Monday, January 9, 2012

Republicans! Stop Looking for a Messiah!

By Alan Caruba

In 2008 the voters gave the Oval Office to a man who Rush Limbaugh and others mockingly called “the messiah” for his grandiose rhetoric and promises of change. If the first two primaries are any indication, Republican Party voters seem to be looking for their own messiah, a perfect candidate, and no such person exists.

Republicans have to stop seeking their own “messiah” in 2012. Most importantly, the six percent that Rasmussen Reports says are ready to vote for a third party candidate, if one emerges, have got to get their heads screwed on tighter because that’s a margin that could keep Obama in office for four more years. Additionally, Rasmussen reports that 53% believe Mitt Romney is the GOP candidate to defeat Obama.

In recent Wall Street Journal commentary, “Romney Wins but Takes a Beating”, columnist Peggy Noonan wrote “The Iowa results almost perfectly reflect the Republican Party, which, roughly speaking, is split into three parts—libertarians, social conservatives and moderate conservatives,” adding, “there’s no denying the Republicans are in a brawl, and it is becoming ferocious.”

I put the ugly tone of the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries squarely at the feet of Newt Gingrich. Angry, resentful, and eager for revenge over his loss in Iowa, Gingrich was still smarting from the attack ads aimed at him. He revealed an aspect of his personality well known from his days as Speaker of the House in the 1990s.

Rick Santorum did well in Iowa, but he brings a holier-than-thou approach to the campaign with his religion-based approach to various social issues. It’s not so much that I disagree with his positions, but there are a lot of independents who do not necessary go to church every Sunday.

Michele Bachmann’s strident tone didn’t help her much and Rick Perry’s punch-drunk approach to campaigning didn’t either. I worry that Ron Paul will try the third party route. At present, he will never get the nomination and his base is a bunch of boys and girls barely out of their adolescence. No Republican grownup takes Paul’s views seriously, nor should they. Jon Huntsman is a spoiled rich kid, a fellow Mormon, who seems to have a personal grudge against Romney.

Talking about Mormons, I am old enough to recall all the talk about John F. Kennedy having been a Catholic and how that would hurt him. It didn’t. What’s really amazing is that Barack Obama’s long association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a black liberation preacher and one who outspokenly condemned the U.S.A., barely put a dent in his run for the presidency.

As for Mormons, many have served honorably in high office since the days of President Eisenhower. It’s time to get off that hobby horse. If anything, I am greatly relieved that for all the talk of flip-flopping, there has not been a whisper of personal scandal regarding Romney. Compare that, please, to Bill Clinton.

At some point, likely after the South Carolina and Florida primaries, Republicans of all descriptions are going to conclude they have a good candidate in Mitt Romney. The party which has generally been run by white shoe, East Coast elites and a healthy mixture of Texas oilmen, has got to get serious about tearing Barack Obama to bits.

This election is not about finding “another” messiah to lead the nation. It’s about electing—frankly—anyone other than Obama and, hopefully, someone who has demonstrated real executive competence in public office and private enterprise.

In Congress the Republican leadership is elaborately polite in their discourse, but the election will not be won in the Capitol Building. It will be won in 50 States whose population has been taking a beating in a terrible economy made worse by the profligate spending and borrowing of the worst President this nation has ever known. By the time November rolls around, I want them to be mad as hell and it will be the party’s job to make sure that happens.

© Alan Caruba 2012


A A Gruntpuddock said...

Not an American but I was very disappointed when your best hope (imho)said that she was withdrawing - I think she would probably have been a very good President.

TexasFred said...

Wow, you and these *dark clouds* pics, I really like it, a nice touch.

Looking for a *messiah* in this current crop of CLOWNS that the GOP is offering up is like looking for a *straight male* at a Cher concert.

My wife has recorded a number of those concerts and we LOL looking at her fans. Some seriously confused people to say the least.

Well, the GOP is a seriously confused bunch too. I have long believed that the GOP/RNC has become nothing more then *Dem Lite*, and lately, it's not all that LITE.

Alan Caruba said...

@ A.A. You are welcome to chime in and offer your opinion. Rep. Bachmann was never able to gain any real traction with most GOP voters. We shall never know what kind of President she would have been.

Alan Caruba said...

@Fred: No, they are not a bunch of clowns. They are a bunch of Republican politicians competing for the highest office in the land and some, on close examination, cannot leap tall buildings in a single bound.

I think Pawlenty, Santorum, and maybe even Perry could do a good job as President, but I think Mitt has the right combination of experience to do a better job.

Teresa said...

I am sick of Republican voters being so nitpicky and expecting a perfect candidate or one who mirrors Ronald Reagan. That's an impossible request so GOP voters need to get over voting for a less than perfect conservative candidate. While I am backing Santorum I will most certainly vote for Romney if he wins the GOP nomination. He is much better than Obama.

Mark said...

Churchill said you can always count on the Americans to do the right thing - after exhausting the alternatives.

