Skip to comments.Romney win, now almost certain, won't decide future of GOP
Posted on 04/07/2012 3:10:04 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
SILVER SPRING, Md. Five different political contests are being conducted right now. Only two are evident to the naked eye.
The first of the visible contests pits Mitt Romney against Rick Santorum for the Republican presidential nomination. The results here in Maryland and in Wisconsin this week tell us who has a commanding lead there.
The second visible contest pits Romney against President Barack Obama. That one began this month with their twin addresses to the convention of editors in Washington. Obama has a 4-point lead, according to a Gallup poll conducted last week for USA Today.
Now to the three contests below the surface.
One is being mounted by Romney to wrest control of GOP convention delegates most people assumed were the property of Santorum and Newt Gingrich. This is a subterranean game Romney likely will eventually win, quietly, slowly but decisively.
The second contest barely beneath the surface is over the character of the GOP. It is part of the eternal struggle between populists and plutocrats.
Don't think of this as a proxy for Romney vs. Santorum no matter how many times the former senator goes bowling. This class struggle began before they arrived on the scene and will continue after their departure. It is the mirror of the struggle among Democrats between the circle around Franklin Roosevelt, rooted in the faculty offices of Harvard, and the Southern Democrats, rooted in county courthouses and in the kennels of the yellow dogs.
The final contest is over the nature of conservatism. It may look like the struggle for control of the GOP, but it's larger than that. Conservatism is a movement; the Republicans are a party. For many years they lived separate lives and may do so again. The struggle over the character of the party is fundamentally being conducted in the heart, the struggle over the nature of conservatism in the head.
The week that the founding father of modern conservatism, Barry Goldwater, won the 1964 Republican presidential nomination, political scientist Andrew Hacker assessed the new movement planted in the same soil that created John Kennedy's New Frontier and Lyndon Johnson's Great Society this way: "The new conservatism is the result of the democratic process itself: the widening of new opportunities for millions of Americans who have risen to a better location in life and who at all costs want to ensure that they remain there."
That description now looks antiquarian. Modern Conservatism 2.0 created in a world where Goldwater is a memory for all but a few; where his protege Ronald Reagan is a symbol, but not an intimate presence; and where vast swaths of working Americans have a conservative impulse has an economic component and a social component. It is chary of government involvement in the economy but open to government restrictions in social and cultural life.
How wealthy a country this must be to afford, or to tolerate, five vital contests at once! But this is a time of economic privation and of political riches; not since the 1930s, when the economy was ailing and the Democrats were remaking themselves, did America have so many parallel contests. And during that period indeed for much of the era between 1916 and 1960 the Republicans snoozed, putting up worthy candidates with formidable records (Charles Evans Hughes, Herbert Hoover, Thomas Dewey) but who did not stir the drink, nor roil the waters.
Today, passions among Republicans run high itself a great departure from the norm for almost a majority of Americans, who recall the GOP as a sleepy outpost of politicians who defined themselves by what they were against (the New Deal, mostly but not always fervently) and what they wanted to promote (prudence and thrift, mostly). When the Republicans of yore held a shootout, it was over the identity of their nominee, not over the ideology of their party. This was true even in the principal ideological struggle of the era, in 1952 between Sen. Robert A. Taft of Ohio and Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower, without any discernible ideology, prevailed.
Now the party is packed with passion, but not necessarily primed for resolution. Indeed, the emergence of Romney probably postpones the resolution of much of the Republican dispute.
He personifies the managerial wing of the Republican Party, the strain that included Hoover, 1940 nominee Wendell Willkie, to some extent Dewey and certainly both Presidents Bush. But he is at best a convert to movement conservatism and, to some in that movement, a sheep in sheep's clothing.
Indeed, to conservatives he is reminiscent of Averell Harriman's 1967 assessment of Maxwell Taylor: "He is a very handsome man, and a very impressive one," Harriman said, "and he is always wrong." Probably unfair to both men, but there are no points for fairness in war or politics.
