Monday, October 1, 2012

Media Left/Right Heavy Hitters Look Beyond Romney Loss To 2016 & See Palin/Right Unleashed: #5 David Frum

Next up in this series of media heavy hitters looking towards 2016 and the GOP is David Frum. Frankly I can't stand the man and what I see as a condescending tone. He epitomises, to me, the very worst of the Beltway elite, the ones who know what's best for the rank and file and who look down on the likes of Sarah Palin with an utter disdain. Hopefully they, along with Coulter/Rubin et al, will be swept away like chaff in the wind on November 6th.

To give Frum his due, his article "How tea party could drive GOP to disaster" is the earliest in this series (October 31st 2011) to acknowledge that Romney would find it difficult to be elected president. President Romney being the bringer of  good government- "As for possibility one -- that's just good government. And nobody seems to get much excited about that these days."

The others, Packer/Waldman/Klein/Domenech (link to articles is below this post), all either predicted a Romney nomination and/or presage a Romney loss to Obama.

In his article Frum gives a series of possibilities for the election year.Options 3 and 4 need not bother us (tea party candidate is nominated and wins/loses) as they are not relevant anymore. Possibility number 1 is of little value for our purposes ( a primary challenge to a President Romney is a subject for far in the future if Romney wins). Possibility number two is key to this series.

                                           Possibility 1: Romney is nominated, Romney is elected.

From the point of view of non-tea party Republicans, this is the ideal outcome of the 2012 election. Yet it is also an outcome that looks worryingly out of reach. As we enter the final 12 months of the election countdown, Romney still cannot rise above 30% support in his own party. Worse, while it's easy to imagine (say) Herman Cain's voters shifting to Rick Perry or vice versa, it is very hard to imagine where Mitt Romney will find the additional Republican votes he needs.

Possibility 2: Romney is nominated, Romney loses.

For non-tea party Republicans, this second outcome opens all kinds of ugly, ominous possibilities. If candidate Romney loses, tea party Republicans will claim that the GOP lost because it failed to nominate a "true conservative." That claim may fly in the face of political math (how would a more extreme candidate win more votes?), but it will pack a lot of emotional punch. Intense partisans are always ready to believe that the way to win is to be more intense and more partisan. Back-to-back losses under John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 will open the way to an ultra-conservative nominee in 2016 -- and a true party debacle.

We see for Frum, about whom we can say this with confidence, that he is not in the tea party grouping, a Romney loss and a true conservative candidate would be "ugly and ominous". Well it's good to know where one stands in the packing order-clearly in some Republican version of Romney's 47%. Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with his next comment, that if Romney loses tea party Republicans will claim that the GOP lost because a true conservative wasn't nominated. They will so claim and justifiably so too.

His political math comment, whereas he pooh poohs such a claim shows that in his view anyone to the right of Romney is "extreme" and his math fails. The answer to how a conservative could won more votes than Romney (or his ilk) is that the conservatives who stayed home or voted down-ticket would provide the extra votes. How many millions of potential conservative republicans chose not to vote for McCain-the answer is in the loss of Indiana which was unthinkable.

Here is an analysis from the poll commentator "technopeasant". There is room for growth amongst GOP voters as he shows (I suspect the 10%+ are conservatives).
The real interest is the negation of the supposed attraction a centerist like Romney has for Independents. That is why running yet another 'moderate" in 2016 equtes to the definition of madness i.e. doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

I have to give Mitt Romney credit for one thing: His GOTV efforts to rope in Republican members to vote for him is working big time (especially after he chose Paul Ryan).
I would not be surprised if Romney got even more than 90% of the GOP vote in November. (My prediction is 92%.)
But that is not Romney's problem. As good as Romney's GOTV campaign is "preaching to the converted", it appears to be terrible in reaching independent voters or convincing them to vote for him
Wasn't Romney's calling card during the primaries was that he could attract those squishy moderates or squeamish indies to his tent who would normally shy away from the GOP because it was considered too extreme for their tastes?
Where's the beef, Mr. Romney?
The GOP beat the Dems by 19 points among independent voters on November 2, 2010 and you are now shown in many polls to be to only have a margin of between 3-7 points over the Messiah.
And your margin with white voters over Obama is comparable to McCain and remember the latter had the financial meltdown hanging over his head.
Underperforming doesn't even scratch the surface.

His logic flies out the window with his end-times apocalyptic summary.I'll put it in a mirror image of his comment as to how conservatives think a more partisan Republican could win
after two loses in a row under Beltway approved centrists. How then does Frum think that after two losses in a row, with centrists running another one for a third in a row insult to conservatives, will be a winning formula? He see an ultra- conservative (or in other peoples opinion true conservative) running in 2016 as opening the door to a "true party debacle".

Running another RINO in 2016 may instead lead to the biggest of debacles, the break up of the GOP as the rank and file will have had enough of Beltway/elitist/Frum-ite candidates being forced down their throats and will look to another, possibly new, vehicle.

To take Frum's logic to its true end, if the choice in 2016 for the GOP is a recycled Romney or a Palin would he really expect the great mass of folks who make up the rank and file to swallow Romney again?

Here is the link to the other commentators in this series: AT THIS LINK

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