You are browsing the archive for Republican Primaries.

True Republican Mavericks‏

1:21 pm in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

Retiring Republican Senator from Maine,  Olympia Snowe seems to be taking a parting shot at the right wing extremism currently infecting the G.O.P. She recently said that she will not necessarily give her $2.36 million dollar war chest to another Republican. Quoting an article from the Kennebec Journal “outgoing Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) may be using her campaign cash to aid candidates of her choice rather than her party. In a letter written last week but released Tuesday, Snowe told campaign donors that she planned to give leftover cash to candidates in the “sensible center” rather than pledging that money to Republicans, signaling that the eventual GOP nominee may not be moderate enough for her taste.”

Olympia Snowe. Photo by John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV.

Snowe’s profile in courage in standing up to radical rightwing extremism was picked up by the leader of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a guy named Matt Canter, who opined: “Mitch McConnell and national Republicans have disenfranchised moderates in Maine and across the country…So it should not be a surprise that Sen. Snowe is questioning whether to give her money to support the extremist, right-wing Republican agenda.”

Few would deny that Olympia Snowe has the courage of her convictions and she can only be seen as a leader of what’s left of the “sensible” right. Is she a fading voice in the wilderness or is she one of the first among an emerging element of Republicans who are seeking to “take their party back” from the political amateurs on the far right? Could it be that those radicals who may have shot their bolt in 2010 and whom have since proven only that they can succeed in obstructing government when the American people want bipartisan compromise and results have created an opening for the sensible conservatives to reassert themselves?

Read the rest of this entry →

Tea Party Turncoats

1:04 pm in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

What happened to the steadfastness of Tea Party backed Republican Senators? We are all too familiar with how Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) ditched that state’s Tea Party shortly after getting elected in 2010 and since then has been pretty reliably one of the few moderate Republicans left in the Senate. This morning Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson appeared on “Meet the Press” to endorse Mitt Romney over the other ”born again” conservatives who have been parroting conservative talking points in an effort to appear to be genuine conservatives. Likewise Marco Rubio (R-FL) another newly minted Republican, who also drew support from the Tea Party movement, has thrown his support behind Romney.
 
So what happened to these senators and their commitment to smaller government, less government intrusion in our lives and conservative orthodoxy? Have they fallen for the rhetoric of this season’s Republican contenders and forgotten the particulars of their personal political track records? Apparently that seems to be the case as Romney is the architect of Obamacare, and in the words of Tom Friedman, who also appeared on “Meet the Press”,” Romney is running against everything he has stood for in his entire life.” Conservative commentators have said repeatedly that when the G.O.P. nominates moderates and strays from conservative orthodoxy they lose. Thus in throwing their support behind a moderate in conservative clothing aren’t Senators Johnson and Rubio following the exact same course that has led to conservative failure in the past? Moreover, in making an argument against Obamacare’s central principle, the individual mandate, today’s conservatives are standing against a principle that was championed by the Republican Party fifteen years ago and was endorsed by Mitt Romney in a 2009 health care debate.
 
That there is a degree of ideological confusion within the ranks of the Republican Party is beyond denying. But one thing is for sure and that is that the desperation among conservatives to see that Barack Obama is a one term president has led conservatives like Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio to abandon solid conservative positions and throw their support behind a bona fide moderate in the person of Mitt Romney. In doing that, Johnson, Rubio and others may be setting up the Republican Party for further internal conflict as Romney will have to tack back to the political center in order to be attract moderates and independents in the general election. That movement back to the center will only serve to further anger the far right of the G.O.P. If Romney loses in November the old complaint about nominating moderates as a formula for defeat will once again be a topic of discussion in the post mortems on the right. If he wins its unlikely that he will lurch back to the far right if he wants to have a successful presidency. Mitt Romney already has a blueprint for using and abandoning the far right, that would be the political strategy of Scott Brown. Either way you dice it, for Ron Johnson, Marco Rubio and others like them the die is cast and their claims to be staunch conservatives are now more than a little suspect.
 
SJG
4/1/12

Have Libertarians Forgotten the Republican Primaries?

