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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Well at least Mitt Romney took Hawaii, you know the alleged birthplace of Barack Obama.

But in the contests that mattered Tuesday night, it's hard to imagine a worse scenario for the one-time inevitable GOP front-runner who lost to both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich in Alabama and Mississippi.

As Gingrich proclaimed:
“Both conservative candidates got 70 percent of the vote. If you’re the front-runner and you keep coming in third, you’re not much of a front-runner.’’
Not that the Newtser is anything more than the Undead Candidate, whose path to the nomination is  doomed, no matter how hard his campaign tries to spin things. As the Globe's Glen Johnson notes:
A string of wins not just in the South but also the Midwest has lent credence to Santorum’s claim that, rather, he is the true right-wing alternative to Romney. It also buttresses his argument that he could fare even better in his quest for the nomination if Gingrich quit the race so he could go head-to-head with frontrunner.
So the three-man GOP campaign rolls on, fueled by animus to the former Massachusetts governor and Sheldon Adelson's millions.

The mess heightens the turmoil in the Grand Old Party, which seems to be totally devoid of leadership since the much-maligned Michael Steele rode off into the sunset after the 2010 congressional elections. Can you name the man who replaced him?

The party "establishment," such as it is, has nightmares over either Santorum or Gingrich as standard-bearers and has been quietly working to reinforce the ultimate Myth -- Romney inevitability. The results from the actual electorate -- you know they ones who think Obama is a Kenyan Muslim and evolution is a fraud -- clearly suggest otherwise.

If there were such things as party elders, they would be working to convince Gingrich that two second-place Southern showings mean he should do something honorable -- such as end his personal Romney Bashing Tour and step aside for Santorum. Anyone want to give odds on that happening?

Then there is Santorum, a devout Catholic who has managed to turn off his co-religionists with his strident theology that rejects concepts like birth control and prenatal testing.

And so the GOP band wagon rolls on, a carny show that distracts people from the real issues facing the nation by spewing lies and venom that are likely to depress turnout in November, leaving the White House to the candidate who can do the most to energize his base.

And that is clearly looking like Barack Obama, tired old 2011 spin notwithstanding.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you look at the general election in November like the playoffs in sports, who do you want in the finals? I want someone who has had some hard fought games and come out ready to handle the final showdown. Romney will be the candidate and will have honed his campaigning against some tough competition. Barack won't have anyone question him until the finals and may find the lamestream media won't be treating him with kid gloves this election. He's a smooth talker but a couple of problems over the summer (Iran/Israel)and he won't be able to gloss things over.

March 14, 2012 6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, This isn't 2008.

A GOP civil war, and open hostility between the candidates is not the same "hard fought" battles Hillary and Obama went through.

Romeny hasn't won any of these voter blocks: The south, less than 50K, Evangelicals, or "very" conservative. How does one win when GOP enthusiasm is way down, and you are not able to even win the base in one state?

Pray do tell. The facts don't lie, unlike the TPM's.

March 14, 2012 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the chips are down and you're going to vote for someone, you'll vote for your best alternative. You think the green vote or the gay vote is going to be enthusiastic in voting for Barack? No, but they will. Gingrich voters certainly won't switch over and go for Barack.

March 14, 2012 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Romney will get the nomination. He is the best one for the job of president among the Republicans, such as they are, but he is, by far, the worst candidate. A better candidate, with any kind of touch, would have sealed this thing up a long time ago.

March 14, 2012 12:48 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

"You think the green vote or the gay vote is going to be enthusiastic in voting for Barack?"

Pipeline stopped, first pres to really push alt energy and fuel efficiency. Not defending DOMA and repealed DADT.

It's true those groups didn't get 100% what they wanted, but the fact is that's life. Politics is the art of the possible, and it's up to those constituencies to move the goal posts for their elected officials to take up new policy positions.

Either way, he's given those groups reasons to keep fighting and also successes to celebrate. I'm not sure you can say the same for the other side.

Their view on leaders decreeing their projects, and then suffering backlash has been draining their tent. It's also lead to a lot of animosity for the politicians that are "not us". An area Romney fits squarely into.

Again, voting is way, way down in these primaries. The base seems Romney as a white Obama. That's not even toughing on the evangelical issue on voting for a Mormon.

So, I ask again: What path to the presidency does Romney have without these voter blocks: The south, less than 50K, Evangelicals, or "very" conservative?

Further, he's already moved to the right that he's losing women by 20 pts. Politics IS a zero sum game. Winning the base means losing the middle and vice versa.

Honestly, Santorum is the party's best bet to to save face. The party needs a electoral shellacking of a standard barer to get the pain over with, and start a reformation.

Otherwise 2016 is going to be even more fun, when the demographics are even more in tune with the Dems and the GOP is sour on two elections cycles lost to RINO's who "weren't conservative enough".

It's part of the reason for the weak field this year. Romney, showing his great managerial skills, was stupid enough to take the mantel of the fall guy.

March 14, 2012 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We'll see. In most elections the presidential race draws in voters who then add to the local vote totals for that parties candidate, in this election it might well be the other way around.

March 15, 2012 4:45 AM  

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