FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The 2012 GOP Primary – Over Before The First Shot Can Be Fired?
“He’s viewed as an almost inevitable candidate,” said longtime strategist Ed Rollins, who until last month managed the campaign of Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), one of Romney’s opponents. “He’s the heavy favorite.”
I hate the current Presidential Primary system. I find it to be a corrupt cesspool of disingenuous skullduggery, back-knifing and pretentious falseness. No wonder Barack Obama and John McCain could navigate it with such adroitness and skill. No wonder very few rational Americans were particularly enthused to choose between Tweedledum and Tweedleduplicity in November 2008.
I should be overjoyed this fine and beautiful Fall Morning. The debates and the early pre-primary polling contests have taken the bat out of the hands of many a corrupt GOP Establishmentarian Apparatchik. The rigged game is now a busted flush. The GOP star-making machinery has ground to a rusty and coughing halt. This should make me happy, but it does not.
I view the fake and dishonest Ethanol Caucus Farmers with salubrious contempt. I see the self-proclaimed GOP establishment “gatekeepers” in South Carolina as profoundly anti-democratic and an absolute slap in the face to Republicans in 47 other states. The rest of us would appreciate our primary preferences actually counting for something every four years. The current Presidential Nominating system has been just as heavily normalized to reflect elitist preferences as the old, smoke-filled rooms of The Gilded Age. Have we finally replaced this corruption with something better?
Perhaps no longer will hidden wire-pullers, in early Primary and Caucus states, overdetermine the options of Republicans in other states. The race to be first in the nominating contest calendar may now be pointless. Ed Rollins, John Weaver, and many other nauseating Karl Rove wannabes will be dividing up a much smaller pie this nominating season. We may be blessedly spared the GOP version of Michael Whouley deliberately arranging traffic jams to make an opposing candidate’s voters arrive too late to vote in New Hampshire.
The GOP Candidates, themselves, appear to have solved the corrupt primary this year. We just don’t see it, because it looks like the Establishment Boy, Mitt Romney won. The difference between then and now, is that Establishment Boy, Mitt Romney appears to have won a stand-up fight. He had to win a bunch of debates, without some GOP fixer working insider voodoo on his behalf.
Now, of course, there are a few minor flaws. It helps if real, breathing Republicans want and respect Mitt Romney enough to have him as nominee. It also hurts that the people anointing Mitt the loudest are a bunch of unemployed and perhaps unemployable, establishmentarian flunkies themselves. Finally, things could happen that would block Romney’s clear and sunny path to the GOP acceptance speech sometime next summer.
The GOP contingent of the Jacksonian Silent Majority is split among several candidates. What if a couple of the less viable ones park the Crazy Train prior to The All-American Farm Subsidy Caucus? Mitt could have a game 1 loss hung on his 2012 primary record. Then, if the remaining Conservative Insurgent in the GOP field can massively turn out the SC Hill Country, all bets are off.
But that will require some actual thought. That will require a candidate with legitimate and honorable concerns beyond his/her resume. In the idea-free vacuum of the pre-primary debates, Mitt Romney has flourished. As long as the 2012 GOP Primary remains a modeling contest, the prize will and should go to the best-looking and emptiest. And that is what I’m afraid we’ve replaced our corrupt and admittedly oleaginous Presidential Nominating Contest with in 2012.