Quick: Name all the Republican candidates who trudged through the darkened, sub-zero snows of New Hampshire in the winter of 1980:
John Anderson. Phil Crane. John Connolly. George H.W. Bush. Bob Dole. Howard Baker.
Notice anything? I mean, other than the fact that it was an exceptionally good year for voluminous heads of hair (--especially John Anderson and Phil Crane), what stands out in this crop of Presidential Aspirants?
It isn't immediately apparent, unless you happened to live through it (which I did), and were politically cognizant:
A moderate Squishy Representative. Three or four Squishy senators. A former Democrat big-government Governor fighting corruption at every turn. Establishment, Establishment, Establishment.
...And one Goldwater traditional constitutionalist Conservative.
Juxtapose the 1980 Republican Field against the 2012 Republican Field. Whatever you may think of the personalities of the candidates in 2012, they were, by and large, conservative. Oh, sure, Ron Paul is a whack-job libertarian neo-confederate, but, his starting bid is usually the Constitution. And, I don't really count candidates on silly little vanity campaigns underwritten by their billionaire fathers, like John Hunts-his-name.
When you watched the 2012 candidates on the hustings, though, they mostly were arguing for less, not more, government. They were properly invoking the constitution and the government's relation to the sovereign individual. Only one candidate among them had been a strong advocate for activist government in his public background.
And he got the nomination because of that fact. The conservative vote was not only divided amongst the entire field, it was sliced, diced, filleted, and julienned. And, more importantly, Mitt Romney was there, vacuuming up the monetary spoils as the "electable" of an otherwise divided field.
Therefore, I posit a simple, yet cunningly effective theorem: We need to encourage every big-government, RINO moderate Squish of any repute to run for President in 2016. I want every Chris Cristie and Rick Snyder and Tommy Thompson and Mitch Daniels and Linda Lingle and Linsay Graham and Saxby Chambliss and Jon Huntsman and John Boehnor, hell, even Mitt Romney to run for President.
...And I want ONE conservative: One Ted Cruz, one Jim DeMint, one Sarah Palin, one Scott Walker. Looking back at 1980, it is just as interesting to see who didn't run, as looking at those that did: Remember, Reagan was coming off nearly unseating Gerald Ford, and everyone knew who the bonafide Conservative would be in 1980: Jack Kemp, Paul Laxalt and Bill Simon and other movement conservatives conceded the field before the campaign had even begun.
Let the damnable squishes fight over crumbs in 2016. Let THEM self-destruct, one by one, fighting off the allegations of the New York Times and Drudge. Let them spend the bazillions on stupid negative advertising. And finally, let them clear the field for the one conservative constitutionalist.
Just like 1980...