I’ve already written on the “unelectability” of the GOP field here. What hit me recently is how patent a double standard it is for GOP rank and file to say they just want Obama out of office and yet they have such a visceral aversion to a Ron Paul running for president.
In an op-ed from this week, commentator Charles Krauthammer unilaterally narrowed the Iowa caucus race down to Mitt and Newt, both of which are “significantly flawed.” But for Krauthammer and others like him these flaws are outweighed by the need for someone, anyone, to beat Barack Obama in 2012. Krauthammer concludes, “If Obama wins, he will take the country to a place from which it will not be able to return (which is precisely his own objective for a second term). Every conservative has thus to ask himself two questions: Who is more likely to prevent that second term? And who, if elected, is less likely to unpleasantly surprise?” Given Newt’s and Mitt’s flaws, I’m not convinced that either of them won’t “take the country to a place from which it will not be able to return”!
This singular goal of unseating the incumbent president is not new. Ever since he took office (if not before), the Republican Party has been trying to devise a means of getting Obama out of office. With this mindset presumably most if not all card-toting Republicans would vote for a pond scum (an improvement over most politicians to begin with) so long as it has and (R) by its name. If the goal is simply to unseat Obama, why does it matter who the candidate is? If, as I’ve argued before, the GOP field is unelectable without the votes of Ron Paul’s supporters, why won’t all the GOP rank and file get behind Ron Paul?
With the loyal grassroots base Paul has built up, the organization is in place to rival Obama’s ubiquity in all types of media. Paul has broader support among independents and could even draw some votes from clear-thinking Democrats. With even the nominal support of the Republican Party, hordes of Republicans would vote for him just because he has the (R) next to his name. Add all of this together – Ron Paul’s loyal base, rank and file Republicans who simply want to fire Obama, independents and Democrats who would vote for Ron Paul – and you get the best chance the GOP has of winning the presidency in 2012, not to mention this country’s best chance to get back into shape economically and diplomatically.
This won’t happen though because the GOP doesn’t want to change anything. Newt and Mitt are both big government Republicans who, like the party leadership, don’t like to be the ones not in control. They don’t care about reducing the deficit or debt. They don’t care to bring home thousands of troops that are needlessly scattered around the globe while our border sits largely unprotected. They don’t care to tackle one of the main sources of our economic problems, the Fed. Ron Paul wants to reduce the bureaucracy. The GOP establishment just wants to be the ones in control of it, still financing the present on the backs of future generations.