The “N-Head” “controversy” – which was the most contrived, yellow bit of journalism since Rochelle Olson’s hit piece on Alan Fine back in the ’06 race in MNCD5 – may not be what knocks Rick Perry out of the presidential race. Indeed, there are months before the fat lady sings, and anything can happen.
But Perry is making some unforced errors. And it looks as if Mitt Romney is making some moves toward testing the thesis that he’s “the most electable Republican”.
Now, let’s be clear ; Romney’s never been my candidate, but he’d be light years better than Obama. Indeed, except for John Huntsman and Mike Huckabee, every GOP contender (I know, Huck’s not in the race; work with me, here) would be a better president than Barack Obama, especially if we flip the Senate this next session; on dealing with the economy, Mitt Romney at the head of a Tea-Party-motivated two-house majority to temper whatever flecks of “moderate” impedimenta he still has would be just the cataract of common sense this nation desperately needs.
There is danger here, of course. “Berg’s Law” – the immutable laws of human and political behavior that I’ve compiled over the years – pretty clearly apply here.
I’ll cite the relevant ones:
Berg’s Eleventh Law of Inverse Viability: The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected.
The McCain Corollary To Berg’s Eleventh Law: If that respected conservative ever develops a chance of getting elected, that “respect” will turn to blind unreasoning hatred overnight.
The Huckabee Corollary the McCain Corolloary To Berg’s Eleventh Law: The Republican that the media covers most intensively before the nomination for any office will be the one that the liberals know they have the best chance of beating after the nomination, and/or will most cripple the GOP if nominated.
No ambiguity here.
It’s why the media has given the likes of McCain, Huckabee and John Huntsman such “favorable” coverage; in the hopes of building them up into contenders that’d sap the real Republican front-runner, or even fatally weak nominees that they could then turn around and demolish (vide McCain).
Now, I think the Democrats and media (pardon the redundancy) are in a bind here; they hate Perry, obviously; if nominated, he’s win in a landslide, so the media is on full-blown destructo alert; unfortunately, Perry is obliging. But they really wanted to prop up someone like a Huntsman, who is indistinguishable from a mainstream Democrat, or Huckabee, who is more of the same plus the kind of pro-lifer that’ll get the social libs exercised enough to maybe squeedge out some votes.
Romney? He’s not a Tea Party favorite, but most of the Tea Party is driven by common sense, not purist ideology; the Tea Party is as much about rejecting socialism as it is adopting pure conservatism.
And that may sum up Romney’s appeal; he’s not a pure libertarian ideologue; nobody will ever mistake him for Ron Paul. But he’s conservative enough on the issues that matter – the economy, business – and he’s got a lifetime of experience actually executing on that ideology, unlike the current resident.
So yeah, if Romney is the nominee, I won’t need to hold my nose to work and vote for him. He’s not perfect, but he’s way more than “good enough”. On a stage full of candidates who would all be better than Obama on every issue, Romney (along with Perry and Cain) stands out from the pack on the issue – the economy.
Could Herman Cain still blow this thing up? It’s fun to think so; I’d hate to think that our race was already decided 10 months before the convention, 2-4 months before the first caucus or primary.
At any rate, as (I think it was) Mark Steyn noted on the Hewitt show the other day, the GOP race really has devolved to “who is going to be Marco Rubio’s running mate?”