In 2008 the voters gave the Oval Office to a man who Rush Limbaugh and others mockingly called “the messiah” for his grandiose rhetoric and promises of change. If the first two primaries are any indication, Republican Party voters seem to be looking for their own messiah, a perfect candidate, and no such person exists.
Republicans have to stop seeking their own “messiah” in 2012. Most importantly, the six percent that Rasmussen Reports says are ready to vote for a third party candidate, if one emerges, have got to get their heads screwed on tighter because that’s a margin that could keep Obama in office for four more years. Additionally, Rasmussen reports that 53% believe Mitt Romney is the GOP candidate to defeat Obama.
In recent Wall Street Journal commentary, “Romney Wins but Takes a Beating”, columnist Peggy Noonan wrote “The Iowa results almost perfectly reflect the Republican Party, which, roughly speaking, is split into three parts—libertarians, social conservatives and moderate conservatives,” adding, “there’s no denying the Republicans are in a brawl, and it is becoming ferocious.”
I put the ugly tone of the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries squarely at the feet of Newt Gingrich. Angry, resentful, and eager for revenge over his loss in Iowa, Gingrich was still smarting from the attack ads aimed at him. He revealed an aspect of his personality well known from his days as Speaker of the House in the 1990s.
Rick Santorum did well in Iowa, but he brings a holier-than-thou approach to the campaign with his religion-based approach to various social issues. It’s not so much that I disagree with his positions, but there are a lot of independents who do not necessary go to church every Sunday.
Michele Bachmann’s strident tone didn’t help her much and Rick Perry’s punch-drunk approach to campaigning didn’t either. I worry that Ron Paul will try the third party route. At present, he will never get the nomination and his base is a bunch of boys and girls barely out of their adolescence. No Republican grownup takes Paul’s views seriously, nor should they. Jon Huntsman is a spoiled rich kid, a fellow Mormon, who seems to have a personal grudge against Romney.
Talking about Mormons, I am old enough to recall all the talk about John F. Kennedy having been a Catholic and how that would hurt him. It didn’t. What’s really amazing is that Barack Obama’s long association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a black liberation preacher and one who outspokenly condemned the U.S.A., barely put a dent in his run for the presidency.
As for Mormons, many have served honorably in high office since the days of President Eisenhower. It’s time to get off that hobby horse. If anything, I am greatly relieved that for all the talk of flip-flopping, there has not been a whisper of personal scandal regarding Romney. Compare that, please, to Bill Clinton.
At some point, likely after the South Carolina and Florida primaries, Republicans of all descriptions are going to conclude they have a good candidate in Mitt Romney. The party which has generally been run by white shoe, East Coast elites and a healthy mixture of Texas oilmen, has got to get serious about tearing Barack Obama to bits.
This election is not about finding “another” messiah to lead the nation. It’s about electing—frankly—anyone other than Obama and, hopefully, someone who has demonstrated real executive competence in public office and private enterprise.
In Congress the Republican leadership is elaborately polite in their discourse, but the election will not be won in the Capitol Building. It will be won in 50 States whose population has been taking a beating in a terrible economy made worse by the profligate spending and borrowing of the worst President this nation has ever known. By the time November rolls around, I want them to be mad as hell and it will be the party’s job to make sure that happens.
© Alan Caruba 2012