I'm sure (hopeful) he will be correct (again)

Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

I consider Romney to be a human windsock. He will blow wherever the winds of perceived public opinion take him.

The other issue for me is Romneycare. It's one thing to be forced into a compromise if you are a conservative governor of a very blue state. It is quite another to openly advocate and push a socialized medical scheme. I don't trust Romney to get rid of Obamacare.

I wish Paul Ryan would have run...

Alan Caruba said...

@Hell is like Newark. Paul Ryan is not running for president, but Romney is. He is the likely GOP nominee. The only thing that matters is the defeat of Obama. All else is dross.

Schism said...

Defeating Obama is worthless and less than useless unless the one who defeats him can turn things around. This means actually reducing government spending, cleaning up obsolete and redundant programs and departments, and generally halting 40 years worth of "progress".

Merely winning the election is nothing. That's why voters are so lukewarm on Romney. We don't believe he has either the will to, or the interest in, "turning things around". If he wins, government growth will slow, the speed of deficit increase will be reduced, and the economy will flatten somewhat in its downward spiral. Is that enough?

Is it possible for Romney to bring the EPA to heel? To revamp the DOJ into something vaguely resembling a "justice" outfit again? Gain enough influence to force the Federal Reserve to quit printing more money? Actually lead Congress to reverse Obamacare in the absence of a solid Supreme Court finding of unconstitutionality?

Don't think so...he hasn't got the spine.

Alan Caruba said...

"Merely winning an election is nothing"??????

Did you forget what happened in 2008.

Get a grip!

Ronbo said...


I agree with you totally on this issue - I did not much care for McCain in 2008, but I voted for him and I will vote for whoever wins the Republican nomination...even if it's Mitt Romney.

However, as you point out, there is a pretty good chance the upwards of six percent of the conservative vote in the general election will go to a third party candidate.

McThag said...

I'm not looking for a messiah, I'm looking for a candidate who isn't a Democrat in word and deed.

Is that too much to ask for?


lubindave said...

Romney and any one of several excellent V.P. choices will easily defeat Obama. We need to look beyond the present political turmoil and think seriously about the right Ticket.

Timmeehh said...

"No Republican grownup takes Paul’s views seriously"

Alan, that's a rather condescending remark, it's also not true as the latest CBS poll shows. Unless you think that almost half the Republicans polled are children.

You increasingly strike me as a very arrogant supporter of big government who views the working class as being beneath him.

I think we are done.

Alan Caruba said...

Timmeeh: It's just my opinion, nothing more. I do not look down on the working class. I applaud them, especially in any economy where Obama has killed far more jobs than he claims to have "created."

Dave's Daily Day Dream said...

I have never seen a Republican candidate be the brunt of so many "ad hominem" attacks as Dr. Paul has over the past decade. Certainly, some of his positions are without any real chance of being implemented and some are without merit. But, we as Republicans need not descend into the ways of the Democratic political machine. Progressives love a dirty fight because important things are overlooked in the heat of battle. Let's discuss the issues and the person best qualified to bring our Nation back. Whomsoever he or she may be.

Rachel P said...

Extremely well-spoken article, Alan...though Romney was not my first choice among all the candidates, I have felt exactly what you've stated here - all that matters is that we get rid of Obama. To that end, I really hope that Ron Paul doesn't devastate the nation's chance of kicking Obama out by running as a 3rd party...that would be the stupidest, most arrogant thing he could do, and to me would indicate that he doesn't, in fact, care about turning the country around, because giving us four more years of Obama would be hell on earth! He's going to have to get off the high horse at some point and do what the rest of us need to do: get solidly behind WHOMEVER gets the nomination to ENSURE Obama's defeat.
While I agree with Schism that what happens beyond the election is also important and a strong leader who could and would do all those things he mentioned would be ideal, at this point, ANYONE can do better than Obama has done, and hopefully would do at least the minimum to halt the vehicle that is careening down the horrific path we're on now. I'd like to believe that Romney is capable of doing more than just the bare minimum.

Master-Log said...

I'm new to your blog but just reading your analysis in my opinion you got it all wrong, the thing is not to vote for someone who could win, but for the right candidate. IN my view, Ron Paul is the best candidate that could be elected, his record in his previous posts speak for him, something that cannot be said for the rest of the candidates. I understand that in order to implement some of Paul's solutions it would mean an upheaval in the system but the route you are taking will lead your nation to disaster. Do You think the rest of the candidates will decrease deficit spending? Whether you like it or not Obama has been the continuation of G.W. Bush international politics, in the domestic front he´s got more socialist but that was the trend Bush was following albeit more slowly. You are likely to engage in more foreign wars whether Obama wins or not, moreover you deficit will skyrocket as a result and there will be further erosion of your freedoms.

I really hope Mr. Paul could win, at least he could significantly slow down the process. I have many American friends who thought no one could be worse than Bush but guess what, there really could be someone worse than him.