10:13 am in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

Back in September of 2010 I detailed in an article “Where Have all the Libertarian’s Gone?” how for all of the attention paid to Libertarian ideas there was little in the way of Libertarian electoral success to show for it. To wit: “In the din and roar surrounding politics in America today much is made of the importance of Libertarian thinking. Some have pointed out its importance to the Tea Party Movement…That said it’s interesting to consider the following two questions: First, if Libertarian ideas are so compelling, how come Libertarians garner such a small portion of actual votes during major electoral campaigns? Secondly, if Libertarians command such low voting totals, how is it that there is such a disproportionate number of Libertarian organizations and who is putting up the money to support them?”
 
Well when one stops to analyze the 2012 Republican Primaries the results continue to prove out my original premise. That is, for all of the continuing talk about the importance of Libertarian ideas there is precious little to show for it when actual results are examined. To date the have been 27 Republican Primary contests and 1031 delegates awarded. The Libertarian candidate, Ron Paul, has not won a single state and has only accumulated 50 delegates. His take equals 4.8% of the overall number of delegates awarded so far. Thus once again, based on empirical evidence, we can only conclude that Libertarians occupy a space on the American political landscape as nothing more than a sideshow to the big show, if not as an outright political oddity propelled forward by its own inertia. If Libertarians truly commanded a healthy amount of respect and political power they would have something to show for it and clearly they don’t. Some have made the case that Libertarians don’t need to vote for Libertarian candidates to be important within the electorate but if that’s the case then that would suggest that they don’t truly hold to the conviction of their own ideas. If the members of a movement won’t adhere to their core convictions and belief system then how can that movement be seen as viable or effective? Surely a Libertarian voting for any of the candidates other than Ron Paul would have to compromise his principles in so doing based on the political track records of Romney, Santorum and Gingrich, none of whom can be considered even remotely close to being a Libertarian.
 
Some political commentators have said that Ron Paul isn’t a true candidate, he’s a movement. Some have said that his stake in the 2012 Republican Primaries is an attempt to affect his own political rehabilitation or to pave the way for his son’s  political future. Whatever his motives one thing is for sure and that’s that he has made little impact if any in the race to defeat Barack Obama. Ron Paul has often complained that he isn’t getting the media coverage that he and his campaign deserves, but based on his performance thus far and his movement’s historically, he’s getting all the coverage that he deserves. Whatever Ron Paul’s goals one thing is for certain and that is that for all of the money pouring into Libertarian organizations like the Cato Institute via folks like the Koch Brothers, ad infinitum, the Libertarian message still fails to resonate with the Republican electorate in particular and the wider electorate in general. It’s either the aforementioned or America’s Libertarians have failed to notice that there’s a Republican Primary season underway and in full swing.
 
Steven J. Gulitti
3/23/12  
 
Sources:

Senator McCain Condems Citizens United

8:13 am in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

Arizona Senator John McCain appearing on this morning’s “Meet the Press” told commentator David Gregory that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision was one of the worst decisions that the high court has ever rendered labeling it naive and ill conceived. McCain pointed out, as an example, how one individual, in this case Newt Gingrich’s benefactor Sheldon Adelson has totally distorted the primary process by propping up a candidate that has little real appeal and no chance of winning the nomination. This in turn has contributed to a tainting the entire process of the Republican primaries and hurting the G.O.P.’s brand among the critically important independent voter.
 
In the analysis of the show’s moderator David Gregory Mitt Romney is a weak candidate that can’t put away a field of weak contenders and seal the deal on the nomination. He sees this as a direct result of the influence of the amounts of money pouring into the campaign by a handful of super rich donors who are distorting the wishes of ordinary Americans. Political columnist Bob Woodward stated that we have not seen this degree of political distortion in our politics since the age of the Robber Barons.
 
The great irony of all of this is that those on the far right may be faced with voting for Mitt Romney, hardly a bona fide conservative even though he’s parroting their talking points, because the super rich donors have long since swamped the true conservative candidates who really represented the beliefs of the ultra conservative wing of the G.O.P. What’s even more ironic is that it’s conservatives who usually complain about activist judges rendering decisions that distort the will of the people and now they themselves may be victims of that same judicial activism as a result of Citizens United.
 
Is this anyone’s idea of popular democracy?
 
