Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Republicans acknowledge their disarray for 2012 - Updated

Lets face it, anyone who thinks they know how this Republican primary process is going to end is fooling themselves. The Republican divide is real and its not going away - no matter how flawed all of their candidates are.

What I'm finding interesting these days is listening to conservatives finally wake up to the fact that - well, there's no other way to put this - they've f*cked this thing up. Nowhere is that more evident than in conservative blogger Erik Erickson's post yesterday titled Mitt Romney as the Nominee: Conservatism Dies and Barack Obama Wins. He might be conceding to Romney, but he takes some pretty big shots at him on the way down.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is a man devoid of any principles other than getting himself elected. As much as the American public does not like Barack Obama, they loath a man so fueled with ambition that he will say or do anything to get himself elected. Mitt Romney is that man.

I’ve been reading the 200 pages of single spaced opposition research from the John McCain campaign on Mitt Romney. There is no issue I can find on which Mitt Romney has not taken both sides. He is neither liberal nor conservative. He is simply unprincipled. The man has no core beliefs other than in himself. You want him to be tough? He’ll be tough. You want him to be sensitive? He’ll be sensitive. You want him to be for killing the unborn? He’ll go all in on abortion rights until he wants to run for an office where it is not in his advantage.

Along the way, he’ll drop lots of coin to grease the skids for himself. Mitt Romney is the silly putty of politicians — press on him real hard and he’ll take on whatever image you press into him until the next group starts pressing.

All I can say is "Wow! Silly putty...really? What a perfect analogy."

Last weekend Bill Kristol seemed to finally give up his hunt for the next "savior" candidate and tried to console conservatives that, even though this isn't the hallowed 1980, they can still try to find something positive in this presidential race (if they clap their hands and BELIEVE! LOL)

Today conservative Tony Blankley outlined the reasons he thinks there might be a brokered Republican convention this fall...something that hasn't happened since 1948. Here's one of the most important changes folks need to be aware of that could contribute to that.

...consider also that the GOP changed its winner take all rules. Now, any state that holds a primary or caucus before April 1 must award their delegates on a proportional basis, rather than the winner-take-all method. This means that a front runner with, say, a 38 percent plurality in a six-way split field will get only 38 percent of the delegates instead of 100 percent. This will keep second tier candidates in the hunt and deny the front-runner the steamroller effect that usually delivers a de facto winner in the GOP by February.

From the other side of the conservative spectrum, the other day David Frum laid out the four possible scenarios for the Republicans in 2012 an analyzed the outcome of each one.

Possibility 1: Romney is nominated, Romney is elected.

Possibility 2: Romney is nominated, Romney loses.

Possibility 3: A tea party Republican is nominated and loses.

Possibility 4: A tea party Republican is nominated and wins.

While possibility 1 is Frum's preferred outcome, he acknowledges that its not very likely (Romney can't get above 30% in the polls). And he sees #4 as a catastrophe not only for Republicans, but the country as a whole.

Frum see's #2 as feeding a tea party frenzy in which they blame the establishment for choosing a losing candidate. In that scenario tea partiers gear up for an even more ultra-conservative candidate in 2016.

So in the end, if Frum can't have his preferred outcome, he is rooting for possibility #3 - a tea party candidate wins the nomination and loses in the general. It might finally shut the nutcases up.

[Update: From Infidel753 in the comments, here's a chart from Kevin Drum that breaks down Frum's scenarios.]


Whenever I read political commentators focusing on the trouble President Obama is in when it comes to 2012, part of me wants to laugh. I always wonder if they've taken a look lately at the situation on the Republican side.

I don't say that to promote complacency. We've still got to work our asses off over the next year to ensure victory. But lets not kid ourselves...the Republicans are in one hot mess right now. Its a bed they've made for themselves and I don't have one ounce of pity for them.


  1. Yesterday's election results don't look so hot for them either. An anti-abortion amendment lost 58%-42% in Mississippi?

    Kevin Drum did an amusing summary of the four scenarios Frum talks about.

    To see how feeble the teabagger favorties really are, you need only try to picture Perry or Cain in a debate with Obama. The mind reels. Romney would do better, but Erickson's screed exemplifies the problems he'd have keeping the nutbar vote -- and that's without even considering the Mormon factor.

  2. Infidel - yes, the election results from last night were so telling!

    My biggest reaction is that they renewed some of the faith I'd lost in American voters.

    Thanks for that link to Drum's chart. I think I'll add it to the post.

  3. That's important information about proportional delegates, thanks for flagging it for our attention. It changes the timeline in an important way. Off to see how that impacts my expectations as to how 2012 plays out...

  4. Poor ole Erik Erikson (son, there are shirts that fit thick necks. Invest in one) sad about Rommney but still has to lie about Obama. Sorry, ginger ass, but we do like our president.

  5. I simply cannot imagine any GOP candidate running actually winning. I cannot envision it. It would not seem like America to me.