Romney Won’t Drink the Tea

October 12th, 2011 at 9:20 am | 85 Comments |

| Print

In an October 11 post discussing Romney’s performance in a recent Gallup poll, the Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen noted, “What seems more interesting, however, is just how weak a frontrunner Mitt Romney really is. Even as Rick Perry’s support collapses, and even when the rest of the GOP field is largely ridiculous, the former Massachusetts governor is still stuck with 20% — down a few points from a month earlier.

He’s reclaimed the lead, but he backed into it. As the Gallup report noted, in nearly every instance since 1959, by this point in the race, the Republican frontrunner enjoyed support of at least 41% before going on to win the party’s nomination. Romney hasn’t even been able to reach 30% in any Gallup poll this year.”

Despite the controversy over Dr. Robert Jeffress’ remarks about Romney’s faith—remarks that call to mind Mike Huckabee’s pathetic potshots regarding Romney’s religion in 2007—it’s too facile to declare anti-Mormon sentiment the sole source of Romney’s woes. Romney’s reassessment of culture-war issues also fails to explain his lack of strong popularity among the Republican Party’s core voters.

Why is it that the GOP base seems not to care a whit about Mitt? Perhaps it’s because he is the anti-Tea Party, anti-talk-radio, anti-anti-government candidate.

Romney will never be able to appeal to those who want “limited government.” He fundamentally cannot; he is, at bottom, a center-right candidate who believes that government, when run effectively and efficiently, can produce the best results for the most people. It’s a noble view—one that the GOP base seemingly hates him for.

Anti-Romney sentiment is clearly connected to the idea that if Romney wins, the Reagan Revolution somehow loses. A Romney presidency could actually restore the average American’s faith in the competency of Washington—a notion that GOP base voters find intolerable.

Conservatives and Tea Partiers were supposed to put an end to people like Romney. They had convinced themselves that the era of the Bush 41-style Republican was over and done with, and that the GOP would now and forever be controlled by the purebred conservatives, the ideological offspring of Reagan and Goldwater, the true believers who would finally cut Washington down to size and starve the statist beast until you could see its ribcage.

If Romney becomes the GOP nominee, it will prove that the Tea Party project was an abject failure, and that the momentum of 2010 was only temporary.

Romney doesn’t represent “taking the country back.” To the contrary, he represents taking the country forward, and recognizing government’s appropriate role in doing so.

Though he argues that Obama’s handling of the government has been problematic, he does not believe that government is the problem.

Remember when Romney withdrew from the presidential race in February 2008? He noted at the time, “I hate to lose!” The same goes for the GOP base—and in Romney, they see ideological defeat. The more rational members of the GOP base know that Romney stands the best chance of defeating Obama, but they also know that a Romney presidency will not roll back the size and scope of government.

The anti-Romney right dislikes the man because he represents reality—the reality that “Big Washington” will always be with us, the reality that our only hope lies in having competent, intelligent people in charge of “Big Washington.” “Romney’s personable, pragmatic brand of politics may not appeal to combative conservatives,” the Boston Globe’s Scot Lehigh wrote in an October 7 column. “Yet that same style gives him real reach with moderates and centrists. And the middle, after all, is where elections are won.”

For those combative conservatives, Lehigh’s words—and the reality they reflect—are as painful as a scalding cup of tea.

Recent Posts by D.R. Tucker



85 Comments so far ↓

  • Stewardship

    Ah, you changed the headline in mid-comment! There is a healthy ‘mainstream Republican’ anti-Romney crowd, too. The problem is that no one knows what Mitt stands for, what positions he will champion. His strategy is to be the candidate version of “The Mirror of Erised” (voters see what they desire in him).

    • balconesfault

      In a way, that’s the best the GOP has to offer if they want a chance at winning an election at the National Level.

      Because by and large, what the GOP is selling, the public doesn’t want, until you start getting down to very Red States and very gerrymandered congressional districts.