S.J. Gulitti
3/18/12

The Tea Party’s Empty Dance Card

11:27 am in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

Well there you have it, another onetime Tea Party favorite has dropped out of the 2012 race to be America’s president thereby shrinking the field of “viable” candidates that a Tea Party true believer could vote for this coming November. In fact one should even ask the question of whether or not there is a candidate still in the race that a true Tea Party member could legitimately support. Political columnist E.J. Dionne, to some degree, asked a similar question in: “Where are the Republican populists?” Quoting Dionne: “Members of the Tea Party insisted they were turning the GOP into a populist, anti-establishment bastion. Social conservatives have long argued that values and morals matter more than money. Yet in the end, the corporate and economically conservative wing of the Republican Party always seems to win.” That will leave members of the movement with a truly tough choice this November: Is there any candidate left in the race for which a real Tea Party supporter could vote without a compromising of one’s principles? Unless a third party candidate favorable to the Tea Party emerges, not exactly a development that would guarantee victory, the choices available to Tea Party members will be reduced to voting for a moderate Republican in Mitt Romney, not voting, giving up on the presidency and hoping that a rear guard electoral effort will maintain the House Tea Party Caucus or voting for Obama as a protest. The last choice is something the true believers would never do.

Presently it appears that rank and file Tea Party members have already started to compromise their principles. A recent Boston Globe article, “Tea Party’s opposition to Romney weakens” states: “The Tea Party and its dislike of the Massachusetts health care plan and Romney’s moderate record as Bay State governor were considerable impediments to his candidacy throughout 2011. But none of the Tea Party’s darlings – Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, or Gingrich – has been able to sustain a surge, highlighting limitations of a nascent movement that couldn’t extend its 2010 congressional successes onto the presidential stage…The latest polls suggest a good number of Tea Party supporters are getting behind the party’s most likely nominee [Romney], despite qualms about his record, because their overriding goal is removing Obama from the White House.” Likewise, just as the G.O.P.’s 2012 field is unsettled so are members of the Tea Party when it comes to who they currently support: “CBS reports that voters who identify with the Tea Party movement are similarly divided, with 29 percent supporting Romney, 28 percent supporting Gingrich, 18 percent supporting Santorum, and 12 percent supporting Paul.”

The fact that almost one third of the Tea Party members are backing Romney shows just how far principles on the hard right have eroded at this point in time. Likewise real conservatives would take umbrage with Newt Gingrich’s claim that he is the only true conservative in the race. Gingrich has a track record of clashing with conservatives on many issues. He called Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget reform ideas “right-wing social engineering”, has supported health care insurance mandates, been rather liberal in his views on accommodating illegal immigrants, admitted that climate change is real and needs to be addressed and even criticized the far right publicly on the issue of ideological purity saying: “You can have a very, very intense movement at 20 percent. You can’t govern. To govern, you’ve got to get 50 percent plus one after the recount.” And now in what could be a Herman Cain like moment Gingrich’s second wife is going public in her criticism of him in an expose that is hardly flattering and which will do nothing to endear him to social conservatives, particularly women.

Thus for the Tea Partiers we’re down to just two alternatives, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. If Ron Paul is anything it’s unelectable. His isolationist stance on foreign involvement and libertarian views on drug use are an anathema to the Republican establishment and most likely to the majority of the electorate as well. Paul’s libertarian views can be summarized as follows: “Paul believes: Gays should be allowed to marry; America’s foreign policy contributed to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks; U.S. defence spending should be slashed by 15%; Drugs like marijuana, heroin and cocaine should be decriminalized, and the United States should not come to Israel’s aid if it starts a shooting war with Iran.” With views like these we can effectively dismiss Ron Paul as a serious candidate for president.

That leaves us with Santorum and his acceptability to the Tea Party. One problem Santorum has always had is that he’s been a one trick pony, his overarching theme has been one of social values, something that helped him tremendously in Iowa. “CBS News entrance polling showed that Tea Party conservatives who participated in the caucuses largely supported Santorum. Among those who said they support the Tea Party movement, 29 percent caucused for him, compared with 19 percent for Paul and 19 percent for Mitt Romney.” But Iowa is atypical of the larger political landscape, its whiter, more evangelical, less urban and less affected by the Great Recession due to a strong demand for its agricultural produce. Just how well do the Tea Partiers know Rick Santorum? Since Iowa it’s come out that he was a master at earmarking federal largesse for western Pennsylvania, supported Medicare Part D, was a regular supporter of foreign aid and voted for No Child Left Behind, a federal program that “greatly expanded the federal government’s role in education.” Referencing a Ron Paul advertisement, Santorum is “another serial hypocrite who can’t be trusted.” It targets Santorum for voting five times to raise the debt ceiling, voting in favor of the notorious “bridge to nowhere,” and taking lobbyist cash, among other things.”

A good synopsis of Rick Santorum’s career on Capitol Hill can be found in Sheryl Stolberg’s recent article “Santorum Rose Quickly From Reformer to Insider” Quoting Stolberg: “But a look at the arc of Mr. Santorum’s political career, from his days as a fresh-faced College Republican to his bruising defeat for a third term in 2006, reveals a side of Mr. Santorum beyond that of reformer and abortion foe. He emerges as a savvy operator and sharp tactician, a climber who became a member of the Washington establishment that he had once railed against.” Thus can any true believer in the principles of the Tea Party movement consider Rick Santorum to be a bona fide upholder of the movement’s agenda? Not really. Does Santorum fit the description of a Beltway outsider who can be trusted to champion the agenda of the Tea Party movement? Not in the least, that is, if you want to be honest about whom Santorum is and what his past track record is all about. Once you peel the onion down a few layers past the exterior of standing up for family values what you’re left with is a professional politician and that’s hardly in line with the general tenor of the Tea Party movement.

Conservative columnist David Brooks points out much of what comprises Santorum’s world view is not exactly congruent with Tea Party principles. ”His worldview is not individualistic. His book, “It Takes a Family,” was infused with the conservative wing of Catholic social teaching. It was a broadside against Barry Goldwater-style conservatism in favor of one that emphasized family and social solidarity. While in Congress, he was a leader in nearly every serious piece of antipoverty legislation…He is not a representative of the corporate or financial wing of the party. Santorum certainly wants to reduce government spending. He certainly wants tax reform. But he goes out of his way in his speeches to pick fights with the “supply-siders.” Now many on the far right consider Brooks a “progressive” Republican but few would say the same of Erick Erickson who runs the ultra-conservative political blog RedState and who’s article “What a Big Government Conservative Looks Like” states: “Rick Santorum is a pro-life statist. He is. You will have to deal with it.  He is a big government conservative.  Santorum is right on social issues, but has never let his love of social issues stand in the way of the creeping expansion of the welfare state.  In fact, he has been complicit in the expansion of the welfare state… Santorum is a conservative. He is. But his conservatism is largely defined by his social positions and the ends to which government would be deployed. But he has chosen as the means to those conservative ends bigger government. We see big government conservatives most clearly when they deviate from the tireless efforts of people like Mike Pence and Jim DeMint and the others who were willing to oppose George W. Bush’s expansion of the welfare state. Rick Santorum was not among them.”

So with the abovementioned in mind, am I going out on a limb in pointing out that the Tea Party movement is effectively without a viable candidate for 2012? I don’t thinks so, not if by “viable” you mean a candidate that will put the principles of limiting big government’s influence in our daily lives at the forefront of their policy agenda and who actually has a chance at appealing to that vast raft of independent voters and being elected. If the CBS poll numbers are indicative of anything they show that three quarters of the Tea Party movement’s respondents are supporting a candidate other than one who espouses true Tea Party principles in either positions taken on past policy or personal behavior. Which get us back to E.J. Dionne: “Think about Romney’s rise in light of the overheated political analysis of 2010 that saw a Republican Party as being transformed by the Tea Party legions who, in alliance with an overlapping group of social and religious conservatives, would take the party away from the establishmentarians.

Certainly some of the movement’s failures can be attributed to a flawed set of competitors and the split on the right, especially Paul’s ability to siphon off a significant share of the Tea Party vote. That has made a consolidation of its forces impossible…But there is another possibility: that the GOP never was and never can be a populist party, that the term was always being misapplied, and that enough Republicans are quite comfortable with a Harvard-educated private-equity specialist.” If E.J. Dionne is correct, and I believe he is, then the members of the Tea Party movement have a rendevous with reality in Novemeber that will leave then feeling jilted with regard to having a true candidate in the race and, if a Republican wins the presidency, with having that old sinking feeling of having been used for their votes with little propsect of seeing their agenda advanced by the professional politicians who run the Republican Party.

Steven J. Gulitti

1/20/2012

 Sources:

Perry suspends campaign, endorses Gingrich; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mdvje9Fr-uY

What doomed Rick Perry’s campaign; http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/19/politics/perry-rise-fall/index.html

Where are the Republican populists; http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/romneys-rise-puts-the-lie-to-a-populist-gop/2012/01/18/gIQAoPqG9P_story.html

Tea Party’s opposition to Romney weakens; http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2012/01/19/opposition-from-tea-party-begins-fade-mitt-romney-gains-support-more-conservatives/JrU4fS9Gy5BF44dEfEkQoM/story.html

GOP Race Remains Fractured, Tea Party Supporters Divided: http://www.decodedscience.com/gop-race-remains-fractured-tea-party-supporters-divided/9673

Gingrich Has Record Of Clashing With The Right; http://www.npr.org/2011/11/29/142868567/gingrich-has-record-of-clashing-with-the-right

Newt Gingrich wanted ‘open marriage,’ ex-wife says; http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/19/politics/gingrich-wife/index.html

Paul’s candidacy thrives on the unconventional; http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Paul+candidacy+thrives+unconventional/5776016/story.html

Can Rick Santorum claim the Tea Party mantle?; http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57354522-503544/can-rick-santorum-claim-the-tea-party-mantle/

Santorum Rose Quickly From Reformer to Insider; http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/20/us/politics/santorum-rose-quickly-from-reformer-to-insider.html?_r=1&hp

Workers of the World, Unite! http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/opinion/workers-of-the-world-unite.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

What a Big Government Conservative Looks Like; http://www.redstate.com/erick/2012/01/09/what-a-big-government-conservative-looks-like-2/

Rick Santorum and the Tea Party; http://thepoliticalzealot.com/2012/01/09/rick-santorum-and-the-tea-party/

For the Radical Right, a Defeat in New Hampshire

10:46 pm in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

Tonight’s outcome in New Hampshire represents a significant setback for the fortunes of the Tea Party movement along with the rest of the radical right as Republican moderates have captured the bulk of the votes cast in the contest. When you combine Romney’s take with that of Gingrich and Huntsman what you see is that collectively Republican moderates received a total of 65.6% of the total vote count. Conversely those candidates who are popular with the radical right were only able to secure 39.3% of the votes cast. That means that two thirds of the voters voted for a candidate that’s not likely to do anything for a radical conservative agenda or its supporters other than use them for their vote and thereafter bid them farewell a la Senator Scott Brown (R-MA). See the graph from Associated Press below.
 
While nothing is ever cast in stone in the world of American politics, no candidate in modern times who ever won both the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary failed to win his party’s nomination. Suffice it to say that the leadership of the Republican establishment can only be much relieved by these results as it suggests that voters may be moving back to the center after having flirted with the Tea Party and the radical right. That Tea Party affinity may have produced dramatic electoral gains in 2010 but it has also created gridlock in Washington, a tarnished image of the Republican Party and electoral defeats in 2011. You can bet your bottom dollar that the Republican establishment, which is well aware of the Congressional G.O.P’s low standing in the eyes of the public, attributes much of that low standing to the impact of the Tea Party caucus on Capitol Hill. Now with Mitt Romney’s fortunes apparently on the rise the Republican leadership can only hope that he can power past right-wing radicals in most of the remaining primaries thereby rendering any prospect of a Tea Party backed candidate moot. With that development the Republican Party can plan a campaign to defeat Barack Obama in November that would have been otherwise futile had a Tea Party backed candidate been the front runner.
 
In a prescient article that appeared before the 2011 elections, Matt Bai interviewed uber-Conservative William Kristol who said a “large number of Republican primary voters, and even more independent general-election voters, will be wary of supporting a Republican candidate in 2012 if the party looks as if it’s in the grip of an infantile form of conservatism.” Bai himself noted the following: “Given such fast-deteriorating conditions, [in the economy] many Republican veterans have come around to the view that they aren’t really going to need the perfect presidential candidate, and perhaps not even a notably good one. With Chris Christie having taken himself out of the running — again — earlier this month, the field of candidates now appears to be pretty much set, and none of them are likely to inspire any reimagining’s of Mount Rushmore. But maybe all the moment requires is someone who can pass as a broadly acceptable alternative — a candidate who doesn’t project the Tea Party extremism of Michele Bachmann or the radical isolationism of Ron Paul. “If we have a Rick Perry versus Mitt Romney battle for the nomination, it’s a little hard to say, ‘Ooh, the party has really gone off the rails,’ ” Kristol told me just after Perry entered the race, a development that essentially ended Bachmann’s brief ascent. Establishment Republicans may prefer Romney to Perry, but their assumption is that either man can be counted on to steer the party back toward the broad center next fall, effectively disarming the Tea Party mutiny.” Well it goes without saying that tonight’s results bring the Republican Party a step closer to the establishment’s goal of a party that appeals to the broad middle of the American electorate, particularly the non aligned independents, while at the same time adding increased downward momentum to the faltering Tea Party movement. Thus it would appear that tonight’s real winners are the old line establishment Republicans and the real losers are the Tea Party crowd, the Ron Paul libertarians and the rest of the radical right.
 
Steven J. Gulitti
1/10/12
 
 
 
Results for New Hampshire Republican Primary (U.S. Presidential Primary)
Jan 10, 2012 (92% of precincts reporting)
Mitt Romney 90,918   39.3%
Ron Paul 52,842  22.9%
Jon Huntsman 38,963  16.9%
Newt Gingrich 21,742     9.4%
Rick Santorum 21,562 9.3%
Rick Perry
1,612
0.7%
Michele Bachmann
 325
0.1%
Other
3,104
1.3%
 
Sources:

The Fading of a Great White Hope

1:16 pm in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

Well there you have it, Republican Governor Chris Christie has decided not to run for president in 2012. This will certainly be a let down for many in the G.O.P. but in reality it probably doesn’t matter all that much anyway. For one thing, as political columnist E.J. Dionne opined on last week’s Meet the Press, Christie was being pushed to run by moderate and liberal Republicans in the New York metropolitan area and by the media conservative pundits who have invested mightily in a multiyear campaign of opposition to President Obama and have been opining about beating him since the midnight of election day 2008. Chris Christie was never a darling of the radicalized right and at this point its unknowable as to whether or not he would have fared better with the Republican radicals than has Mitt Romney. Republican strategist Mike Murphy who also appeared on Meet the Press said: “Christie might not do well upon a second and third look-over by the Republican base.” Likewise conservative commentator Peggy Noonan claimed that there was no guarantee that Christie would find it “smooth sailing” when he came up against the Tea Party element within the G.O.P.

For one thing there’s the question of just how far to the right Chris Christie would be willing to tack in order to gain the acceptance of the G.O.P.’s most stridently conservative members. Remember that Christie is a blue state governor who while having pushed through some very tough measures did so without the divisive conflict that erupted in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin or that’s currently bubbling under the surface of John Kasich’s Ohio. Christie has also shown that he can work with Democrats rather than just assume the position of being an obstructionist. Lastly, unemployment is higher in New Jersey, 9.4% in August of 2011, than it is nationally and that undercuts any claim Christie could make about solving the jobs problem.

So where does this leave us. Well for one thing it leaves Mitt Romney in a better position than he was this morning and it may resurrect the hopes of Rick Perry to some degree. But in the final analysis what I think you’ll find is that due to the closing window of opportunity that now confronts the 2012 Republican hopefuls the stage is now set for the intra-party battle between the Tea Party radicals and the old line Republican establishment over whether or not it will be Romney or Perry. Sure there are those who are hoping that Christie’s reluctance will spring Mitch Daniels or Jeb Bush to action but that’s just so much wishful thinking on the part of those who are unhappy with the two front runners. Then there’s a last chance bid by Sarah Palin, but again that’s just more wishful thinking. In fact as it regards Palin, it’s hoping beyond hope for a solution as Palin is unelectable and everyone including Palin knows that. Thus why bother with further postulations as to whether or not a Palin candidacy is a viable alternative.

Quoting New York Magazine’s political writer John Heilemann, “Conservatives want someone to beat Obama to a bloody pulp. They see this as their moment.” Well whether or not either Perry or Romney can “beat Obama to a bloody pulp” remains to be seen but if the rank and file of American conservativism had believed that either of them could, they would have never sought the candidacy of Christie in the first place. Nor would they be still hoping for Mitch Daniels or Jeb Bush as well. That said it seems that America’s conservatives are going to have to settle for a candidate rather than to be able to hone and fashion their own 2012 Achilles. Needless to say both Perry, due to his past track record of controversial remarks, and Romney, due to his more moderate cast both have Achilles heals of their own to worry about and along with that fact so do the conservatives.

