Sometimes some of the most interesting and correct ideas about politics come from people who are not talking directly about politics. A recent example of this occurred when J. Kyle Bass of Hyman Securities surveyed the scene immediately after the housing bubble popped. He offered the following analysis.
The only way to solve this problem is to go THROUGH IT. We know it isn't politically popular or even popular on Wall St, but the fact is that the U.S. and the world need a Darwinian flush to rebuild our foundations and become even stronger on the backside of this mess.
- J. Kyle Bass (HT: Dealbreaker.com)
This is equally true of the GOP. People know what the Democrats profess to believe. People know what the Tea Party stands for. Would anyone care to even take a whack at what the GOP will put in its 2012 platform? If so, why would anyone believe they will stick to it after the first or second negative headline? The biggest problem the GOP has right now is a fundamental lack of any set of ideals or philosophies.
A look at the current roster of potential candidates shows us this is true. The list of some (but probably not all) of the potential candidates for the GOP Presidential nomination reads as follows: Palin, Bachman, Gingrich, Pawlenty, Romney, Paul, Johnson, Cain, Huntsman, Daniels, and anyone else I’ve been nice enough to forget.
The field is not only numerically large, but it also represents a wide distance of ideological terrain. Comparing Newt Gingrich’s or Mitt Romney’s views on Obamacare’s Individual Mandate to those of former CEOs Herman Cain and Gary Johnson would make you believe you were watching two opposing parties run against each other for office. The same could no doubt be said for the military views of Sarah Palin and Ron Paul. Michelle Bachman would indubitably oppose Mitch Daniels’ proposed capitulation; oops, I mean truce on social issues.
These vast differences on many issues leave the party in a situation where nobody can really say for sure what a Republican really is. A cynical, media-driven definition would describe us as the bums not currently on the plush. We can expect a meme-driven narrative to emerge that goes like this joke.
“What’s the difference between the GOP and the Democrats?”
“The Democrats are the ones that can get you a block grant.”
To counter this narrative before it effectively prevents the GOP from mounting a credible opposition to Barack Obama’s reelection effort in 2012, we need to define what a Republican really is. The next six months or so between now and when people have to go all in to have a chance in Iowa or New Hampshire need to be unpleasant and bloody.
Some of this has fortunately started already. Mr. Huckabee and Mr. Trump will not be debating in 2012. Their respective fans may be disappointed, but the GOP is better off with the field winnowed down to about five people who have taken every nasty criticism that can be delivered and still stand there and debate. By this December, every one of the people I listed above should either be ready to go hard or go home.
The only way to get a real conservative nominated for the GOP Presidential slot is to expose all the fake ones to the public for castigation. The only way to clearly define an alternative to Barack Obama is to eliminate all those from consideration who think they can be “electable” by imitating his positions for public consumption. The only way to make the GOP a decent and functional organization is to accomplish a purging of its unfit and unserious candidates. Let the GOP Pre-Primaries be a Darwinian Flush. The people of this great nation deserve nothing less.