      Anyone with an ounce of honesty should be willing to admit that George Bush the President was very different from George Bush the candidate. As a candidate, he promised to regulate CO2 as a pollutant … 8 years later his Administration was still “studying” the matter. As a candidate he promised a “humble” foreign policy … but in practice describing Bush’s foreign policy as “humble” would be like describing Clinton’s personal life as “chaste”. Bush promised during the debates “I want to take one-half of the surplus and dedicate it to Social Security. One-quarter of the surplus for important projects, and I want to send one-quarter of the surplus back to the people who pay the bills.” … instead he almost immediately eliminated any chance of future surpluses by prioritizing tax cuts.

      These were all pitches Bush made to reach out to moderates and independents … and without them it’s very likely he’d have never spent a night in the White House.

      So what would be the real GOP pitch that could win the Presidency? I don’t see it. So I see a political chameleon like Romney as being the GOP’s best shot.

      Will a Romney Presidency be best for the country? Does anyone on the FrumForum staff really care?

      • AnBr

        George Bush the President was very different from George Bush the candidate.

        Like his chest thumping of “No nation building!” during his campaign.

      • indy

        So I see a political chameleon like Romney as being the GOP’s best shot.

        It’s the combination of his ability to potentially collect the establishment vote AND the rabid anti-Obama vote that puts Obama at greatest risk from Romney. No other candidate that I can see has this overlap. Turnout will be key, however, and this is Romney’s glaring weakness.

        • ottovbvs

          Exactly. The reason the Republican establishment are desperate to put Romney on the ticket is the perceived effect on down ticket candidates who could get completely swept away if Perry were the candidate. But one wonders if they are miscalculating. Is Obama hate going to trump Romney ambivalence amongst the faithful? Hard to tell. At bottom though you’re right about turnout. If it’s at 2008 levels Obama is home comfortably and the Dems a) hold onto the senate and b) take a lot of house seats back. I’m quite sure Plouffe and Axelrod understand this fully and when the president moves back into full campaign mode the heat is going to rise exponentially. I suspect they’ve already decided it’s going to be Romney since I see Axelrod starting to dump on him. What Obama gets is that the country can’t be in full intense general election campaign mode for more than around six months. Come the spring the gloves will be off.

  • TJ Parker

    You forgot: Mittens is a also dickweed, although a polished one. When the options are turd and polished turd, the choice is clear.

  • LaLupa

    How can anyone with a straight face say what Romeny stands for? In any case, this photo of Christie captures exactly the mood of the GOP with respect to Romney as the nominee. Will conservatives’ dislike of Obama be enough to win the election?

    http://www.thinkingpoliticsforum.com/2011/10/what-do-they-say-picture-is-worth.html

    • LauraNo

      Well, Romney does have an actual record we can draw conclusions from. Since we can’t trust anything he says, that’s what we’ll have to do.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    “Why is it that the GOP base seems not to care a whit about Mitt? Perhaps it’s because he is the anti-Tea Party, anti-talk-radio, anti-anti-government candidate.”

    But wasn’t Mitt the Conservative candidate in 2008, the one endorsed by the National Review and Sen. Peaches and Cream of SC? And wasn’t McCain the ultimate in Republican party centrism, a man who was seriously considered to be offered the Democratic VP candidate in 2004?
    Mitt’s problem is his total lack of ability to connect with voters. It is not necessarily fatal, Papa Bush had a similar problem but why not just be honest about it. Romney might be a good caretaker President during good times but he is not a leader.

    • balconesfault

      Romney might be a good caretaker President during good times but he is not a leader.

      I think Romney has the capability of being a competent President if he was dealing with solid Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. With a Boehner/Cantor led House, and the potential for a McConnell led Senate, Romney has the potential to make us long for the relative stability of the last years of the Bush Presidency.

    • indy

      Romney might be a good caretaker President during good times but he is not a leader.

      This is what I thought about Bush initially. Then 9/11 came along and times of panic require an actual leader with composure and good decision making skills.

  • jme0909

    The whole rationale for a Romney nomination within the GOP seems to be “electability.” And that’s it. Not because he is campaigning great ideas for the economy or taxes or health care reform (assuming he will make sure his plan, ObamaCare, will get repealed), or foreign policy, or anything really.

