I’ve disagreed with voters, both GOP, Dem, and Independent a lot recently. There’s kind of an axiom that the voter, like the consumer, is always right. Give him what he wants. What the voter wanted was John McCain and then, Barack Obama. We can see how that worked out. Can we admit those voters were wrong?
Right now, a chunk of the GOP primary voters want Mitt Romney. Like John McCain, nobody really wants wants Mitt Romney, they just fear that the media is right and that he would be electable.
In 2008, I felt that John McCain was wholly unelectable, that it would be a laborious, futile, uphill slog. Many of my DC friends vehemently disagreed with me. I feel the same about Mitt Romney. Yes, even against the Carteresque Obama, Romney would be weak.
At the GOP Fox/Google debate, I had an eerily reminiscent discussion with another DC GOP friend about Mitt Romney. What’s wrong with him? Well, nothing, if you’re a DC, big-government Republican. Mitt Romney is awesome if you secretly buy all the media’s premises about Republicans: That they’re heartless, gun-crazy, Bible-thumping, science-hating, economically stupid cretins who can barely find their way out of their sad middle-class existence to get to their sad middle-class jobs doing sad middle-class tasks. Ew. I mean, like, really.
The Meghan McCain incoherent diatribes about her fellow Republicans are really repackaged versions of what Peggy Noonan, and often, Charles Krauthammer think. Those conservatives! So gauche! (Except Meghan McCain doesn’t know what the word gauche means.)
These are also the same people who couldn’t find a bad words to say about Barack Obama. The media, the left, the independents and the big government Republicans loved Barack Obama. Meanwhile, conservatives saw an incompetent. But he was clean and articulate!
So now, the people who were wrong all ways in the last election are trying to push the GOP cart in the Mitt Romney direction.
Mitt Romney neutralizes every Obama criticism. TARP? Both for it. Gun control? Both for it. Stimulus? Both for it. Obamacare? Romney’s staff helped Obama’s staff to craft the legislation based on the Massachusetts model. How, pray tell, is Mitt Romney, silver-tongued as he is, going to debate Barack Obama and not sound completely inauthentic. Remember the flaccid McCain responses to Obama? Expect those.
Ironically, I felt that Romney would have had more of a chance in 2008 than now. He would have been a better candidate against the untested Obama. Not now. The Republican party has changed. America has changed. Massachusetts and the country struggles under the weight of big government “solutions” that have done nothing so much as added debt to the next generation. When looking back and forth between Obama and Romney, it’s a matter of worse and worser.
Here’s something I find distressing, too, while we’re on the subject. Commentators on the left are clearly riding on the Obama bandwagon. They chose him over Hillary. They enthused about him. On the right, commentators try to be value neutral, as though any candidate would be great. Some seem to just want to be able to say when the Republican fails (and since they’re human they all will), “I told you so.”
We’re not in “I told you so” territory here. We’re in “America is about to go off a cliff” territory. This is no time to enjoying the sport of politics. Or is cynicism called for? Do some on my side believe we’re so far gone that it won’t matter who gets elected? They’re all so bad that the best we can do is criticize the descent?
Well, I’m not to that point which is why I won’t concede to Mitt Romney. Someone told me that Rudy Giuliani was way ahead at this point in 2008. There is still time. And that gives me hope. Because Mitt Romney is a flawed, weak candidate. The GOP can do better.
The country needs better.