Republicans and Conservatives are engaging in a bit of a rolling freak out; yea, me too from time to time. It’s not so much about the Republican candidates as it is about unseating the President. Republicans are passionate about the direction the country is heading and retain an abject fear of what another four years of this administration would accomplish. Another four years could cement our path to a place where the voting block of government funded Americans passes 50%. Another four years, short of the Supremes saying ‘no’ to Obamacare, will result in automatic vetoes directed at any attempt to dismantle health care legislation. This legislation is the singular critical threshold to government overreach and points of control that may never be turned back. A majority of Americans continually voting for more ‘stuff’ ends the very idea of a Constitutional Republic and creates, in the best case, a quasi Socialist system.
The electoral history is fairly clear, Republican moderates have lost more often than they’ve won: McCain, Dole, Bush 41’s 2nd term. More Conservative candidates have tended to win: Reagan, Bush 43; on that basis, there is an argument to be made for the ‘non Mitt’ but that argument will be mute shortly. The strongest potential ‘non Mitts’ have not entered the race: Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, John Thune. What remains is a reality; ‘it is what it is’! What it is, is, the overwhelming likelihood that Mitt Romney is the nominee.
Newt may do well in upcoming Southern primaries, he has not done well post South Carolina; third or fourth place. Rick Santorum does not have the backing to impact the long haul. Gingrich and Santorum can extend the process but they can’t win absent a complete Romney collapse which is, highly unlikely given the six years of developing an organization. Ron Paul is on a mission; that mission is has little to do with winning the nomination. Two of the three contenders suffer from ego overwhelming their supposed commitment to defeating the President. Newt speaks often of defeating the President, but he will not be the guy accepting the nomination. Newt is supposed to be about vision but it’s looking more like he’s about ego and ‘getting even’ with Romney. It requires a suspension of both mathmatics and logic to visualize a path to the nomination; the numbers just don’t work in the context of what Rick and Newt have accomplished so far.
Mitt faces a conundrum as well; to expedite the process he needs Gingrich and Santorum to continue to split the Conservative vote; either one getting out hurts him, however, both staying in does not necessarily help him in terms of public perception. He needs the competition to sharpen his message and delivery but the competition needs to knock him down, peg by peg.
Romney needs to sharpen his message, he’s been inconsistent. His speech after the New Hampshire primary was brilliant. Where did it go, where is inspirational speech V.2? Where is the sense of vision, and the ability to communicate it? You’re often left with the sense that it’s there, just not on consistent display. Mitt, fire a few consultants and try being you! You’re highly competent, be that, sell that!
The choices are clear; are we better served with the eventual nominee beginning the campaign against the President in April or July? Is a contested convention a good idea in the big picture? Should Conservatives and Independents be comparing Romney to Newt and Santorum or to the President? Mitt has had a toe dipped in the middle of the political spectrum since day one. It’s a smart long term strategy. Conservatives need to stop freaking out and accept both the likely reality and how damaging they could be to their own goal of defeating the President.
I’m not crazy about this reality either, but Is Ready, Shoot, Aim the way to go?