Tuesday, September 11, 2012
The GOP: A Thousand Ways to Die (well, two)
A few months back, I wrote about how a Romney victory could be the last presidential win for the GOP, ever. (See Mitt Romney, the Last Republican President?) The thesis was that we are at a crossroads, and that fixes, for say, things like entitlement reform, are politically difficult. Should Mitt turn out to be an incrementalist in the style of a George H.W. Bush, the Tea Party will split from the GOP. End of GOP.
Here's another scenario, perhaps one even more obvious: Romney loses. Conservatives and tea partiers in the GOP will say, that's it, we're done. We held our noses and nominated a moderate, and we couldn't even beat a president with the weakest hand in a century. Look for the rise of the "Constitutional Party."
Mind you, I hold no personal affection for the GOP. They have proved to feckless time and again. But splitting the GOP into two would give the left a clear field, and this would be a disaster felt for generations (and we certainly wouldn't recover in MY lifetime).
So, to avoid any of this, Mitt will need some serious backbone. Does he have it?
A few months ago, I would have said no. Then, the selection of Paul Ryan, to me, signaled that Mitt knows what needs to be done, and he's up for the fight. But lately, the campaign is suddenly not punching very hard, likely hoping a softer image will win over some stray independents. What is this business about liking "some parts" of Obamacare? Holy crap.
To Mitt, I say: no no no no no no NO! Not only does this bode poorly for how you will govern, but it makes it less likely you will have the chance. You must hammer the fraud in the oval office, and you must start adding specificity to your campaign.
If you treat voters like idiots, they will act like idiots. More precisely, they will vote like idiots.