Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Why the Republican establishment is terrified

If you don't think the Republican establishment is terrified of what might happen in this primary process, then I'd suggest you read what Bill Kristol wrote today. He wants the people of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida to know the gravity of the choice in front of them. In his call for study and rationality, he seems to be practically begging them not to vote for "teh crazy" who feed them a diet of red meat. And he ends the article by turning away from voters but continues to beg for some other leader to step into the race and save them from the current fiasco of choices.

Those who have stood aside—and who now may have concluded, as they may not have when they announced their original decision, that the current field is lacking—will surely hear the words of Thomas Paine echoing down the centuries: “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” Now is not a time for leaders to engage in clever calculations of the odds of success, or to succumb to concerns about how they will look if they enter the fray and fall short. Now is a time to come to the aid of our country.

A mere week away from the Iowa caucuses, this is embarrassing...for Republicans, for the current candidates and especially for Mitt Romney.

But what Kristol won't tell you is why - in addition to being worried about "teh crazy" candidates - the Republican establishment is even worried about a Romney nomination. They'll leave that task to someone like John Hawkins who lays out "7 Reasons Why Mitt Romney's Electability is a Myth." In summary:

1. People just don't like Mitt Romney
2. He's a proven political loser
3. He'll run weak in the Southern states
4. All of Mitt's primary advantages disappear in a general election
5. Bain Capital
6. The Mormon Factor
7. He's a flip-flopper

For a conservative commenting on their "electable" candidate, the list and his rationale for all but #4 are compelling.

So no matter whether they're willing to say it outright as Hawkins has done or via calls for alternatives as Kristol did today, I can assure you...the Republican establishment is terrified about how this election is unfolding at this point.

The good news for us is that - as I said yesterday - they continue to misdiagnose the problem as being all about the wrong leader. The truth is that they set the stage for all of this 3 years ago when they adopted the short-term strategy of catering to the ideological extremists in their Party. That gave them a victory in the 2010 midterms but is turning out to be a near-fatal decision in the long term.


  1. Good catch on the Bill Kristol article. Wow. That was amazingly desperate.

  2. Thanks MP.

    Its interesting that they're not even trying to hide their desperation any more. Its.that.bad.

  3. And if someone like Chris Christy or Jeb Bush steps in, what do you think will happen?

  4. mlf - I really doubt either one of them will. I imagine both of them knew going in that these rabid zealots in the Republican base would tear them to shreds for being too accommodationist.

    To me its easy to understand why the only establishment R who was willing to get in the race is the one who will say anything to get elected. The rest of them know that the minute they open their somewhat reasonable mouths - they'd go the way of Huntsman.

  5. Indeed, the stage-setting for the stage-setting was probably as far back as the late 1970s when the Christian Right first emerged as a real political force, and the Republican party welcomed it aboard. That helped Reagan to win, but then the new force got more and more extreme and more and more powerful within the party until it became Teh Crazy as we see it today. The party is like an animal crippled by a tumor that has grown bigger than its whole normal body mass, and the dwindling remnant of sane Republicans can only look on in horror and wonder if the poor critter is past saving.


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