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The politics of self-destruction

By Mark Alexander
web posted March 12, 2012

With Super Tuesday concluded last week, the citizens of 23 states have cast votes in the 2012 presidential primaries. The conventional wisdom is that of the four GOP candidates still in the running, Mitt Romney will be the nominee -- because none of the others is likely to garner two-thirds of the delegates in the remaining 27 primaries.

However, given that the majority of the delegates are allocated by way of proportional representation, Romney will have to register victories in all of the remaining winner-take-all states, and a majority of delegates in the others, in order to gather the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the nomination. But of the votes cast to date, the majority have been against Romney, which indicates substantial disunity between establishment Republicans and conservatives across the nation. If this trend continues, Romney will be denied sufficient delegates to prevent a deadlock.

Though we do not have the option of merging the best candidate attributes into one nominee with impeccable presidential character, the primary process is clarifying voter concerns and, accordingly, sharpening the candidates' policy positions. That may be too little, too late if the four remaining candidates continue cannibal campaigns against each other.

One hopes that, well before the final primaries in June, a clear nominee will emerge, and that the other three will stand in support -- strongly rallying their constituencies around their winning colleague. If no clear leader does emerge, however, these four Republican candidates will, unfortunately, continue to attack each other, much to the glee of Barack Hussein Obama and his Leftist cadres.

Regardless of the Republican Primary outcome, Barack and his crew will focus on the eventual winner, devoting much of their re-election advertising campaign to replaying the intraparty criticism from the Republican primary debates -- and Republicans will have no one to blame but themselves.

The infighting between Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum (with some peripheral jabs from Ron Paul) comes at great expense to their campaign coffers and, more important, to their ability to defeat Obama. If the strident attacks continue for the next 12 weeks until the primaries are complete -- or worse, right into the Republican Convention in August -- there will be little time to form a unified front and focus all their energy and resources on defeating Obama. To that end, the Republican candidates do a great disservice to the fight to restore Liberty as it was bequeathed to us and, by extension, to our posterity.

Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, rightly chastised Republicans for "appealing to people's fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective." In the very similar election cycle of 1980, Ronald Reagan won by appealing to all that is good and right with America -- and focusing his campaign on the failures of Jimmy Carter rather than his primary opponent and Jeb's father, George H. W. Bush. (Notably, despite the elder Bush's accusation that Reagan's central campaign theme was "voodoo economics," Reagan won two decisive presidential victories -- with his former critic on the ticket.)

This election is the GOP's to lose, but the Republican Party has demonstrated an aptitude for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory (Bush, Dole, McCain). The Demos' most effective electoral strategy is their tried-and-true politics of disparity -- divide and conquer. If a Republican leader does not emerge soon, it is possible that the remaining four candidates will execute that strategy for them and pave the way for Obama's re-election. A Santorum or Gingrich nomination would require battling all the way through the convention, and that will likely assure an Obama victory, and with minimal gains in the critical down-ballot elections in the House and Senate.

Thus, it is with regret that I conclude that if at least two of the three remaining candidates do not bow out by the end of April, we may well end with a chaotic and divisive brokered convention in Tampa -- and, consequently, the re-election of Obama. I believe Newt Gingrich should step out now -- for the greater good. Note that I deliver this analysis not to promote one candidate over another, but to advocate for the goal of defeating Barack Obama, strengthening our majority in the House and regaining a majority in the Senate. (Don't shoot the messenger!)

Suggesting that it is time to narrow the field might cause some Republican and conservative heartburn, but it is fully consistent with our mission to "support and defend" our national foundation of Essential Liberty. As such, it is also fully consistent with our efforts to restore constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promote free enterprise, a strong national defense and traditional American values.

If the nominee were Romney, then Santorum -- or better Florida Senator Marco Rubio -- would balance a Romney ticket and, of much greater importance, increase the likelihood of gains not only in the federal legislature but also in state houses across the nation. Having a young conservative on the bottom of the ticket would put the Republican candidate in good position to reap the benefits of stronger conservative majorities in the House and Senate.

Romney would attract middle- to higher-income urban and suburban voters, while Santorum or Rubio would attract grassroots conservatives, and middle- to lower-income Americans with strong faith and values. (Rubio would also energize young and Hispanic voters, as he would be the first-ever Hispanic on a major party's presidential ticket.)

It took many generations for our Republic to devolve from its once great status as a beacon of Liberty for the world, into the debased and lawless socialist state it has now become. Thus, it will take more than a few election cycles to correct decades of insult to our Constitution and our Founders' legacy.

To avoid the politics of self-destruction, we must unite. We must forcefully rebut Obama's socialist propaganda and beat back his agenda to "fundamentally transform" our nation by subverting and supplanting Liberty with Democratic Socialism. If we fail to unite, the inevitable outcome will be tyranny.

In summary, "Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall." (Luke 11:17) ESR

Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.





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