Philip Klein comments on the sad state of the Republican race:
Over the next few weeks, or months, Gingrich will argue that Romney isn't conservative and isn't as electable as the establishment will have you believe, while Romney will argue that Gingrich isn't electable and isn't as conservative as he'd have you believe. And they'll both be right.Yup. But it's impossible to compare the process of electing a president now to what it was two centuries ago, or even to fifty years ago when television changed everything. Huge piles of money are now crucial to success, and media scrutiny is so intense that not many persons, even great ones, are willing to subject themselves or their families to its pitiless glare.
Rick Santorum, the newly-minted Iowa victor will try to find a seam between the two of them by arguing that he is the choice for consistent conservatism. But he'll run into problems making that argument.
Of course, President Obama is looming in the background in all of this. If he wins, he won't repeal Obamacare or sign real entitlement reform to rein in our debt. He'll raise taxes, expand regulations on businesses, appoint a new wave of liberal judges to the bench and union-friendly appointees to key posts.
One of the miracles of America's founding was that so many great men emerged at once and complemented each other with unique skills. But now, in a time of great crisis, we're stuck with painfully bad choices.
Now for a bit of dead-horse-beating. As for the might-have-runs who chose not to offer themselves as candidates this time around, none of them had the complete Rick Perry package: genuine conservative principles, a long record of successful leadership, and a temperament suited to the office. And none of them was without his own negatives. To name a few: Mitch Daniels: "truce," bald, family problems; Bobby Jindal: dull; Chris Christie: too fat, RINO-esque, arrogant; even Paul Ryan: inexperienced. And who knows how the fickle at-home viewers would have rated their debate performances? Perry's notorious oops (and the resultant disproportionate, magnifying spin) was the biggest factor in his failure to attract support. Amid all the attention, little serious discussion was given to what kind of president he was likely to have been, based on his extensive record. His flop was an enormous win for Obama.
Now we're looking at a couple of guys with towering negatives, some of which may constitute deal-breakers for some conservative voters. Come November and beyond, when this American Idol-esque nomination process has borne its strange fruit, Perry's "oops" may look very tiny in comparison to the one uttered by the rest of us.
Most recent posts here. Twitter feed here. Amazon store here.