Blaming Grassroots for the Failure of Inevitability

When I read articles such as these I always think about the villains in Scooby Doo. The Gang removes the monster mask from the perp and underneath, it’s old man Jenkins! And he would’ve gotten away with it, too, were it not for those pesky kids. The same can be said of grassroots, Mitt Romney, and the Romney surrogates in the media. He would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for those pesky grassroots.

I came across an interesting editorial in the American Thinker; I happen to like the American Thinker and read it often. I just disagree with the premises presented in John Ziegler’s post and wonder at the motivation behind his negativity towards Sarah Palin.

The clearest track to an Obama defeat since the primaries began has always been for Republicans to rally around Mitt Romney and then use his potential appeal to independent voters and unique connections to the key states of New Hampshire, Michigan, and Nevada to effectively block the president’s path to 270 Electoral College votes.

It is now abundantly clear that this scenario is not going to transpire.

Thanks to Romney being forced to expend enormous capital to destroy a candidate (Newt Gingrich) whom the conservative base should have been able to quickly reject on their own by simply engaging in a routine smell test, and that candidate’s ensuing vendetta against Romney and his career in capitalism, the presumed frontrunner has seen his personal ratings take a dive among the very swing voters on which his “electability” argument is based.

Only Romney fans believe in the fantasy of candidate destiny; the rest of us are grounded in the reality of a candidate who can lose five out of nine contests yet still be called “inevitable.” Instead of blaming the grassroots for their refusal to support a moderate candidate in the primary, Romney supporters should redirect their anger towards the candidate who gave these grassroots just cause to doubt him.

Many of us don’t buy the logic that the only way to move the country to a more conservative base is to nominate a moderate candidate. We don’t buy the logic that we should trust a candidate to run the White House in the manner opposite to how he ran his state while in the governor’s mansion.

The presence of other primary candidates is part of the process in our constitutional republic. It’s worrisome, to say the least, that a candidate and his surrogates are complaining about a process they’re simultaneously vowing to support and identifying it as an obstacle to their success. If you think we should coronate candidates as opposed to vetting them and allowing for the will of the people at the polls, there are other countries with governments better suited to such a preference. But that’s not how it works in the United States and we’ve shed a lot of blood to keep it that way.

Romney has to “spend his capital” to fight another candidate who sees an opportunity to exploit the conservative deficiency in his record. For those who defend the competitive stakes of capitalism, can you blame the other candidate? The other candidates didn’t cause this schism between Romney and grassroots, Mitt Romney caused this with his record. Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul didn’t whisper encouragement in Romney’s ear when he signed into law socialized state medicine with taxpayer-funded abortion and they shouldn’t be blamed for the consequence of Romney’s signing it now. It’s antithetical to conservatism and just as, if not more, offensive than the muddled Gingrich attack on Bain.

This double-whammy will make it impossible for Romney to run away with the nomination, especially when there is no motivation for any of the other three to drop out and because the conservative media has a profound incentive for the primary season to continue all the way to the finish.  At best, in opposition to Sarah Palin’s absurd and self-serving claims to the contrary, this means that Romney will emerge battered, bruised, and significantly weakened against Obama in the fall.

This is a consequence of seeking elected office: the things a candidate says in the past and a candidate’s record may be used against him by voters as they weigh the pros and cons of his possible nomination. Condemning grassroots for not adopting Romney due to his record is akin to condemning grassroots for not adopting Obamacare due to its contents. Have some become so invested in a candidate that they’re willing to become the people they’re fighting, if only for the primary, to get him elected? If Gingrich and his surrogates were whiny (they were) about the negative aspect of politics, a hallmark of the political institution, then Romney and his surrogates are by equal measure when complaining about the vetting process.

… Third, the “Not Romney” crowd now has every reason to believe that Santorum is truly the last option, and they are not likely to let go easily.  Finally, coming after the attacks on Newt and following Santorum taking the lead in numerous key polls, the Romney attacks may be powerless because they will be seen as desperate and coming from a man with nothing else to offer but a maniacal desire to become president, no matter what it takes.

[…]

Newt Gingrich, who out of ego and a selfish desire for revenge, legitimized the dishonest attacks on Romney’s financial career and character.

Sarah Palin, who in a selfish desire to maintain her own long-term relevance …

Agreed with the “non-Roms,” but is it not just as maniacal, the ambition to become president as the sacrifice of further splitting the right? These aspersions are always crudely cast upon Romney’s opponents but his ambition is never questioned.

… part of me would like to see Santorum win and get crushed so at least those who purposely led us into this ambush would at least get exposed …

… Far too many conservatives have acted like they don’t really want to beat Obama, and we are all likely to pay a very deep price for that.

Considering those two sentences together underscores my point and Zeigler’s. Indeed.


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