Republicans must deal with party turmoil to beat Obama

Much to the chagrin of hardened right-wing conservatives, Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire primary and did so handily. In victory, Romney became the first Republican who wasn’t an incumbent president to win both the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.

Romney won.

Barring an unforeseen and unlikely fall from grace, the former Massachusetts governor will be the Republican nominee.

I’m not a RINO or a country-club conservative or whatever you want to call it. But please, I’m begging you, if you don’t like Romney, shut up and get on board.

I’ve heard it from friends and on the radio, “But he’s not a conservative! Why can’t we have a conservative! Rick Santorum can win!”

Except that’s what they said about Herman Cain then Newt Gingrich and then…someone else I can’t remember the third one. Oh right, Rick Perry.

There are a group of conservatives who believe they shouldn’t have to accept anything less than a staunch fiscal and social conservative, one who has been there all along with them in their fight against leftist social engineering.

I get that.

Here’s the problem: those guys never had a chance (either did Michele Bachmann, although she’s obviously not a “guy”).

Rick Santorum can’t beat Obama.

Is he more conservative? Of course, but being more conservative than Obama doesn’t take much.

I keep going back to the line in the Ides of March, “Do you want to work for your friend or the president?”

Back in October, I wondered if a truly conservative candidate would come to the fore and be electable. The debate isn’t about whether a true conservative can win.

We know one can.

To me, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio are incredibly electable as would be Chris Christie and other conservatives who chose not to run.

On the other hand, there isn’t a shred of polling data to suggest anyone not named Mitt Romney (at least from the current field) can beat Barack Obama.

The latest polls have Obama and Romney running essentially even.

On the other hand, Gingrich, the more conservative former front-runner is getting pummeled by Obama.

Numbers are just as bad for Santorum and Paul.

Look, Romney is not the most consistent conservative. He also has a somewhat sordid past as a businessman and his vast wealth makes him utterly detestable to the kind of libertarian group of young people who would support Ron Paul, but never Romney.

He’s a little strange as a man, but has been a smart, steady leader as both a businessman and a governor.

It’s not my favorite choice either. The reality is, if conservatives don’t get behind him and continue to whine about how “their guy” didn’t get the nomination, then soon-to-be-former President Obama becomes second-term-to-hell-in-a-handbasket Obama and we’re much worse off.

Mitt Romney isn’t perfect by any means, but the sooner the conservative right gets on board (what happened to getting Obama out of office by any means necessary?), the faster and stronger the support for Mitt Romney will grow.

If the inter-party bickering among Republicans stops, there’s no chance Obama can win in November. If it doesn’t, and the intransigence of ultra-conservatives prevents them from supporting a moderate Republican candidate, then Obama can and will win.

It’s cutting off their nose to spite their face.

Obama has done a sufficient job attempting to fracture this country in an effort to galvanize support. To begin closing those fissures, Republicans have to start with their own party.

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