Republican Rejection of Romney is Easy to Understand If You Know What A Republican IS These Days

Posted on October 13, 2011

The Economist has checked in with a statement of the obvious:  Romney is a front-runner without a Republican majority behind him:

But the party simply does not want to nominate Mitt Romney.How else to explain the brief flirtation with the ridiculous Donald Trump? The overheated infatuation with a modestly interesting but hardly world-beating Mitch Daniels? The brief but unmistakable swoon for Michele Bachmann? The instant rise of Rick Perry to the top of the polls, before he started talking? The subsequent rise of the next man who had a heartbeat and was not named Romney, Herman Cain? The begging for Paul Ryan or Chris Christie to enter at the last minute? At this point, I am awaiting a boom for Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, each of whom is now overdue to be the front-running not-Romney for a couple of weeks apiece. (Ron Paul, bless him, has a dynamic of his own.)

This isn’t to knock Mr Romney, nor Republicans. I simply can’t remember when a party was so unwilling to make the obvious choice, and even less so for Republicans, famous for getting in line behind the guy who’s waited patiently for his shot. I remember being bearish on Hillary Clinton in mid-2007; it seemed that she didn’t have nearly the momentum the “obvious” nominee should have. But the headwinds against Mr Romney seem far stronger. I can’t see the party nominating someone it seems to dislike so much. Then again I can’t see it nominating anyone else among the current crop. [economist]

Anyone who can’t see “the party” nominating someone it seems to dislike so much does not know “the party.”  It is not your father’s Republican party.  It is only partly your father’s Republican party.  It is a mix of Conservatives and interests on the far right as well as liberals who slide to the independent category on occasion and of course, the old Guard Republicans like Jeb Bush who just endorsed Mr. Romney.  In fact, endorsements of Romney are starting to come in as more members of the current crop of candidates make challenges to his lead.  Even Chris Christie has fallen into line behind him.  The more liberal Republicans love Romney.

The latest challenger to Romney, Herman Cain, is not perfect.  As a matter of fact, it may have gone better for him had he not taken such a strident tone regarding the demonstrators in Wall Street in NYC and in streets all over America.  He speaks much truth about their origin and lack of initiative in some areas but he built too high a wall between them and him and a leader doesn’t do that to any constituency in his realm.  A president is leader of all the people – even those out of his favor at the time.

“How else to explain the brief flirtation with the ridiculous Donald Trump”?  Simple.  Romney is OLD news and a certified looser.  This time around he doesn’t have the financial backing he had or the numbers in the polls. [CNN on air]

More to the point, is the forcing of Romney on the Party.  The Republican party of a Conservative bent does not want to fall into line.  It has sold its soul too many times out of the gate before.  The stakes for getting it wrong this time are too high.  Conservatives are taking their time to investigate the current crop.  They are like a good woman shopper in a dress shop – she knows what she wants but she wants to try them all on regardless.  Conservatives have a thorough approach to decision-making and at times it slows the process.  This is more a reaction to the first two years of the Obama administration in which laws were promulgated and passed with lightening speed.

When a party is splintered, you can expect that there will be challenges to the so-called front-runner.  This can’t be surprising to those of intelligence. What is surprising is that people don’t understand what is happening in the Republican ranks.  Perhaps because the party is making its way through all of this early in the election season, they will come out of it ahead of the game.  The opposition to Obama is now a current beneath the surface.  Time may bring it more into the mainstream.  By that time, Republicans of every stripe will have a viable candidate.  Surprise.