    Ideologically he just makes no sense as a candidate in regards to what the base desires from candidates right now. It would have been like the Democrats nominating Joe Lieberman in 2004, after spending 3 years railing against everything that Lieberman believed in. I guess the difference is nobody really knows what Romney believes in, including Romney.

    It just seems absurd that Senators like Lugar and Bennett faced or will face primary challenges for not being conservative enough, when both are far more conservative than Romney. Yet Romney seems to be the default choice.

    • balconesfault

      It would have been like the Democrats nominating Joe Lieberman in 2004, after spending 3 years railing against everything that Lieberman believed in.

      Great comparison

  • Carney

    I think this post is a lot of projection on the part of a hopeful liberal that Romney will do what he wants. Romney may not be a radical conservative, but he’s more conservative than this portrayal.

    He’s no repudiation of Reagan at all. Can you name an issue where he’s to Reagan’s left?

    As for Goldwater, that’s a better analogy. Despite disagreeing on few if any issues, Reagan won where Goldwater lost, in large part due to presentation and temperament. Goldwater snarled about sawing off the East Coast; he even openly defended “extremism”, as such, in his nomination acceptance speech! Reagan came across as a warm, calm, trustworthy person.

    Goldwater = Tea Party. Reagan = Romney. Get ready for another winning nominee who is a movie star handsome, slick haired, smooth speaking, calm, formerly liberal former governor.

    • Demosthenes

      “Can you name an issue where he’s to Reagan’s left?”

      Roe v. Wade ?

      Not saying Obama is any better but…

      • ottovbvs

        So you think Obama put judges on the supreme court that won’t defend Roe?

      • Carney

        How is Romney to Reagan’s left on Roe v. Wade? Romney has called the decision wrongly decided, and repeated the verbal formulae widely understood by all sides to mean he will nominate judges who will overturn it.

        Yes Romney was effectively “pro choice” in his more liberal past but SO WAS REAGAN. Reagan as governor of CA signed an abortion legalization bill into law. By contrast Romney vetoed every bill the MA legislature sent him to expand abortion.

    • medinnus

      You may be right, but as Romney has pretty much endorsed a wide spectrum on any issue for political expedience, I’m not sure that his statements or even actions are safe guides as to what he might do when he finds himself no longer beholden to GOP party factions (although I can just see a Tea Party primary challenge to him in 2016 no matter what he does, assuming the Tea Baggers are still around and have influence by then).

      What will tip the scale for me is who he chooses for his VP; if Bachmann or Santorum or Cain or Perry, I’ll be forced (again) to vote for Obama. If he selects a moderate, then I might actually vote for the Romney ticket – Huntsman would do it, but I seem to recall reading that the families have been rivals in the Utah LDS political scene for some time, so probably not.

      I was going to vote McCain in 2008 until he made Palin his VP pick.

      • Carney

        Romney doesn’t need to pick a moderate. His image is moderate enough already.

        He needs to bring the base home, as McCain did, by picking an evangelical Protestant who has always been socially conservative. Unlike McCain, however, Romney is too cautious and risk-averse to pick a loose cannon or unknown. Thus Cain is unlikely. Nor would Romney pick a radical.

        Far more likely would be, in my rough order of descending likelihood: Tim Pawlenty, Bob McDonnell, and John Thune. All are socially conservative evangelicals who will not come off as extreme to swing voters, thus threading the needle of bringing home the base while still being able to reach out. Pawlenty and McDonnell are governors, reinforcing Romney’s message of state executives reforming Washington, and are proven vote-winners in swing or blue states. Pawlenty has won and been re-elected, and MN is bluer, making him a more likely pick. And his early endorsement doesn’t hurt.

    • rubbernecker

      …a movie star handsome, slick haired, smooth speaking, calm, formerly liberal former governor.

      Yeah, but still, Reagan and Romney’s public personas are disparate: Reagan was personable and self-assured; Romney is skittish.

    • Rillion

      “Can you name an issue where he’s to Reagan’s left?”