While the 2012 primaries and caucuses likely postponed the resolution of the battle over the character of the GOP, they intensified the conflict over the nature of conservatism, one that Reagan kept under the lid of the boiling pot but which began to spill over in 1988, scalding conservatives to this day. Santorum is one of the first Republican politicians to electrify both economic and social conservatives, but his hopes in the visible part of this campaign are dwindling.
Santorum may in fact be conducting his last stand in his home state, which ordinarily would be an advantage but in this peculiar year may be peculiarly unfortunate for the onetime Pennsylvania senator, who was soundly defeated in his reelection battle six years ago.
Santorum forces continually point to May for their breakout the terrain there favors him and the issues will be in his wheelhouse but his campaign may not endure that long, in part because of Romney's diligence in one of the invisible contests, the process of peeling away delegates that look as if they are in the Santorum and Gingrich columns, but in reality are not settled anywhere.
There is a tropism to politics, and it favors the front-runner. Watch how Romney, who lost the Iowa caucuses in January by a handful of votes, will look like the triumphant conqueror of Iowa in August.
The subterranean contests count. Some of them last decades. Some of them choose nominees.
Newt well knows the subterranean delegate battle and hes waging it.
Newt Gingrich is going after unpledged delegates - that haven't committed in primaries already completed, including all the PA (72) and MT (26) and (IL (69) delegates, since these delegates remain unpledged regardless of primary vote.
AND though there are going to be some winner take all primaries, the following contests are also on the schedule:
RI (16) proportional
NY (92) proportional
WVA (28) proportional -- elect delegates (who list their presidential pick on ballot)
NC (52) proportional
OR (25) proportional
AK (33) proportional
KY (42) proportional
TX (155) proportional
CA (169) proportional (by district)
NM (20) proportional
SD (25) proportional
Then there are the Contested delegates: . delegates have to be "uncontested" in order to count. The frontrunner's rivals argue some of the states that awarded Romney all of their delegates violated Republican National Committee rules when they moved their contests ahead of April 1 and therefore should distribute delegates proportionally. This dispute, if it continues, would not be ruled on until the August convention in Tampa.
"All the media counts right now give him all of Florida, which is against the rules, all of Arizona, which is against the rules, and all of Idaho," Gingrich said Monday. "Those are all three proportional states and they should only be counting his share. So he has to win 1,144 uncontested delegates."
Jan 30, 2012 "So the winner on Tuesday gets all of Floridas 50 delegates to the GOP convention, right? It says so right in the Republican Party of Florida primary rules.
Eh . . . probably. You see, the Republican National Committee wanted the primary season to start later (that didnt work out so well) and they wanted the early states to award their delegates proportionally. But those rules came about under Chairman Michael Steele; by the time Florida set its date, Reince Priebus was running the show, and the RNC approved the current winner-takes-all system. The Florida GOP says its a non-issue; the current RNC leadership has signed off on the winner-take-all system.
The Tampa Bay Timess Adam Smith reports, All it takes is a registered Florida Republican to file a protest with the RNC, and the partys contest committee would have to consider the issue when it meets in August just before the convention.
The partys primary rules were intended to encourage a longer primary season, while ensuring that four smaller states Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina hold the first contests. Only those states were permitted to hold primaries or caucuses before March 6, the RNC decreed, while any state that held a contest prior to April 1 would award its delegates proportionally. Under the rules, any party that violated the sanctioned calendar would lose half its delegates and potentially face further penalties.
Republican leaders in Florida, determined to give the state a big say in picking the nominee, decided having their delegation slashed from 99 to 50 was worth it and set Floridas primary for Jan. 31. The RNC has said Florida will be a winner-take-all primary, but that decision is still subject to challenge.
If tomorrows results are in line with recent polls, Mitt Romney will win 50 delegates and everyone else will win none. (Thus, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul spent a limited amount of time and resources in Florida.) But if it were proportional, Romney would win about 20-25, Gingrich would win about 14-16, Santorum would win about 5-7, and Paul would win 5-6.
In other words, Newt Gingrich may have enormous incentive to file protests and perhaps even legal challenges to the RNC to make Florida allocate its delegates proportionally."
State by state math HERE
If Romney is the nominee there will be no national GOP in 2016. There may not even be a national GOP after August 2012.
“If Romney is the nominee there will be no national GOP in 2016. There may not even be a national GOP after August 2012.”
So what? There will be no USA after 2016....Maybe not even after 2012.
Romney is the NEW Juan McLAim....
WE’RE GONNA LOSE!!!!!.
He may take a dive like Juan did....
Lots of work putting that together too bad it doesn’t get any furthur than here. Thanks for the effort
“The US Mat” — Lot’s of great work at your page and site!
As someone born in Wisconsin (left during my school years but still claim as my home state) I salute you!
Rick Santorum is NOT a conservative.
If Romney is the nominee there will be no national GOP in 2016.
If Romney is the best the GOP can do in 2012, then what’s left of the country will be better off without it.
In a year...the GOP Washington types will be sitting around looking at the devastation...Obama reelected, the Dems picking up twenty seats in the House and holding the Senate...and they’ll be saying...maybe we should have nominated a conservative.
It’s all so predictiable.
it would seem that the rules are comprised to be used by the party puppet masters to control the primary process for the party royals
Ineligible RINO Backstabber:
"Thank me. When I cheat, I win."
The McCain/Palin ticket was up ++4 to 10 pts
in some polls, days prior to Election 2008.
So rather than helping the GOP, Romney and
TeamROMNEY and the RNME (Republican National Media Establishment)
decided to attack Gov. Palin to throw Election2008.
Romney, and the Van der Sloot RNME RINOs for Obama in 2008
Late in October, The American Spectator's The Prowler revealed:
"Former Mitt Romney presidential campaign staffers
have been involved in spreading anti-Palin spin to reporters, seeking to diminish her standing after the election.
'Sarah Palin is a lightweight, she won't be the first, not even the third, person people will think of when it comes to 2012,'
says one former Romney aide
'The only serious candidate ready to challenge to lead the Republican Party is Mitt Romney.
"Some former Romney aides were behind the recent leaks to media, including CNN, that Governor Sarah Palin was a 'diva' and was going off message intentionally."
The Palmetto Scoop reported: "One of the first stories to hit the national airwaves was
the claim of a major internal strife between close McCain aides and the folks handling his running mate Sarah Palin."
"Im told by very good sources that this was indeed the case and that a rift had developed, but it was between Palins people and the staffers brought on from the failed presidential campaign of former Gov. Mitt Romney, not McCain aides."
"The sources said nearly 80 percent of Romneys former staff was absorbed by McCain and these individuals were responsible for what amounts to a premeditated, last-minute sabotage of Palin."
aides loyal to Romney inside the McCain campaign, said The Scoop, reportedly saw
that Palin would be a serious contender for the Republican nomination in 2012 or 2016, which made her a threat to another presidential quest by Romney.
"These staffers are now out trying to finish her off .hoping it would ingratiate themselves with Mitt Romney."
"Who's the Palin Leaker from the McCain Campaign?
National Review Online The publication of a Vanity Fair profile of Sarah Palin
appears to have opened old wounds in the McCain campaign.
... the source of the Diva leak was Nicolle Wallaces husband."
And it will be "blamed" on the conservative base.
If Obama wins reelection we won't have a shred of the Constitution left. So your admonition about no national GOP is rather moot.
...and theyll be saying...maybe we should have nominated a conservative.
No they wont! The fools will be lamenting having put up someone as conservative as Romney. Yes they really think Romney is a conservative.
Exactly. We're too stupid to know that we have to follow the direction of our betters in the northeast.
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