Is the GOP Establishment Leading Us Over a Cliff?

Here We Go Again?

With Super Tuesday just two days away, I have a question or two about the direction in which the GOP establishment is leading the party.  We have been told that Mitt Romney is “inevitable,” but even if we accept this notion, I wonder what it will mean for the country in the upcoming elections.  Mitt Romney’s unfavorability ratings have soared, and half of Americans now see him in a negative light.  We are told his organization is first-rate, but apart from the gobs of money he and surrogate SuperPACs are spending, I really don’t see where that’s having any impact.  When you break down his support by income group, Romney only carried one segment in his recent narrow victory in Michigan, and that is the group earning over $100,000 annually.  If most voters were in that group, one might not have reason to worry, but the problem is that most voters are not.  Take away that segment, and Romney lost Michigan to Santorum.  This leads to my question, and I’ve narrowed it down to just this: When the establishment of the Republican party tells us Romney is “inevitable,” my mind leaps to November 7th, and asks: “Inevitable defeat?”

Mike Huckabee hosted an interesting forum for three of the four candidates remaining on Fox News, Ron Paul declining to participate, and it was interesting, detailed, and permitted the small panels to ask the candidates questions directly, and have a real exchange with them.  At the end, they each gave a closing statement.  What I found interesting about this was that among them all, it seemed to me that newt Gingrich gave the most detailed, specific answers to the questions.  It was clear that he had a better grasp of the issues than the other two, and while neither Romney or Santorum fumbled badly, viewing each in isolation this way, it was clear from the perspective of a viewer, Gingrich clearly ruled.

There was some discussion that Romney came across as personable, but at one point, during the closing statements segment, it seemed perfectly plastic.  Mitt’s time had expired, and Santorum was walking up to take his place, and Romney, now on his way out, did the laugh and grab thing that seemed contrived, as he placed his hand on Santorum’s shoulder and so on.  It seemed out of place. It seemed contrived. It reminded me of when meeting with a group, including somebody who I know can’t stand me goes through these motions in an attempt to disguise the ill will, but must keep up appearances.

This is the sense that one gets about Romney, and while it may not bother some in the GOP establishment, since that is how they function anyway, it is a signature of the plasticity of Mitt Romney and the whole upper echelon of Republican party insiders.  There are a few who can carry this off but it’s an intangible thing one senses in an intuitive way.  If this is the best Mitt Romney can offer, I fear my question will answer itself.  As I replay the moment in my mind, what it evinces is a desire by Romney to force an impression of warmth that a dog kennel strapped to an automobile’s rooftop roundly disputes.

It is true at this point that Romney seems as though he’s in command of the delegate count, but that’s another issue in which I must object. Hard delegates?  Soft delegates?  Last minute changes to delegate distribution?  It seems to me that the whole question of delegates is so thoroughly muddied by all of the rule changes, and the manipulations makes the delegate count suspect in a variety of ways.  Put bluntly, I don’t see how the RNC can have a rule in place that says no contests may be winner-take-all before April 1st, but then permit them to be winner-take-all.  Something doesn’t add up, but I suspect I’m using the wrong formula, which is roughly: Whatever the GOP Establishment decides:  Sum equals “Inevitable.”

Of course, with Super Tuesday looming before us, it is entirely possible that even with his win on Saturday in the state of Washington, Mitt Romney will not carry all of the states contested.  Santorum may win in some, and Gingrich will almost certainly carry at least Georgia.  What emerges from this picture is that while Romney may indeed get to 1144 delegates, it’s not clear that this inevitable nomination will translate into a victory over Barack Obama.  With his negatives on the climb, he faces an uphill battle in which he may find himself portrayed as he is widely seen, even in the Republican party: Wealthy, out of touch, and hopelessly incapable of defeating Barack Obama.  In a world in which perception too frequently drives reality, this may spell doom for the GOP come November.  I ask once again: Can we afford an “inevitable nominee” who is widely perceived as capable of no more than  inevitable defeat?