      The issue is that there are too many issues where he has been to Reagon’s left and has been to Reagan’s right. When someone seems to be willing to take whatever position he thinks will most likely get him elected, it doesn’t become surprising that true believers (such as the Tea Party) have trouble supporting him.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    Can you name an issue where he’s to Reagan’s left?
    um…health care, gay marriage, abortion…oh wait, that was Gov. Mitt as opposed to Republican nominee wannabe Mitt.
    Mitt is no Reagan, I am not even sure he is Mitt…he is simply an container empty of all but ambition to be President.

  • zaybu

    Romney is for a better, more efficient government, though I don’t think he has the credentials to pull that off. Neverheless, this goes against what the base believes: that government doesn’t work, and the beast should be starved to the bones. Whenever the Republican nominee is declared, we will then know if the Tea Party was just a passing phase or not.

  • willard landreth

    The TPers beside, Mitt’s problem always has been an insatiable desire to be all things to all people. What are his principles? What does he really believe in? He’ll have much “splaining” to do. At some point he’ll have to take a stand for or against tax breaks; for or against HCR; for or against job creation. W/in that scenario he’ll alienate many and continue to confuse many.

  • LaLupa

    Let me see if I got this right. Supposedly the mission of Frum Forum (formerly New Majority ) is to modernize the GOP. Based on that, it would seem that Huntsman would be the choice of FF. He is the only candidate with foreign policy experience. He is the only candidate who refused to sign all the stupid pledges that make it impossible for the GOP to govern effectively. Huntsman is the only candidate who supports equal rights for gay people. In other words, Huntsman is the only candidate that has shown a willingness to modernize the GOP. Yet, FF supports Romney. A candidate that has twisted himself into a pretzel to accomodate the old base. Go figure!

    • LaLupa

      I think we can safely assume that Mr. Frum has given up on the building a New Majority. The changing of the name should have been our clue.

    • wileedog

      In fairness I think Frum came out early for Huntsman after he announced. He only pivoted to Romney once it became evident Huntsman’s campaign was going nowhere.

      • LaLupa

        We are months away from the first vote that assigns delegates. If Frum supported Huntsman, it certainly wasn’t long enough for most people to notice. In any case, how is supporting Romney going to modernize the GOP? How is running ads featuring Vincente Fox as an enemy of the USA going to help the GOP expand its reach in the Latino community? Or featuring nativist groups like FAIR, CIS and their bogus studies?

  • ktward

    It would seem that Mr. Tucker has an insight into what Romney believes that Romney himself doesn’t evidently possess.

    A Romney presidency could actually restore the average American’s faith in the competency of Washington—a notion that GOP base voters find intolerable.

    A notion that the rest of us non-Romney supporters find defies all credulity.

    Romney’s reassessment of culture-war issues also fails to explain his lack of strong popularity among the Republican Party’s core voters.

    “Reassessment of culture-war issues”? An amusing bit of rhetorical gymnastics, that. But the explanation that seems to have escaped Mr. Tucker is obvious: that Romney has to “reassess” at all is what keeps him from enjoying any popularity within the base. Duh.

    The more rational members of the GOP base know that Romney stands the best chance of defeating Obama, but they also know that a Romney presidency will not roll back the size and scope of government. The anti-Romney right dislikes the man because he represents reality—the reality that “Big Washington” will always be with us, the reality that our only hope lies in having competent, intelligent people in charge of “Big Washington.”

    This might be one of the more ironic, oxymoronic, self-damning collection of statements I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading multiple times trying to wrap my head around. So to recap: Romney has neither the intention nor the ability to reduce either the size or scope of gov’t, an aim which is in itself the reason for the GOP’s very existence. But for those folks who are hell bent to vote anti-Obama with zero regard for “better” governance, Romney’s their man. Do I have that right?

    And somewhere in all that muck above is a candidate that can purportedly appeal to centrists and independents. Uh huh.

    You know, I might vehemently disagree with the policy prescriptions of the right’s idealogues, but I can respect that their misinformed misanthropic intentions are at least sincere. After reading Mr. Tucker’s analysis I feel like I need an anti-radiation shower.

