Craig Eisele on …..

February 1, 2012

Romney Wins But Still Looks Like a Detached Weak Phony in General

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mr. Craig @ 10:01 am

This is an extremely important point to keep in mind. Mitt Romney looks like a weak phony in this election campaign because he has to pretend to believe with all his heart in orthodox tea-party conservative positions that he transparently doesn’t really believe in. We know this because in the past, Mr Romney supported health-care reform including an individual mandate along the lines of the system he instituted in Massachusetts, essentially the same system as Obamacare. And in the past, he supported a cap-and-trade system for limiting greenhouse-gas emissions to address climate change. But at the time, both of those were orthodox Republican Party positions. The fact that they are anathema today is a legacy of the reactionary fury that has driven the party for the past three years. Conservative voters responded to their epic loss in 2008 with a partisan kulturkampf that labeled every major initiative launched by the Obama administration socialism, and declared the very existence of global warming to be some kind of Communist-scientist hoax. There were very few established Republican politicians who hadn’t taken positions in the George W. Bush era (or the Newt Gingrich era!) that pose ideological problems for them in the tea-party era. Mr Gingrich himself can fleetingly outrun the problem because, like most voters, he has the long-term intellectual consistency of a goldfish. But YouTube never forgets.

Republicans’ disenchantment with their current presidential candidates is not an incidental characteristic of this crop of candidates. It’s a structural feature of a contemporary Republican Party whose pieces don’t hang together. Pro-Iraq-war neoconservative Republicans cannot actually live with Ron Paul Republicans. Wall Street-hating anti-bail-out Republicans cannot actually live with Wall Street-working bail-out-receiving Republicans. Evangelical-conservative Republicans cannot actually live with libertarian, socially liberal Republicans. Deficit-slashing Republicans cannot live with tax-slashing Republicans. Medicare-cutting Republicans cannot live with Medicare-defending Republicans. These factions have been glued together over the past three years by the intensity of their partisan hatred for Barack Obama, and all of the underlying resentments that antipathy masks. Republicans have buried their differences by assaulting everything Mr Obama supports, and because Mr Obama is a pretty middle-of-the-road politician, that includes a whole lot of things that many Republicans used to support. They are disenchanted with their candidates because their candidates are incoherent, but their candidates are incoherent because the base is incoherent. If the GOP wins this election, the party’s leaders are going to be confronted with that incoherence pretty quickly. Unfortunately, so will the rest of us.

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