Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Romney: Sacrificial Lamb?

I'm not a professional political pundit, y'all. Just a smart-aleck sitting in his office writing stuff.

But I've never seen an election this weird in my life. Ever.

Romney may be the worst candidate this country has seen in a hundred years. He's an embarrassment. He is wooden, he's unbelievably bad speaking off-the-cuff, he has all the charisma of a turnip, and he doesn't seem to have any idea how to craft a winning policy.

But more than that - he seems to be doing this on his own.

I mean, sure, there are people like Reince Priebus who are paying lip service to him on the talk shows. but look at all the conservatives who have been undercutting him and questioning his candidacy. (This was happening before the damning videos came out, by the way. It's only going to get worse now.)

Erick Erickson:

But while we may be focused there, the fact is the Romney campaign isn’t functioning well. Lucky for you and me the election is not today. But something needs to happen in Boston and I am less and less hopeful anything will happen.

David Frum:

The policy problem is that the Romney campaign offers nothing but bad news to hardpressed Americans and the broader middle class.  How do you message: I'm doing away w Medicaid over the next 10 yrs, Medicare after that, to finance a cut in the top rate of tax to 28%?

 David Brooks:

Personally, I think [Romney is] a kind, decent man who says stupid things because he is pretending to be something he is not — some sort of cartoonish government-hater. But it scarcely matters. He’s running a depressingly inept presidential campaign. 

And these are people who should be in his corner. Obama will always get hammered by progressives for not being aggressive enough on issues like demilitarization, stopping climate change, supporting full equality for LGBT individuals, etc. But in the end, they'll vote for him because they know he's better than the alternative. I'm not sure everybody in the Republican party believes that.

So here's my theory. (It's not a new theory, but it's the theory I've come to believe.)

I think that the GOP never expected to win this election.

You know how baseball teams will dump all of their veteran players, bring in a bunch of fresh-faced youngsters, and say that it's a "rebuilding year?" Well, this is a rebuilding year for the GOP.

They don't think Romney will win. They don't even particularly want Romney to win. It's obvious that many of the powerful people in the Republican party don't like Mitt Romney - not because he's an elitist jerk, but because he's a "moderate." They'd rather have a Tea Party-style paleoconservative like Paul Ryan be their flag bearer. So they're using this election to say "you see what happens when we run pretend conservatives? Next time, let's run a real one!"

Mitt Romney's being thrown under the bus. Just think about his competition. Santorum? Gingrich? Nobody of any serious political stature ran against him, because nobody expected the GOP to win this election. Romney is their sacrificial lamb. So after the election, the real fun begins. Watch the turmoil that happens in 2013 and 2014 as the varying factions try to take the reins of a Republican party that's falling apart. We're going to see a civil war for the heart of the party. That's the real battle being fought here.