A COUPLE OF THOUGHTS
Please allow me briefly to check in, even though we are still within my self-imposed exile from blogging (which I expect to last a month or so).
Am I the only one who is disgusted with the recommendation of the liberal website, Daily Kos, to urge Democrats to register as a Republican and vote for Rick Santorum? I realize that Santorum’s defining characteristic is bigotry and that he is almost certainly unelectable. In other words, a vote for Santorum is indeed a vote for Obama. But does that give us Democrats the right to try to subvert the will of the Republican electorate and deprive them of the opportunity to nominate who THEY want to nominate? Talk about the ends justifying the means.
The Daily Kos’ plan is a repeat of Rush Limbaugh’s “Vote for Hillary” campaign from four years ago. At the time Limbaugh came up with the idea, I thought it was a clear indication that he really does have no respect for democracy or the American system of government. Now, I’m forced to raise these same concerns with the Daily Kos. Let’s let the Republicans nominate who they want to nominate. Have you looked at their talent mill? Any of their candidates is highly likely to lose in the fall.
Speaking of the horse race itself, have you noticed the fascinating dynamic of the recent Republican debates? As soon as one of the Lilliputians who have been chasing Romney finally takes the lead in the polls, he lays an egg. It happened to Gingrich in the debates after he won in South Carolina. And it happened to Santorum this past week. Strangely, whatever fighting spirit brought them to the precipice of victory vanished, they seemed content to play defense rather than attack with a vengeance, and, as a result, Romney rolled over them like a tank.
How can we explain that development? Had these men gotten so drunk by the prospect of their own victory that they couldn't lower themselves to get back into the trenches? I would have expected that reaction from a narcissistic personality who is deluded by the idea of his own greatness, and while I don't know if that description applies to Gingrich or Santorum, it certainly doesn't seem implausible. Surely, neither of those men could have been so clueless as to think he could just show up and out-patrician Romney. Mitt will always be the leading aristocrat in this field. The only way to defeat him is to challenge him where he is most vulnerable – on the idea that he is a dishonest politician who says whatever the thinks people want to hear, or that he is totally out of touch with the needs of the poor or the middle class. The key word there is “challenge.” It requires the kind of risk-taking and passion that Mitt hasn’t had to worry about from his challengers once they reached the top of the polls.
Frankly, I’m tempted to say that the race is finally over (for I do think Mitt will win both Michigan and Arizona), but I’ll hold off this time and at least wait to see what happens a week from now in the south. A clear defeat there could indeed create one final chance for an upset. If so, Mitt's pursuers had better start throwing punches, rather than simply smiling and trying to “look Presidential.” Say what you want about Gingrich and Santorum, but “looking Presidential” is not in their bag of tricks.