Alas, the curse of being an elephant is that one can never forget. Poor Ernest! No one to trumpet, no one to parade before the cheering crowds, and he appears to have sold some of his ivory for the good of the cause. I fear he may go completely rogue. But he should keep in mind California doesn’t have its primary till June. Someone electable might yet emerge. Or at least someone with mass appeal, who will make people think, and yet looks good in a ringmaster’s regalia. I’m thinking Ron Paul.
It’s a problem peculiar to political pachyderms—their memories are strong, their sense of nostalgia even stronger. Which is probably why Ernest finds Mssrs. Romney and Gingrich especially loathsome. Ernest REMEMBERS.
Try as they might to invoke his sacred image, not one of the current crop of Republican’ts can hold a little white candle to the easy grace and sheer affability of the Gipper, and all this me-too line-in-the-sand posturing with regards to taxes, the deficit, and the so-called “sanctity” of marriage—since when has a civil contract in the United States ever needed the blessing of a religious organization?—is little more than a craven distraction from the ongoing economic crisis, not to mention the increasing complexity of our relationship with China, instability in the Middle East (esp. Af-Pak and Iran), and the threat of further upheavals in the Eurozone. With the possible exception of (the too moderate to be nominated) Jon Huntsman, not one of these GOP hopefuls has the wherewithal to give thoughtful consideration to the issues and handle them accordingly. Nuance is a foreign concept. Cheap rhetoric, on the other hand…
And so Ernest watches, weeps, and wonders if President Obama really needs to be a one-term president. Maybe that cranky old tortoise in the Senate should be the one to leave instead, and that no-can-do orange Speaker. And those good-for-nothing tea-partiers. Way to shanghai the Party, guys.
Effective policy is all about compromise, after all. One must never say “never”; those who do have no business in Washington.
I could make a laundry-list rant about everything that has gone wrong in the Primary election, and may do so in my own blog, but the summary is simple- you can find the exact moments each hopeful abandoned their candidacies (and I don’t mean their concession speeches) simply by searching their ads and propaganda on YouTube.
Romney can become electable if he feels like it, but at the moment I don’t think he will.
The main hurdle which Romney faces is his established inability to rally the diehard conservative base to his cause—which is not necessarily a bad thing for Mitt, whether as an individual or as a potential Commander in Chief, considering how polarizing and intractable the Tea Party set can be, not to mention the generally impractical brand of libertarianism which Rep. Ron Paul promotes. Effective presidencies are built with compromise and consensus, concepts with are anathema to both ends of the political pole, but especially so to members of the GOP these days. A cranky lot, they are.
Still, while Romney’s measured inoffensiveness and (relatively) light use of rhetorical red meat may play fairly well with moderates and independents leery of extreme social and fiscal conservatism and thoroughly unconvinced by any candidates’ vague promises of extreme reforms, President Obama plays equally well (if not better) to those same crowds and has the de facto support of his own party’s base. Then you have the discouraging spectacles of a recalcitrant Republican Congress and the outrageousness of the GOP primaries helping to promote the current administration’s long-standing narrative, in which the President is the only reasonable adult in a room full of squabbling children and stubborn old men. Hard to fight that stereotype when both Congress and the Republican base are so eager to play into it.
Moreover, a news flash to the Romney campaign: hiring a boisterous blowhard like Chris Christie is not likely to help things. The Right loves the Mordant Mound from Mendham (that bear-hating son of a so-and-so), but that love is not likely to transfer to Mitt the Mild-mannered Mormon. It’s a catch twenty-two if ever there was one: Mitt can’t excite the base without alienating moderates and independents, and he needs to attract both to have any hope of winning the general election.
But that’s just Bear Lawyer’s off-the-cuff analysis of the situation, and it must needs be said that his sympathies run somewhat counter to the GOP’s platform, though he is nevertheless empathetic to Ernest the Conservative Elephant’s electoral distress.
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