The GOP Race for 2016

The current GOP elite, in a stunning display of self-fulfilling prophecy, fielded the  B team this election cycle.  They have an energized base, the ability to attract greater corporate contributions than at any time in the recent past, and a weakened President, yet somewhere in the ivory tower, the decision was made to lose in 2012 to win in 2016.   The GOP did not expect to win the House in 2010 and even after that landslide victory, did not believe they could defeat Obama in 2012.  Not wanting to risk the "A" Team, they supported the man who couldn't beat McCain in 2008. 

As any sports team will testify, when the players take the field, you play to win.  You don't start the game hoping for a tie and yet this is exactly what the GOP has done.  Hoping to win Congress and stall Obama's initiatives, they put their B team on the field to play for a tie.

There is no doubt that the bench for the Republican Party is stronger than their current slate of potential candidates and many of those on the bench also believed that Obama was unbeatable, or they might have run.   The GOP is playing this election cycle to lose the Presidency but gain control of Congress.  They know that their bench is stronger than their current field of candidates and they don't want to risk one of the current crop winning the Presidency and blocking a run by one of the better potential candidates in 2016. 

The race is down to 3 actual candidates:  Romney Gingrich and Santorum.  Mr. Lead-With-My-Chin Santorum is argumentative, petulant and smug.  Most Republican voters simply can't stand to listen to him in the debates.  He has gotten better in defining his positions and makes some good points but the filibustering in his responses leaves most voters cold and the petulance is unbearable to watch. You can easily imagine him as the kid on the playground always threatening to "tell teacher" for real or imagined slights.   He's a non-starter.   Romney has perfected the "deer caught in the headlights" look and response once the debates started to focus on his record.  For someone who has supposedly been running for President for 8 years he appears to be woefully unprepared.   Putting Romney up against Obama is like pitting your local CPA against Dale Carnegie.  Romney is a geek.  He couldn't string together a sales pitch if his life depended on it. 

Romney would make a much better President than Gingrich, but he has no chance of being able to get the GOP there.  Although he may be brilliant with numbers, words seem to give him trouble. Thinking on his feet and using words to defend his position is not his strong suit.  He looks weak and ineffectual when confronted with hard questions. To date, Romney has not been able to cogently define the differences between Conservative and Liberal philosophies and Republican voters reject him because he appears to be someone mouthing a philosophy that he doesn't believe.  There is also the matter of his refusal to admit that RomneyCare was a mistake.  He is a tough pill for most GOP primary voters to swallow. He looks weak and ineffectual when confronted with hard questions.  He's the perfect foil for Democrats this election season.

Gingrich provides rich fodder for Democrats with his many foibles but he is able to concisely define the differences between the Obama socialist strategy and the free market conservative philosophy of success.   He is also biting and brilliant in his remarks and is extraordinary in his ability to think on his feet and control the conversation.  The Republican elite cannot fathom supporting a President Gingrich in a second term run for the White House.  They idea is "beyond the pale" for most of the GOP leadership.  The same leadership that gave us the "play to a tie" election strategy will fight a Gingrich nomination with everything they have in their arsenal.  

With the Party's stunningly stupid strategy of playing to lose, Gingrich may be the perfect candidate because he won't go down without a fight and he will define exactly what he's fighting for.  Obama has a staff of writers and a teleprompter to make him seem spontaneous but he often makes gaffes when forced to speak off the cuff.  Gingrich is unpredictable and as such, gives conservatives a great deal of anxiety, but also the Democratic Party and President Obama.  The choice for the Republican voter is to risk looking ineffectual and mildly confused or to go down fighting with a take no prisoner's attitude.  Either approach may well end in defeat, but the message sent to voters will be vastly different.  

From the outset, the GOP strategy was deeply flawed but as the GOP is learning, it is also one that the party may not recover from after another 4 years of Obama.   President Obama has already marginalized Congress to a greater degree than any President since FDR.  If Congress goes Republican, which is possible, he already has in place enough Czars and regulators who will implement the Socialist agenda without Congress.   This will be a disaster for the country and one that will negatively impact our children and grandchildren.

Liberals will not relinquish control of the government without a fight.  Obama was nurtured in the corrupt Chicago political machine.  In Chicago, the political machine knows how to control outcomes.  What was a problem in Chicago, is now a problem on a national level and one straight from the Chavez playbook.  Ask any Chicagoan about the fairness of their city's politics and not one will tell you it is not corrupt.

The real choice for Republicans this primary season is to "leave nothing on the field" at the end of the game, or to meekly go down in defeat hoping for Obama to beat himself in 2012.

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