Stacy McCain links this damning comparison of the 2012 primary election to the 2008 primary election.
I’m thinking of a Republican primary. It starts with a candidate (John McCain/Mitt Romney) who ran once before, came in second place, and won over the party’s elite class without winning over its base. Other candidates, understandably unwilling to accept this, line up: An under-funded social conservative (Mike Huckabee/Rick Santorum), an elder statesman who’s walked to the altar three times (Rudy Giuliani/Newt Gingrich), a libertarian who wants to bring back the gold standard (Ron Paul/Ron Paul).
Read the Whole Thing, of course, but remember this: last time the Annointed Nincompoop had to run with the Shroud of George Bush hanging on his shoulders. This time he gets to run against the Shroud of Emperor Golden Dancer. McCain was an old man running on his war record against the Shiny New Candidate of Hope. Mitt Romney may excite no man, but he exudes managerial competence from every pore of his being. We should not pretend that such will not matter against #OccupyResoluteDesk, whose supposedly masterful campaign has been sputtering of late, and in any case only won 52% of the vote last time.
Just because I’m cynical about the remaining forlorn hope for a Not-Mitt doesn’t mean I’m any more pleased about it than say, the gang at Protein Wisdom.
Let’s consider some other possibilities.
- Either of the Ricks (Perry or Santorum) Might Win South Carolina. New Hampshire has an open primary. That means Democrats and Independents voted. This explains why Huntsman came in third and Ron Paul came in second. South Carolina is not like that. Evangelicals matter in South Carolina. An upset win could stop Romney’s momentum and end his sense of Inevitability.
- Gingrich Might Land a Punch. The insidious thing about Gingrich’s Bain Capital remark is that it got people talking about it. It’s the kind of argument that Obama could easily use against Romney, and if enough people notice that, Romney’s main argument — his electability — could be seriously damaged. And if not, Newt’s still mad enough to come at him another way. He might yet find something that will actually turn off people who’re are lukewarm for Romney.
- Ron Paul Might be Stronger Than We Think. Paul is the “to hell with everything” candidate in a “to hell with everything” year. We shouldn’t underestimate that. Nor should we overestimate the importance of foreign policy to voters, especially in a “to hell with everything” year. Remember, for the past several years, Barak Obama has been sending robot bombers to blast away at people around the world and no one, left or right, seems to care very much. And even if Obama and the media attempt to cast Ron Paul as Bull Connor, Paul seems perfectly willing to play the race card on behalf of blacks, especially as regards things like the Drug War. And, as we’ve noticed, he possesses sufficient fortitude to punch back twice as hard in debates. The disappointed Obama Youth might just not care about stuff that was written before they were born.
The deeper question is, given a choice between Obama and Paul, could I vote for Paul?
Read this blog and tell me the answer.
Ace remains a right-wing favorite for several reasons: his blog has a bracing, Fuck-You attitude which diverts nothing from it’s thoroughgoing geekiness, and his commenters, for sheer entertainment, may be the best in the blogosphere (so Breitbart thinks, anyway). But more than this, is Ace himself as a writer. He has a style equally laid-back and brainy, mixing, as it were, the mediciney hobo-blood of Serious Commentary with a spoonful of sugary Valu-Rite. Ace’s long-form rants are digestible, which makes them persuasive.
So it should suprise no one that, when Ace lays it out and says why he still backs Perry, he makes a strong case. Read the whole thing, of course, but in a nutshell, Perry is the guy who knows how to do what needs doing, because, like Reagan, he’ll only do a few things. He’ll be more conservative than Romney, less erratic than Gingrich, and not a yammering, goon-flecked Bircher or up-jumped three-term Representative with more spirit than sense.