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Thursday, March 1, 2012

I have listened to and read with interest the thinking of the Republicans as they go about the business of choosing their Presidential nominee.  It seems to me that there will be much nose holding in the coming months as they  (I say they because I readily admit that I no longer consider myself to be a Republican) coalesce around a single candidate.  As I understand it, the single most important issue will be "who can beat Obama"?  Well that's not too surprising.  Both parties want to win.  But what I sense is that they are torn between wanting to nominate someone who represents their world view, and someone who can beat Obama...and those two people will not be the same person. 

So, does that tell us anything about the Republican Party?  Does it say that they are not confident enough in their beliefs and viewpoints to run on them?

Let's see...we have Ron Paul who is really not a Republican at all and seems to have become Romney's wingman (at least that's the accusation from Santorum).  He is the only career politician I have ever seen who could run as a Beltway outsider and actually would qualify as one.  He's done very little of note in his 22 years in congress except repeatedly and unsuccessfully run for President while consistenly warning that the sky is falling.  Even a broken clock is right twice a day, so since this is the right time of day for him to be right he has rallied more support this time around than usual.  But if he is a Washington outsider, he is definitely a Republican outsider.  The leadership knows they could never control him in any way.  So, no amount of nose holding is going to get this guy nominated.

There's Newt.  I heard someone say once that Newt Gingrich is what stupid people think a smart person sounds like.  He has several problems not least of which is that no one who ever worked with him would ever vote for him.  He seems to have found the Lord just in time to run for President and I wish him well with that.  But he will not be nominated.

There is Rick Santorum, everybody's favorite fundamentalist Catholic.  I sense that an awful lot of Republicans would like to see him win the Presidency.  He represents a fear, anxiety and anger in the Republican Party that the country is, as Hank Hill once said, "huggin' its way down the crapper".  That the 1950s, as we all imagined them to be, when men were men and women knew their place, are slipping away forever.  A time when censorship was the family friend, when there were only 3 TV channels and then that other weird channel, and everybody watched the same shows and had the same cultural points of reference.  And everybody listened to the same music but not very much (mostly as life's background music), when the teacher could spank your children and then the parents spanked them when they got home.  When people got married and stayed married no matter how much they despised each other because that was the right thing to do.  When an American could freely mock peoples of other nationalities and customs with absolutely no hesitation whatsoever secure in the knowledge that just being an American made them superior.  I remember as a small child growing up in the 50s learning that Jesus was not born in America.  I  had to go through the grieving steps beginning with denial to get through that one.  Why would Jesus choose to be born anywhere but America?  It was a mystery to me.  And yet it says something about that time.  Americans DID have a swagger that said "I'm an American, and everything that ever happened worth knowing happened in America."  Everything around us validated that.  The movies, the television shows, the music, everything in our culture said America is the greatest and most deserving nation on Earth because it's full of Americans.  But the Republican leadership knows that most Americans today understand that the world is over that time, and they're ready to move on so Rick's not going to draw the rational person's vote.  He can't get them to the Whitehouse. 

So, barring a surprise entrant, it will be Mitt Romney vs. Barrack Obama.  Not a good American name between them.  Oh well.  Whomever wins they had better put their big boy pants on because we have got some big boy problems and need big boy solutions. 


  1. A. Not a good American name between them.??

    B. "So, does that tell us anything about the Republican Party? Does it say that they are not confident enough in their beliefs and viewpoints to run on them?"
    I would say it means that they don't want to run on the core beliefs of the tea partiers any more than Obama wants to run on the core beliefs of the occupiers. They pander to the tea partiers in the ways you mention which are similar to the way in which Obama panders to the occupiers - he encourages the idea that if we just take a modestly larger amount from the well off, then we can solve all these "big boy" problems.

    I don't see an adult in the race.

  2. In my circle of friends I consistently find the following sentiments from so called “Republicans”:

    1. Very few identify as Republicans, they simply identify as conservatives. Many also qualify their conservatism as fiscal conservatism.
    2. Most of my conservative friends are (as Bruce noted) desperate to defeat Obama and have “settled” for the Buckley strategy – nominate the most conservative candidate that can get elected.
    3. As for the “no adults in the race” comment I have no friends of any stripe that disagree. That is assuming “the race” is referring only to the R’s nomination race.

  3. If Obama seems like an adult it is because he is like a 20 year old in a race with teenagers.