  • StreetSign

    Well, wait till Oxtober 15th when Romney caves on revenue increases as a resoultion to the Super Committee’s deliberations. It’s either that or face military cuts and when Obama wins, the end of the Bush tax cuts. How do you think the Tea Party gone like them apples?

    • LaLupa

      I am involved in GOP grassroots. So many of the activists have convinced themselves that Obama is not smart. That Obama just got the job because of some sort of national affirmative action moment. The reality is that Obama outmaneuvered the GOP. He got exactly what he wanted i.e. raise the debt ceiling to the point that it will not be revisisted until AFTER the election. At the same time, he has cornered the GOP in a spot where they have to choose between raising taxes or deep military cuts. Seems pretty smart to me!

      • ottovbvs

        La Lupa…at last a Republican activist who seems to have some sense of electoral strategy and reality. The notion that Obama and those around him like Daley, Plouffe, Lew, et al are dummies is totally bizarre but it’s clearly an article of faith with the hard right. Obama got the 2011 budget passed with a bunch of cuts that according to the CBO were a tiny fraction of those claimed by Boehner. As you point out the debt ceiling got raised sufficient to carry us beyond the election and the Republicans are stuck with a committee whose decisions will put them between a rock and hard place. Consequently they’ll be forced to punt and look stupid. This leaves the jobs bill (where they are going be perceived as obstructing all the way) and the 2012 budget where yet again they are going to be threatening to shut down the govt in the run up to an election. Who knows maybe Obama may let them make good on their threat this time?

  • NRA Liberal

    “…Anti-Romney sentiment is clearly connected to the idea that if Romney wins, the Reagan Revolution somehow loses. A Romney presidency could actually restore the average American’s faith in the competency of Washington—a notion that GOP base voters find intolerable….

    And you blame the BASE for this??????

    After a generation of anti-government propaganda backed by think tanks and wealthy elites and Nobel Prize winners???

    Jesus Mary and Pat.

  • dafyd

    David Frum should hire Elisabeth Hasslebeck to write for FF. I mean since you are going to BS us into believing that Romney is a credible candidate.

    From Andrew Sullivan

    Jonathan Chait:
    “Once again, Romney defended his Massachusetts health care plan by citing its reliance on private insurance, and the way it was designed to cover the uninsured without changing health care for the already-insured. This is exactly what Obama did, too. But, of course, by describing his plan in reasonable terms, Romney realizes that Republicans will conclude it must be different to the hated Obamacare, which is based on socialism and death panels. Romney’s contempt for his electorate continues to endear me to him.”

    • redpetunia

      So put Sullivan in the Romney camp then?

      He can use all the help he can get.

      • medinnus

        No, Andrew Sullivan doesn’t like Romney at all; but Sullivan does support giving exposure to what he considers intelligent commentary (hence Chait) and linking to people who are unrealistic buffoons (hence Douhat).

  • MSheridan

    The radical anti-government brand of Republicanism isn’t going away, whether Romney wins (unlikely, I think) or loses. It was decades in the making, and it will be multiple election cycles, at best, before it is no longer a force.

    Romney isn’t a radical. Tea Partiers know that as well as anyone–whatever their level of gullibility may be, it’s nowhere near that high. He’s also not a man of the people, and cannot fake it. In fact, he doesn’t fake anything well. He comes off as exactly what he is, a really rich businessman who really, really wants to be President. There’s nothing wrong with that except that he’s obviously willing to say anything in service to that goal. I disagree with the radical right on too many issues to list, but I don’t make the mistake of thinking them stupid, just (in my opinion) wrong. Romney either continually makes that mistake or has decided that running under false colors gives him the only chance he’s got of winning the White House. He cannot run on his record as a reasonably effective centrist governor. More’s the pity.

    • ktward

      The radical anti-government brand of Republicanism isn’t going away, whether Romney wins (unlikely, I think) or loses. It was decades in the making, and it will be multiple election cycles, at best, before it is no longer a force.

      While I might qualify this sentiment a smidgen more specifically*, I completely agree. And what I cannot figure out for the life of me is how it is that a man of Frum’s inarguable intellect and insight can’t seem to recognize it.

      *The Paulesque pseudo-libertarians have long been a fringe faction of the GOP, but the overwhelming force behind the GOP’s radicalization is the Religious Right. It is absolutely their decades of tireless activism within the GOP that is finally bearing fruit, the libs are quite understandably simply taking advantage of the ride.

      • LauraNo

        Take away the libertarians and the religious right and you are left with the Wall Street acolytes. The party does not stand for the people in this country any more. Though many still think they do. How can any decent person NOT vote for the jobs bill?

        • ktward

          I don’t disagree with you, but strictly and contextually speaking, the Wall St acolytes aren’t the “radical” segment of the GOP. Though I suppose it’s easier post-’08 to make the argument that if they weren’t radical before, they are now.

          Ideologically speaking, I can understand why it is that the GOPers won’t vote for O’s jobs bill. But given this recent WaPo/ABC poll, it seems to me they’re digging their political grave: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/postabcpoll_100211.html

          - 76% of us disapprove of the way the Congressional GOP is handling the economy.
          - 64% of us believe the budget deficit should be addressed via a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.
          - 75% of us support raising taxes on incomes over one million dollars.
          - 52% of us support Obama’s jobs plan, vs. 36% of us who oppose it.

        • balconesfault

          The GOP does have one structural advantage – a media that’s owned by the large corporations who will favor a Romney Presidency, yet which is incorrectly perceived as being liberal on economic issues.

          Thus, when Republicans rely on a purely procedural/technical means for blocking Obama’s jobs bill in the Senate (the filibuster) … the supposedly liberal NYT headlines the vote “Obama’s Jobs Bill Fails in Senate”.

          No – when a bill is filibustered, it has not “failed”. It has been blocked. There was never an actual vote on the bill because the GOP will not permit a vote on the bill.

          Everyone should be discussing how slimy and dishonest Mitch McConnell is, after trying to shove the bill into consideration last week in the middle of a China Currency Bill that was already being blocked by the GOP … he then rallies the GOP to block an actual vote on the bill that could clear the Senate on its own.

          Instead, it’s how there’s “dissent” in the Democratic party, because the predictable Ben Nelson votes with the GOP once again. I think the only reason Nelson remains a Dem is because he’d get primaried and lose were he to join the GOP.

        • Traveler

          Balcones,

          Thanks for the this thrashing of MSM. What the hell ever happened to so called journalists? Every wingnut proclamation is “balanced” by some mealy mouthed straw man equivalency on the left. Journos fail across the board. Pathetic.

        • Fairy Hardcastle

          The same decent people that think it’s not up to the ever-encroaching Government to take care of us.

          Too bad Mrs. Palin isn’t taking control of the race now.

        • tiffinsmith

          Decent? Maybe. Dumb as a box of hammers? Apparently.

    • redpetunia

      Romney is not really running as the former governor of Massachusetts. That fact seems completely lost on most people.

      Romney is in politics, and running for President to make Washington financially efficient. He is a businessman first. He will always see the world from the perspective of business. That is why trying to pin Romney down as a typical politician makes people pull out their hair.

      Romney’s business integrity is widely known and admired. Those are the people whose opinions matter to him. Pundits are simply part of the political class and Romney only puts up with them as a means the end of making Washington work in a more business-friendly way.

      One goal. Simple plan. Romney is executing his business brilliantly.

      If the Tea Party really is about “Taxed Enough Already” then Mitt should be the first on their list. But the Tea Party isn’t about the same thing it was in the beginning.

      • TerryF98

        You seem to have swallowed a great deal of Romney kool aid. He was an asset stripping shipper of jobs overseas. He never ran a business he ran a takeover, strip, ship = profit outfit. Nothing to do with actually making something or selling something.

        Wall street asset stripping is not a business.

  • ottovbvs

    The capacity of folks like Tucker to rationalise away the massive inconsistencies in Romney’s policy positions never fail to amaze. A couple of days ago we had Frum saying “Yeah I know Romney is parrotting his support of a load of crazy right wing positions” but he doesn’t really mean it. Or at least I kinda hope he doesn’t.” Now this. It’s an insult to the intelligence.

    • LaLupa

      Excellent point Otto. More importantly, how is indulging the base (even if Romney doesn’t mean it) going to mordernize the GOP?

  • Graychin

    The Tea Party IS the Republican Party. The once “GOP” isn’t any longer the party of Ronald Reagan, William Buckley – or David Frum.

    How can you make any assertions about Mitt Romney’s political philosophy? It should be clear by now that he has no center. He believes whatever it seems will get him elected to whatever he happens to be running for at the time.

    Seeing no credible opposition in the Republican primaries, Romney is already positioning himself as the “reasonable” alternative to Obama – although most (present) policy differences between the two seem vanishingly small (with the exception to Romney’s recent adoption of the Right’s position on the culture war issues). Still, Romney remains unlikely to capture the nomination until he shows that he can poll better than 30% – among REPUBLICANS.

    And don’t forget – Republican voters have been well-trained NOT to have any faith in government institutions. Not even Romney can change that. Someone once told them that “government isn’t the solution to the problem – government IS the problem.” And it’s been all downhill from there.

  • SerenityNow

    I’m struck not by the quasi-adulation of Tucker’s piece so much as the conclusion that Romney is the nearest thing the GOP has to a sane candidate and is therefore entitled to be the standard bearer. Never mind that Mitt can, will and has been tarred for multi-flipfloppery, Tucker’s reasoning seems to be that once the dust settles Mitt will be the last candidate standing. I wish I could be that sure.

    It would not surprise me if what’s left of the old Republican establishment will lose their bet on Mittens as Perry engergizes the hardcore base of Tea Partiers and Evangelicals and goes down to defeat next November. And, frankly, even if unemployment stays at 9 percent and job creation remains stagnant and nothing happens in Congress I find it hard to believe that independents will be inclined to drink the GOP Koolaid no matter who is serving it.

  • US politics live blog: GOP presidential debate fallout and Rick Perry’s gaffe | Politics News and Discussion

    [...] Semi-detacted Republican person David Frum explains why the Tea Party movement and other parts of the Republican party cannot reconcile itself to Mitt [...]

  • US politics live blog: GOP presidential debate fallout and Rick Perry’s gaffe | Data Milk

    [...] Semi-detacted Republican person David Frum explains why the Tea Party movement and other parts of the Republican party cannot reconcile itself to Mitt [...]

  • Mashnews.com.au » US politics live blog: GOP presidential debate fallout and Rick Perry’s gaffe

    [...] Semi-detacted Republican person David Frum explains why the Tea Party movement and other parts of the Republican party cannot reconcile itself to Mitt [...]

  • US politics live blog: GOP presidential debate fallout and Rick Perry’s gaffe | BDHL.org

    [...] Semi-detacted Republican person David Frum explains why the Tea Party movement and other parts of the Republican party cannot reconcile itself to Mitt [...]

  • zaybu

    I like the way Romney has pledged to reverse President Obama’s “massive defense cuts” when in fact Obama hasn’t cut defense spending but raised it in the last three years.

    • rubbernecker

      It’s funny how modcons have convinced themselves that Romney defies the Tea Party. Here’s Mitt during his first appearance in New Hampshire back in March:

      [i]Senator Obama campaigned hard in New Hampshire but he apparently didn’t like what he saw. He certainly didn’t learn from it. Instead of lowering taxes, he raised them. He wrapped businesses in red tape, he grew government, he borrowed trillions of dollars, and he made it clear that he doesn’t like business people very much.

      He created a deeper recession, and delayed the recovery. The consequence is soaring numbers of Americans enduring unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcies. This is the Obama Misery Index, and it is at a record high. It’s going to take more than new rhetoric to put Americans back to work—it’s going to take a new president.[/i]

    • medinnus

      ” Romney has pledged to reverse President Obama’s “massive defense cuts” ”

      Of course he has; all he has to say on Day Two is “I’ve managed to reverse Obama’s massive defense cuts, and made our country safer” – without doing anything.

  • Oldskool

    If Romney becomes the GOP nominee, it will prove that the Tea Party project was an abject failure, and that the momentum of 2010 was only temporary.

    I disagree. If Romney gets the nomination and the tea partiers stay home in 2012 and Romney loses, they win by default. They have already taken possession of the piece of real estate their party has been selling them for umpteen years; “Everything that represents competence is bad”.

  • anniemargret

    Romney will drink the Tea. He will do what he has to do to win. If 40%+ of the GOP are evangelicals, and they are not happy that he is a ‘faux Christian’ then his only hope to attract them is to do the Tea Dance.

  • merl

    I’m kind of surprised that Romney hasn’t turned in a Baptist yet, I’m sure he’d do it if he thought it would help him

  • TerryF98

    Cain is now leading Romney nationally according to the latest PPP poll. I don’t think the base is sold on Romney one bit. Perry comes along and Mitt is in second place. Perry implodes and Mitt is in second place to Cain.

    Hardly a resounding endorsement from the GOP faithful is it! Looks like they are searching for any one but Romney.

    • ottovbvs

      Collectively the crazies garner around 70% of the vote. Obviously if Romney gets the nod the faithful will fall in line but what does this tell you about the state of one of our two major parties. Quite staggering really. But it make absolutely clear the extent to which extremism has gained control of Republican mindspace.

    • armstp

      can u tell us how you add graphs. FF took this off, but I see you have figured out how to still do it…

      • TerryF98

        It’s an image, I use Chrome as in Internet explorer the html tag inserts are missing for some reason.

    • medinnus

      *facepalm* The “Anyone But Mittens” part of the Evangelical GOP is alive and well…

  • indy

    I believe the latest NBC/WSJ poll has Cain +4 over Romney as well.

    • anniemargret

      Cain’s ‘plan’ is going to put the burden on the middle class. Some help he is. He can go take a hike with his fat cat cronies on the GOP side of things. And his stupid, stupid comment about not being able to speak the name of a country signals how ill-equipped he is to be leader of the Free World.

      Can anyone imagine the candidate Obama saying such a stupid thing? And Perry whining that he only had six weeks to prepare his economic plan?

      And the stupid, stupid Iran-saber-rattling from them all except for Ron Paul? Yep, that’s what America needs now…more money poured into the military for more geo-political wars!

      What a bunch of out of touch people who need to get out of their cozy comfortable cocoons and actually talk to real people. They can start with the OWS groups. They know what’s it about.

  • Mitt Romney 2012: Romney Is the GOP’s Frontrunner, and Deservedly So – International Business Times | Political News One

    [...] be on any candidate's running …Washington PostRomney the InexorableNew York Times (blog)FrumForum -University Daily Kansan -msnbc.comall 764 news [...]

  • anniemargret

    Oh…and Santorum wants an economic ‘war’ with China. Meanwhile back at the ranch, China is pouring money into green energy sources, while Perry is still hoping that we can drill forever and that will solve our problems. And the oil spill off LA is still tremendously problematic to the fresh waters off that coast..and to the industries that depend on them.

    And Bachmann wants us to pay NO taxes…at all! Those TPs must just love her. That’s it…no taxes. Until the TP starts to see crumbling roads, depleted police and fire depts, disintegrating schools, our students falling behind countries like Japan, China, India..

    And she alludes to the ‘Beast” with a hearty half-joke.

    Lord…give us strength.

    PS: And please, isn’t it past time for that old bogeyman, Gingrich, to go back to his classroom and off the public stage? What in in the world is he there for? Comic relief?

  • US politics live blog: GOP presidential debate fallout and Rick Perry’s gaffe | BRAEKING NEWS 1 WORLD

    [...] Semi-detacted Republican person David Frum explains why the Tea Party movement and other parts of the Republican party cannot reconcile itself to Mitt [...]

  • The Sublime Ridiculousness Of Herman Cain As GOP Frontrunner : Delaware Liberal

    [...] Romney is still the most plausible candidate for the Republicans. But, as David Frum said: If Romney becomes the GOP nominee, it will prove that the Tea Party project was an abject failure, [...]