majority in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain and Syria by any chance? What threat could they possibly be to America’s national security? Oh dear!

Churchill once said that the Americans usually get it right – once they have exhausted all the alternatives. If one of this crowd gets to be President, it would seem doubtful that any one of them would ever get beyond exhausting alternatives.

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