Many people will hold their fire until November 7th to say with gusto what is already known, and has been for some time: Mitt Romney isn’t up to this campaign. He might be a nice guy. He is a good father and husband by all reports. He may well be an effective businessman. What Mitt Romney isn’t is a leader. Mitt Romney is stuck in a hollowed-out, anti-ideological mold, from which his training and temperament will not permit him to escape. There is no way to say it but one: The Republican Party needs a different candidate, and it needs that candidate fast. Romney isn’t going to win this election, because he isn’t capable or willing to do what it will take, and the reserved, staid Republican establishment wouldn’t support him if he did. Instead, they’re willing to go down rather than let a conservative take the wheel, because when it comes down to it, they retreat rather than soil their hands in the muck of it all. After months of my prognostications about Romney’s inability to win, it’s all beginning to come true. Romney should have a double-digit lead in the polls, but he hasn’t, and the reason is simple: He’s not ideologically sufficient to the chore, and he’s failed to evince any passion for the task at hand.
If you’ve ever watched the movie “The Untouchables,” starring Kevin Kostner and Sean Connery, you already know what I mean. Al Capone was a ruthless killer, and Connery’s character(Mike Malone) demanded of Kostner’s Elliot Ness: “What are you prepared to do?”
Elliot Ness responds: “Everything within the law.”
Asks Malone, insistently: “And then what are you prepared to do?”
If Mitt Romney is willing to take that blood-oath, I’ve seen no evidence he is living up to it. Instead of hiring the sort of political aids who could help him “get Capone,” he’s hiring people who have a record of “getting” fellow Republicans. This is an astonishing situation, because what we see is a Republican party establishment not willing to deal harshly with statists, in part because of their own statist reflexes, and in part because they haven’t the stomach to fight anybody but conservatives, apparently. Now, lest you think it’s just me saying this, I have news: There is a growing list of people who have finally noticed what I’ve been saying all along. Rush talked about little else on Monday, and Hannity too. As I called to your attention over the weekend, at least one Tea Party leader is asking if it is “too late to switch[candidates?]”
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that no less an establishment Republican than Charles Krauthammer is urging Romney to abandon intellectual honesty and simply call Obama-care a tax and be done with it. Even the Wall Street Journal is figuring it out, but it could well be too late to fix it. Consider the meaning of all of the criticisms Romney is now receiving: He’s being told to fight, but he’s being told to abandon intellectual honesty to do so. That alone will wind up as an Obama campaign ad. It’s not that Mitt Romney is incapable of winning, but that he seems hopelessly inept when it comes to carrying on the fight. Where was this Mitt Romney in the Florida primary? Newt Gingrich might now be the nominee if Romney had been so tepid and accommodating of his Republican opponents as he is of Barack Obama.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is the height of absurdity for the GOP to have been reduced to abandoning intellectual honesty to defeat Barack Obama. It is the height of absurdity that the country now faces the very real possibility of a second term of Barack Obama, because the GOP establishment has given us a guy who is impaired in his ability to fight by virtue of his own record, and restrained from doing battle with Obama by virtue of the GOP establishment mind-set. Consider that Speaker John Boehner actually extolled the non-virtues of Romney, telling folk that [he]”can’t make you love Mitt Romney.” When’s the last time a sitting Republican Speaker of the House said that about a presumptive Republican nominee? This is their guy, and they wanted him, threatening to take their ball and their dollars and go elsewhere if we had “too conservative” a nominee. The conservative base became disgusted, but they could not overcome the “if you want to win, vote for Romney” talk, as every last conservative who had been paying attention these last dozen years knew with near certitude that Romney would not defeat Obama.
The National Republican Convention in Tampa is rapidly approaching, just seven weeks away, and if that party does not get its act together quickly, it is going to end its convention with a nominee who will possess neither the ability nor the will to win. It’s time Tea Party conservatives begin to ask what it is that they are willing to do. It may be time to have that brokered convention so many had feared months ago, because it may be the very last chance to save the country.