This is going to be a short post, not rife with sources or videos; just my opinion. I am detecting a pattern with certain pundits on some supposedly Conservative talk radio shows and on network and cable TV outlets. This pattern was something that I became aware of recently and after listening to Mark Levin’s radio show from last Wednesday, the 14th I was gratified to hear that I wasn’t the only one who saw this – and that I wasn’t alone in my disdain for it.
What I am referring to is this notion that certain talk show hosts and political pundits or “talking heads” are trying to peddle that is basically saying that unless we stop right now, and coalesce behind Romney, it will hurt his chances against Obama in the fall. That this year’s GOP primary process is making him and our party weaker, not stronger. These talking heads are already positioning themselves to be able to say, in the event that Romney (or whoever gets the GOP nomination) loses, this hard fought primary will be the reason.
This is utter bullsh*t. Gerald Ford said the same thing after losing to Carter in 1976, he blamed his loss, his weakness as a candidate on Reagan. He contended that had he not had to fight against Reagan he would have been able to beat Carter. My question to this is, “Why?” Ford was exactly as Reagan said he was, a weak moderate candidate who could not show enough of a contrast to win the general election. The same sort of talking heads back then parroted that same old, tired argument. The GOP establishment was furious at Reagan. Four years later, they remembered it and, I believe to try and unify the party, that is why he chose one of his opponents, George H. W. Bush as his running mate.
But like I asked, why does fighting and winning a primary race for your party’s nomination make you a weak candidate? If that were true, then why has the primary process lasted so long in our nation’s history? Why do we even have it?
Because long ago, some very smart men thought that if you wanted to hold the highest office in our land, you ought to have to let the people know your stance on the issues. You ought to have to travel to the various states and compete for the right to represent your party in the general election to become President. That you should have to persuade as many folks as you can that your platform is the best.
And lastly, that you ought to have to EARN the right to represent your party in the general election.
This notion that we have to drop the process so that we can get behind Romney, our putative front runner, is, well, it’s pure horse puckey. This idea that by having a hard fought process, we are making Obama stronger and our side weaker is completely false and wrong headed thinking. Of all the countries in the world, ours puts the process before the candidate. Ours puts the interest of the voters before the interest of the candidate. Is it a perfect system? No. Has it, at times been corrupted? Yes. But of all the systems in the world, past and present, ours is the best.
I hear people say that Santorum or Gingrich ought to bow out for the good of the party.
And I ask this question without taking into account why someone might or might not like certain candidates. Put that aside for now, and ask yourself this. If Romney is weakened by fighting a tough Primary, what does that say about him as a candidate. Now I only pick Romney, not because I do or don’t like him, but because the establishment, the talking heads have chosen him as our front runner. But remember, these same taking heads at first didn’t like ANY of the candidates. They tried to woo Mitch Daniels, and then Chris Christie into running. Then when that failed, the looked around and said, “Romney is our man!! He’s the front runner!! Everybody fall in line and decide who is going to drop out, and in what order.”
I put this to you, our loyal readers here at CH 2.0 – if a candidate is weak, then it matters not how much we get behind him. If he is too weak to garner enough votes, then he isn’t going to be strengthened by eliminating his primary opponents. If he is too weak to fight the general election, it has nothing to do with this one or that one staying in or dropping out of the primary.
No, I think that it is just the opposite. I think that the harder, tougher and more raucous the primary process is, the tougher, stronger and more hardened the eventual nominee becomes.
Then I hear the argument that the Obama campaign will use soundbites from the opponents of the eventual GOP nominee. That, too is horse puckey. First of all, Obama doesn’t need to rely on us to do his opposition research for him. There isn’t anything that is appearing in any of the millions of dollars in primary GOP ads that the Obama campaign hasn’t already thought of, dug up or decided to use. And so what if they run an ad showing Gingrich calling Santorum this or that. So what if they run an ad showing Santorum calling Romney whatever, or Ron Paul saying this or that about Newt. Do we really think that the Obama campaign is going to have to rely on this? And if they do show such an ad, that is what archives are for. You can find plenty of video of Hillary and Edwards lambasting Obama on his lack of experience from the Democratic primary in 2008. As a matter of fact, given the disaster that is the Obama Presidency, that might not be such a bad idea, but you get my point.
No, what we have to do is to keep our focus on casting our votes, if we live in a state that hasn’t yet had a primary or caucus, for the candidate that most closely lines up with our values and mores. That is what the primary process is all about and it’s about damned time that the talking heads, the pundits, the establishment learned that our vote counts, and thank you very much, but shut the hell up and let us do our thing. This is our time now. This is our process, so back off and let us do our thing. Then in a few months, the spotlight will be on two candidates, one from each party and then the brawl will begin. But for now, stop telling us what we ought to think, who we ought to vote for. We The People aren’t necessarily in a hurry to pick someone. Maybe the talking heads are so wrapped up in pushing Romney, they have forgotten that no matter what, we cannot cross the bridge that is the general election until we get to it.
Thank you for your time, I know that at the beginning of this, I promised a short article. Well, in my defense, I guess that I just needed to rant a bit.
Do chime in and let me know what you, our great readers of CH 2.0 think about this. I am interested to know if I am alone among you, a group of like minded folks that I have gotten to know since my time here at CH 2.0. Without getting corny, I value your opinions, for or against.