What is wrong with Mitt Romney? Why is the Republican Party wasting its time looking under every rock in Creation (pun intended) for someone who is just about guaranteed to be less intelligent and less accomplished than the former Massachusetts governor? Why are conservative bloggers who are still pining for a Chris Christie candidacy allowed to get within ten feet of a keyboard without supervision? Is it possible that the GOP, in its nonsensical quest for a chest beating fire breathing bona fide conservative who is willing to shut the entire federal government down if necessary and throw away the key, is ignoring the best chance they have to regain the White House in 2012?
I am beginning to like Mitt Romney more and more with each Republican debate, which is a mouthful for someone who often thinks the GOP should be given a time machine so they could zap themselves back to the Constitutional Convention. In fact, Romney’s political reasonableness isn’t all that different from the political reasonableness of our current Democratic president. Aside from a tendency to rail on about how he would deal with “Obamacare” and a penchant for the “Obama is a failure” phrase that is aimed squarely at the more hardcore constituents of the Republican Party, the former Massachusetts governor’s firm grasp of today’s political realities unquestionably separates him from the riffraff that comprises the rest of the slate of GOP presidential hopefuls.
The worst thing about our media’s insistence on trying to score presidential debates like boxing matches is the inordinate amount of emphasis placed on how well a candidate hurls verbal bon mots at his opponents while he stands on a TV soundstage. I don’t know whose idea it was to put together this marathon of back to back to back to back to back debates, but if they figured all of this TV time would put President Obama at a disadvantage, they were wrong.
The public has gotten more than a little tired of the weekly broadcast of the same old talking points. Many of the candidates—actually, now that I think of it, all of them except Romney—have taken their turn as the viral video joke of the week around the web because of some of their more extremist rhetoric. And some of the members of the audiences for these debates have loudly demonstrated over the last two weeks that they are sorely deficient in the human decency department.
They say timing is everything. All those years the Republican Party has toiled to cultivate lockstep close-mindedness amongst their followers has resulted in a bumper crop of intolerant right wing conservative voters just when America’s shifting demographics make it almost impossible, under our current electoral system, to elect another George Bush. I think the real reason the GOP faithful can’t get excited about Romney is because they know he will make the Republican Party’s bible thumpers and militia minded maniacs go to the back of the bus if he gets behind the wheel.