If Republicans Could Do It All Over Again, Who Would Be Their Nominee-- Santorum? Newt? That Texas Governor? Palin?
Anyone but Mitt, I'm sure. Even before swing state polls were released showing Obama with increasingly unassailable leads in Florida, Virginia and Ohio, Laura Ingraham gave a preview on her right-wing psycho show of what awaits Romney after he loses in November.
“If you can’t beat Barack Obama with this record, then shut down the party. Shut it down, start new, with new people because this is a give-me election, or at least it should be. And the millions of dollars-- I keep going back to the million and millions and millions of dollars that are paid to these political consultants election after election. We hire people who have lost previous campaigns, that run campaigns that have failed, who have message campaigns where the message fell flat-- and they keep getting rehired. I don’t understand that. I don’t know why those are the people you hire.”
The Republican circular firing squad is starting earlier than usual, but the candidate is much worse than usual... and so is the right-wing's commitment to a sense of unreality. They really have created and continue to live in a bizarre little bubble around Fox News and Hate Talk Radio and some silly right-wing rags and they insist that this wishful thinking is reality. Former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough, now a right-leaning MSNBC talk show host was even more scathing than Ingraham in his assessment of Romney's performance. "Voters who like moderates can’t trust him," he wrote in Politico Wednesday. "Conservatives who are desperate for victory don’t believe him. And the election Republicans should be winning seems to be slipping further from their grasp." And he was just warming up.
Who told Mr. Romney to issue a political broadside against the commander in chief the day after a U.S. ambassador was murdered?
And who decided that Romney would use his general election campaign to stand for absolutely nothing? The Wall Street Journal described this ideological listlessness as a “pre-existing decision.” The question conservatives should be asking is whether that strategy was hatched by a misguided consultant or the candidate himself.
Whoever is responsible needs to know that replacing real conservative ideas with a flood of negative 30-second ads is a pathway to defeat.
Mitt Romney is in trouble. Not because of a boring convention or a bloodless speech or a grossly inappropriate press conference, but rather because the man refuses to stick his neck out and take a stand on the critical issues of our time.
Margaret Thatcher was tough and unapologetic about what she believed. Ronald Reagan was tough and unapologetic about what he believed. They won their campaigns, changed their party and transformed their countries because they were conservatives who dared to tell voters they planned to radically transform their governments. They got elected and did just that.
Craven calculation, on the other hand, does not pay off for conservatives. Romney needed to decide long ago who he was: the last of the Rockefeller Republicans (and thus somebody who probably wouldn’t have gotten through Iowa) or a genuine movement conservative with detailed ideas about how to right the country.
Instead, we have a nominee who represents the worst of both worlds. Any swing voter attracted by moderate Republicanism can’t vote for a man who ran away from his core convictions. And conservative voters don’t believe Romney has any core convictions. This has all the makings of a Greek tragedy, all playing out on C-SPAN.
After the jaw-dropping way Romney cravenly mishandled and politicized the attacks on American diplomats in Libya and Egypt-- even before we get to the question of whether or not his campaign was involved in the offensive anti-Muslim movie that was at the heart of it-- USAToday observed dispassionately that "[a] presidential race that has been neck-and-neck for months suddenly isn't." The latest Gallup poll was just more really bad news for Romney and really bad news for the Wall Street backers who thought this campaign would be a good national launching pad for their Wisconsin Frankenstein monster:
Romney has given up-- stopped advertising, shuttered offices, moved staff out of-- Michigan and ceded the state in which he grew up in to Obama. He has also given up on Pennsylvania, although there is still some hope in his camp that if the state legislature's plan to disenfranchise hundreds and thousands of African-Americans, students and poor people passes muster in the state Supreme Court, they might still eke out a victory. In fact, cheating and trying to steal the election is probably the only hope they now have. No one ever thought Obama would win Kansas but virulently racist Romney backer Kris Kobach is threatening to remove President Obama's name from the ballot because he's not satisfied with his Hawaiian birth certificate. Kansas is hopelessly red, as though too many of its citizens have been drinking some mind-altering water. There's not even a Democrat running for Congress in a position to take advantage of Kobach's crazy threats. Something tells me, though, that moderate and independent voters in other states may not react sympathetically to removing the president's name from the presidential ballot.
Romney can change the subject-- and in a big way. All he has to do is release his tax returns. Talking heads will stop talking about anything else for a couple of cycles: