Why a Progressive Republican Won’t Win in 2012

When Will the Bottom Drop Out?

Conservatives want a candidate who will not only unite the GOP, but will also offer a clear contrast to Barack Obama.  As many have noted, we’ve got a field that has numerous strengths and weaknesses, but at present, no clear leader.  The Romney camp is hanging in there around 20-25%, hoping to be the last left standing, as the others are voted off the island, but that isn’t going to be good enough.  Republicans can’t hope to win without a genuine conservative in 2012, because a moderate Republican will not inspire and motivate the base.  Willard “Mitt” Romney can’t break through the his long-standing level of support because he’s a flip-flopper, and while it’s true that if he’s the nominee, some number of conservatives will ultimately support him in the general election as an act of desperation, a victory-denying segment will simply stay home.  I would know, because I’m part of that segment.

There are those who have asked me why I would do this, rather than seek to defeat Obama.  My answer is that within the GOP, most of our problems and the cause of our losses emanate from the progressive wing of the party.  Nobody seems willing to acknowledge it in media, but the real reason McCain was defeated is that he couldn’t motivate conservatives to the polls. Even adding the somewhat more conservative Sarah Palin to his ticket could not save him, and when he suspended his campaign to go back to DC to deal with the financial crisis, rather than appearing to be concerned with the country more than politics, as he had intended, he gave the impression of  somebody who wasn’t committed to the fight.  That was the death-knell of his campaign.  Until that moment, it looked as though Palin might well be able to drag McCain across the finish line first, but after his gamble, the campaign never recovered.  John McCain killed his own candidacy in an attempt to appeal to the independents and moderates, but all he accomplished was to dishearten an already suspicious base that had no confidence in McCain.  For all her electoral virtues, and her clear appeal with the conservative base, even the rousing appeal of political rock-star Sarah Palin shouldn’t have been expected to rescue McCain from his self-sabotage.

The truth is that the conservative base of the GOP wants somebody nominated who will fight Barack Obama.  We want somebody who will challenge the dishonest narratives put forward by the left and their media surrogates.  That’s what so many had seen in Palin in 2008, and had hoped to see in a Palin campaign in 2012.  These are the conservatives to whom the negotiations of Speaker Boehner look suspiciously like surrender.   These are the combative conservatives who populate the party’s base, and they expect a populist conservative who will not retreat from principles.  They expect a warrior unafraid of media.  In looking at our current crop of candidates, I can’t say for certain if there is such an individual among them, but I can tell you who is not such a candidate.  Willard “Mitt” Romney is simply not willing to stand firm on anything.  He’s a political contortionist, and the conservative base of the GOP simply will not support him to victory.

Last Wednesday night’s debate in Michigan demonstrated the point clearly:  Mitt Romney is not fit to be president by virtue of his constant waffling, shading, and indirect answers.  When Romney refused to answer directly the question about whether to let the payroll tax cut lapse, it demonstrated his unwillingness to confront difficult questions.  The question was a well-laid trap, and Romney succeeded eventually in side-stepping it, but this is precisely why he should not be considered.  The question was set up to get him either to oppose a renewal of the tax cut, thus skewering him with some tax-payers, or to oppose its lapse, thus placing him firmly on Barack Obama’s side of the argument.  The problem is that in successfully side-stepping the matter, Romney showed precisely how Barack Obama will destroy him in a general campaign: Obama is going to pigeon-hole him into either agreement, and in so doing, Romney loses the point by looking like a “me too” guy.  Michele Bachmann actually went on to answer the question as Romney should have done if he were not an intellectual and moral coward, but that’s not going to help dear Willard in the general election of 2012.

This is a perfect example of the problem with Mitt Romney.   He takes no solid positions, and in avoiding controversy, subjects himself to eventual defeat as a flip-flopping weasel.  I’ve openly said I cannot support his candidacy, and this is the basic reason.  I won’t support him in a general election, but in truth, he’s going to lose with or without my support.  A progressive will not successfully motivate the conservative base and Tea Party elements of the Republican party to turn out at the polls, never mind capture the imagination and hope of independents and moderates.  The failing of Romney is that he’s not conservative, but more importantly, not anything. The sole virtue that Romney presents to the party is that he’s inoffensive to independents and moderates.  This is why the party is putting him forward:  They have an obsessive fear of offending anyone.  The flaw in this strategy is that this obsession with not being pinned down on any issue winds up offending the conservative base of the party. Conservatives want a candidate who will offend some people because they know that one cannot take a meritoriously firm position on any issue without offending somebody.

What the GOP fails to understand is that conservatives are tired of being the only offended party.  Too frequently, conservatives are treated by the GOP like some of the base constituencies of the Democrat Party:  They pander to us only when absolutely necessary, but in the end, they know they can safely moderate their position, because after all, where are we going to go?  This ignores the fact that we don’t need to go anywhere, including particularly on election day.  If the GOP establishment doesn’t grasp this, we’re going to see a repeat of 2008 in 2012. While they may succeed in driving some to the polls out of fear of four more years of Obama, that won’t be enough to win the day, because not all of us fear Obama and his revolutionary leftists.  Increasingly, there is among our number the growing drumbeat of war that says: “It’s time to get this over with. No more delaying the inevitable.”  While mouthing his words in sorry imitation, what the GOP establishment never really learned from Reagan is that to maintain the peace, you must prepare for war.  The base looks and sees no warriors rising to lead them, but nevertheless prepares.

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  • joe

    I hear you pleading…..FORCE ME NOT TO STAY HOME ON ELECTION DAY!……

    -joe

  • Cind

    thank you for always expressing so brilliantly what I am thinking…

  • Tom Petricka

    "Not all of us fear Obama and his revolutionary leftists"..??? What the hell kind of a statement is that. I hope not many conservatives think like you because then we've lost already. Romney is not my choice either but we MUST defeat Obama.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=739030764 Dave Pavano

      Well Tom then we may as well elect Donald Duck. What's the what is the sense of electing onother RINO into office that is going to disappoint the conservative base and make us all look like idiots. Then two years will go by and in 2014 we'll end up with a democrat majority cones all over again…

      People really don't see the game that Washington is playing. Even the liberal media wants Romney to win the primaries because they are scared to death of anyone showing any sign of true conservative ideals. The first time I saw that people would be satisfied with just anyone being President as long as they beat Obama, I held my head down with in sadness for this country.

      Question for you and everyone who would settle for any one but Obama… If you are married, did you just settle for your spouse? Or if not married would just settle for anyone to be your spouse? Sorry but, I'd rather not even try and I would have just stayed single.

      I'd rather see us control both houses and have OleBummer win than to have Mitt idiot to be President and not have control of either house.
      That's my take…

  • skeeter

    Mark, very well said. I too believe that we need someone who is finally fed up enough with the left to stand up and start pushing back…Get in the face of the media and have enough self confidence to point some fingers and know when to tell people no.
    We have seen glimmers of such from Newt recently. I personally, love the stupid look on the commentators face when they are rebuked. They look like Nobama when his teleprompter fails to work.
    I think Newt has been biding his time, and doing his homework. It is very quickly becoming Newts time to shine. He needs to take comfort in the fact that there are untold mountains of conservatives that are so fed up with the in- your -face liberal operandi. It is not one occassional assualt from time to time, but multiple assualt from multiple directions.
    Any intelligent person would be very hard pressed to even come up with some of these liberal ideas.
    "Stand up Newt and trust in your journey to the White House. I and millions like me have your back."

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=739030764 Dave Pavano

      So far I'm with Skeeter on that one. Either that if Romney does win the primary, we should start a campaign, or plea to every true blooded patriotic conservative to write in Sarah Palin at the ballot box November 2012…

    • http://bbruns@fivearea.com Bruce Bruns

      Very well stated Skeeter!

  • eyetooth tom

    Here's the older fellow again, alive when FDR was Pres. You got to put on the brakes long before putting it into reverse. Then you can measure the skid marks. Then the evidence may point to who's at fault. And the jury of the American public can weigh it and through elections issue justice.
    Putting on the brakes when the train still ends up at Auschwitz may not seem like a real good result, but consider the story of Jerzy Bielicki, a young Catholic, German-speaking Polish inmate who shuck his Jewish
    girlfriend out of Auschwitz years ago. Interesting story. They went separate lives having families of their own, he just passing this year, her 2002. They did meet again in 1983.
    Point…live to fight another day. Consider lesser of two evils. Just old fellows thoughts. Rather than crash into cement wall or burn, a chance of redemption.

  • Isabel Matos

    MARK AMERICA THANK YOU! YOU SPEAK FOR US – THE GOP ISN'T LISTENING!

  • David

    Romney looks like a President, he sounds like a President…but there is something there that I dont trust..don't know exactly what it is..but my gut tells me not to trust him…had the same feelin with the current fool!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=739030764 Dave Pavano

    Oh and thanks again for another great post Mark

  • http://gravatar.com/kilt1iron kilt1iron

    MarkAmerica —

    Please channel "Mark Levin"

    This country CANNOT survive another 4-mo-years of the Obamessiah.

    He will do EVERYTHING to destroy whatever he can of the USA that we remember.

    I know this, because "I have eyes, and I see; I have ears, and I hear."

  • Tom Hampton

    We have seen the enemy and it's the R(ino)NC.