SJG
9/4/11

Conservative Pundits Throwing Perry Under the Bus?

9:18 am in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

For the second time in the past two days a prominent conservative commentator has thrown Texas Governor Rick Perry under the bus possibly sending this latest Tea Party darling into a downward tailspin along the same trajectory as that of the faltering Michele Bachmann. This morning on Fox News Sunday veteran political analyst Brit Hume stated: “Perry is about one-half a step away from almost total collapse as a candidate…He still has some opportunity to recover his balance and put in a strong performance. What was so strikingly troubling about — from a Republican point of view — about this performance was that Perry was thought of as a really true conservative. Now it appears he has got this position on immigration which is anathema to a lot of conservatives. So this really hurts him with the base.” Just a few days ago William Kristol in an editorial analyzing the Republican debate in Orlando opined that any number of uncommitted potential candidates would be better than those who took the stage in Orlando.

I believe what we have here is a growing panic among the conservatives in this country as to their movement’s inability to produce a strong candidate that should be able to beat a very vulnerable Barack Obama. Not that I believe that the Republicans have any semblance of a strategy that could actually turn the economy around, but with the overall public dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs being what it is it should be relatively easy to unseat the incumbent. The fact that conservatives keep hoping to find someone better than Mitt Romney speaks volumes as to the consternation within their ranks as to the quality of their field of contenders. Add to that the simmering conflict between the emergent Tea Party movement and what some pundits call the “weakening G.O.P. establishment” and what you have are the ingredients for further internal conflict on the right. Whether or not this conflict burns up so much energy as to hobble their candidate during the upcoming presidential election remains to be seen. After all, any Republican candidate that’s not been vetted by the Tea Party will have to tack to the right in order to win in the Republican primaries. That may very well leave the winner with a track record of public comments that are unacceptable to the independent voters upon which the outcome of 2012 will ultimately depend. Thus the next election may be decided to a greater degree than anticipated on the internal warfare that will eventually erupt within the G.O.P.

Sources:

Hume: Perry “One Step Away from Collapse” ; http://thepage.time.com/2011/09/25/hume-perry-one-step-away-from-collapse/

Hume: ‘Perry is about one-half a step away from almost total collapse’; http://dailycaller.com/2011/09/25/hume-perry-is-about-one-half-a-step-away-from-almost-total-collapse/#ixzz1YyyiJKGN

William Kristol: Special Editorial: Yikes; http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/special-editorial-yikes_594095.html

Internal Confusion Among Tea Party Factions Over Romney

5:57 pm in Uncategorized by SJGulitti

It seems it may be high time for FreedomWorks to stop carrying on about how much the Tea Party movement is “about education” and to start saying that it’s only interested in hearing from those who tout the party line. You see FreedomWorks is going to pull out of the Tea Party Express’ cross country bus tour because the tour has allowed Mitt Romney to participate in its political discourse. According to Alex Altman “On Wednesday, citing opposition to Romney, FreedomWorks announced that it will sever its ties to the tour and join local New Hampshire Tea Party groups in protesting Romney’s speech.” (Romney at the Center of a Tea Party Spat; http://swampland.time.com/2011/08/31/romney-at-the-center-of-a-tea-party-spat/#ixzz1WkjWt1N7This is a blow to Romney who had been seeking to reach out to the Tea Party movement and will now face Tea Party protestors at his upcoming New Hampshire speech to be held in Concord this Sunday. In stark contrast to the position taken by FreedomWorks, the Tea Party Express endorses a more open forum where all of the candidates, even those they disagree with, are given a chance to state their case so that the movement’s members can come to their own unencumbered conclusions.

Now the follow on issue is this, if FreedomWorks, one of the primary financial engines behind the Tea Party movement, has no interest in the give and take of political ideas in the process of picking a presidential candidate, then what kind of candidate would they place in direct opposition to Barack Obama? Furthermore, if FreedomWorks is hell bent on operating some variation of a one party democracy where the ruling clique controls the message and picks who will be allowed to run for office or hold appointed positions, then just what type of democracy can we expect to flow forth from a FreedomWorks backed candidate if he or she were to be elected? This is no idle question based on all of the concerns that are being raised about some of the candidates undisclosed attitudes on the role of religion in governing or the separation of church and state. These are all serious and pressing questions that need to be answered well in advance of November 2012.

sjg
9/1/11