Thursday, October 6, 2011

Will Do Anything For Office

There have been a lot of news stories in the last 24 hours, not the least of which is the death of Apple computer founder Steve Jobs, one of the topics we plan to address tomorrow. To his family, friends, and fans, we add our condolences to the millions of voices thanking him.

One of the biggest pieces of news in the political world, is that Sarah Palin, the former half-term Governor of Alaska, has announced her decision not to run for President in 2012 - as we were certain was the case. Of course, the highly lucrative paycheck that we're sure Gov. Palin receives from Fox News probably also helped sway her decision this time around - even if Fox President Roger Ailes only hired Ms. Palin because she's "hot and got ratings" for his television network.

So Republicans are stuck with the group of candidates they have - which, for many Republicans, means the Republican version of John Kerry, in Mitt Romney, except without the war hero record and long history of solid national policy experience.

The fact is, if Mitt Romney can be judged by his record as a governor, and his actions as president and CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, he appears to be a somewhat socially moderate, somewhat fiscally conservative, corporate-friendly Republican.

While the totality of his policies and past actions don't sit well with most liberals, if he were positioned as a reasonable moderate, more than a few moderate progressives and centrists might be able to be won over by a candidate with Gov. Romney's background.

Instead, for months now, the regressive right has continued to deny what most of them already know, deep down, to be true: Romney is the most likely candidate for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination.

That hasn't stopped Republican partisans and pollsters from claiming - in vain - that the decisions of Chris Christie and Sarah Palin not to enter the race are going to make things easier for Herman Cain. Or Rick Perry. Or someone. After all, as noted polling and statistics expert Nate Silver, of FiveThirtyEight.com, mentioned earlier this week, "Cain, Perry, Bachmann, Trump, Giuliani, Romney, Palin, Gingrich, Huckabee, and Christie have all led at least 1 national poll this year."

If this were a political landscape not already ravaged by hyper-partisanship and toxic levels of propaganda, we can honestly see at least two candidates among the current GOP field that sane moderates and even a few conservative Democrats might vote for.

The problem is one we pointed out on Wednesday - that the extremist far right has been purity testing every candidate that comes before them. Their fanatical insistence that each and every item on their checklist of dogmatic loyalty be met means that Romney keeps trying too hard to prove his worth to people who will never really like him anyway.

That isn't to say the Republican partisans and those on the far right won't vote for Romney in the end. If they vote at all, they'll vote for Gov. Romney, only because they can't stand President Obama.

Just because they vote for him, though, doesn't mean they have to like Mr. Romney.

And no matter what he does, or what positions he takes, that's not likely to be something that changes.

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