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10 Responses to Is the GOP Establishment Leading Us Over a Cliff?

  1. George says:

    If Romney wins the nomination this will be the last election the Republicans will ever be competitive in – they’re Whig’ing themselves.  The freedom-loving people of the party have said “Hell NO!” for the past four years but the “leadership” keeps pushing their chosen liberal candidate.I’ll have a *VERY* hard to impossible time holding my nose to vote Romney.  He said he’ll keep most or all of Obamacare.  That’s all you need to know.  The general election would be a choice between a deliberate destruction of the country under the Democrat banner or a slightly slower destruction under Republican banner.  Having Congress and Romney in the WH would make it even harder for the few honorable patriots in Congress to oppose the downward slide.Gingrich is the only one with an actual legislative RECORD I can support – balanced budget, welfare reform, and Contract with America.  Period.Santorum enthusiastically stood with the party and gave us Specter over Toomey and thus Obamacare and voted for Medicare Part D. Paul is a whack job on Iran and has never actually accomplished anything in his decades in the House except empty (two-faced) rhetoric.

    Talk about pale pastels.

    • Chad says:

      Pale pastels is the perfect way to describe this field. The only one that’s speaking any truth on domestic policy is Paul. But, his nasally voice and horrific foreign policy rhetoric drowns out anything sensible. And, as you said, he hasn’t actually accomplished anything.

      We’re in a real rough spot. There are so many up-and-comers, yet none of them got in to this election. If we lose to Obama again, they may not get the chance.

      • Trust1TG says:

        Did you know that Ron Paul’s debate coach is a well-known actor?

        http://www (dot) youtube (dot) com/watch?v=_I226Sfgs0s&

  2. smbren says:

    Personally I am flabbergasted over Romney. I prefer Newt, and have no idea why his words are not resonating. The primary voters appear to be staying home, there is decline in all states.  I do worry, I just cannot see conservatives voting in the large numbers we need. I really believe the republican party assumes there will be enough cross overs from dems. and Ind. to get the job done. I don’t think it is going to play out that way….great write up!

    • M_over says:

      I can help. I think his words are great
      also, but I don’t trust him. Many politicians before have said great things,
      but they do so often to get the power, and Gingrinch strikes me as a narcissist.  We already have a narcissist in the oval
      office.   Now I say this because of his
      over confidence, his wife #3 that was a 6 year mistress.  He sat with Pelosi on global warming when he
      thought it made political sense, he got Fannie and Freddy money when it made
      him money, and his big Tiffany’s account. 
      I’d support any of the 4 when they win, but I don’t think Gingrich has
      much of a chance in the general election, just like Romney and for some of the
      same reasons.  I even have concerns about
      Santorum, but I think Santorum has a record of standing firm to his beliefs
      even when not politically popular, and no I’m not saying he our anyone is
      perfect.  Social issues are the root of
      our demise, and the one consistent in understanding this is Santorum. 

  3. Judy says:

    The answer is a resounding “YES” to the title question and a resounding “NO” to your final question!
    Great post MarkAmerica. Keep up the good work! 

  4. Gail says:

    Romney is doubt

  5. Cr-fmmartin says:

    It seems with Romney and Santorum falling in the recent polls, it is clearly possible that Newt (now rising in the polls) may actually have that third impossible surge that has been predicted. I hold my breath in hopes that our moderate and conservative republicans and independents ( and democrats) will finally see the conservative qualities and very real experience that this very capable, very knowledgeable man brings to the table. His plans and platform is outstanding. Add to that the fact he has done what we need done before, and done it very well, well there can be no more to say. NEWT 2012!!

  6. Cbartlett says:

    Mark – love the picture posted at the top of this post! Hard to believe the GOP establishment is so incredibly invested in supporting a candidate that is even worse than McCain. Hope that the sheeple wake up and really really listen to these candidates. Ignorance iS the worst enemy at this point…..

  7. Maxandfrancis says:

    Run, Sarah, run!