For Republicans, The End Is Blue
The upset in their unbridled accordance is oddly akin to the decades-long quarrelsome nature of the Democratic Party.
But the GOP, more recently characterized by the sandbox squabbles among their candidates, lack the collective foresight needed to capture their median base in November.
With many in the party still unaware of an already ensued “GOPocalypse,” this year could very well be a repeat of 2004. Only this time, a Democratic incumbent will resettle into the comfy chair behind his Oval Office desk the following January.
Factions of the GOP have been at each other’s throats since the beginning of the primary season. Throughout the debate, one side preaches fiscal prudency, and the other morality. The primary candidates mirror those of classically sparring Democrats in 2004. And the front-runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, like his fellow statesman Sen. John Kerry, is poised to face an embattled leader.
President Barack Obama, like predecessor, George W. Bush, is a leader with lukewarm admiration from the body politic. His approval ratings resemble Bush’s at this time in 2004, hovering between the 40s and 50s, depending on the direction of political winds. Similar to 2004, Obama will have to prove himself to an electorate leery of the economy and national security.
Despite immediate gains: an improving economic outlook, and two assassinated tyrants in the Middle East, among others, Americans still await the “change” he promised in 2008, just like the “fresh start” Bush promised in 2000.
But Romney, a right-of-center moderate and otherwise worthy adversary, has allowed a radical few in his party to muddle his once logic-driven ideologies.
Having to face fringe candidates like Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Georgia Rep. Newt Gingrich, Romney has turned himself into a rouge Republican, contrary to who he actually is as a leader. He, and many politicos know this.
After all, he was governor of what has historically been the bluest state in the country. No way Massachusettians would have voted for a Romney who has contributed to the type of toxic rhetoric present during this year’s debates.
In a recent op-ed, distinguished economist Paul Krugman cleverly coined Romney as a “closet Keynesian,” alluding to the candidate’s apparent belief in the teachings of John Maynard Keynes as the interference of government in failing markets.
For those unfamiliar, Keynesian economics has come to be cardinal sin among Republicans.
“If you just cut, if all you’re thinking about doing is cutting spending, as you cut spending you’ll slow down the economy,” he told a crowd in Michigan last Tuesday.
If anything else is a testament to Romney’s centrism, it should be Massachusetts’ 2006 health care reform measure, otherwise known as “RomneyCare”: a plan to which the right-be-damned “ObamaCare” wholly owes its namesake.
His contradictory stance on health reform, his flip-flop on abortion, and being coy on the new moral war on, will be stuck on the minds of his party and at the forefront of the would-be debates between Romney and Obama during the general election. Mr. Romney will find himself, facing a well-funded, trained and established moderate Democratic incumbent, who isn’t as shaky on social issues, the future of entitlement programs and foreign policy.
Inexperienced on the national stage, Mr. Romney will find himself fumbling on these hot-button issues in front of his base and others who virulently oppose his fair-weather ideals.
The 2004 Election saw a time when Americans weren’t fond of their leadership under Bush, whose administration, like the current one, was deadlocked, and privately unsure of their interference in Afghanistan and other realms of foreign policy. The country, however, couldn’t fathom their troubled nation and world in the hands of a fresh-faced John Kerry, who couldn’t seem to capitalize on his opponents’ downfalls.
Mr. Romney, having worn too many faces in his political career up until the primary, all of which are unfamiliar to his base, may end up like many of Massachusetts’ presidential-hopefuls — once again losing a presidential election.