Tuesday, June 19, 2012
A Uncontrollable Mouse In The GOP Tent
Instead of remaining timid mice, the teabaggers, evangelicals, and libertarians combined to force out many establishment Republican moderates, and take over the party in many states. And their newfound power was very evident in the primary elections that were just held. The establishment Republicans were able to get the nominee they wanted, but that nominee (Willard Mitt Romney) had to move far to the right to get the nomination (maybe too far to appeal to a majority of voters in November). And even then, there was a significant number of these new Republicans that refused to vote for the nominee.
Now, as I wrote a few days ago, many of the libertarians and the teabaggers are saying they will not vote for Romney. They view him as a moderate (or even worse, a liberal) who will return to his old views and abandon the right-wing now that he has the nomination. Teabagger leaders are saying many of their members are telling them they will stay home on election day -- and the libertarian faction (the Paul supporters) is even stronger in their opposition to Romney (and they have another place to go -- the Libertarian Party). And we must not forget the evangelicals -- some of whom are having trouble considering mormonism to be a christian sect.
Now there is more evidence that the Republican Party is far from unified, even though they have a presidential nominee. About 163 delegates to the national convention, who are pledged to Romney because of party rules, have banded together to sue the Republican Party. They want to be freed from their requirement to vote for Romney at the convention.
Now these delegates could not stop Romney from getting the nomination. Even if all of them were allowed to vote against him, he still has enough delegates for a first-ballot victory. The important thing is that, at this late date, there are still Republicans willing to embarrass the party to oppose Romney. He clearly has work to do to get his own party unified and supporting him for the coming election -- and he's not going to win these people over by moving back toward the center (as he must do to appeal to Independents). It's a real dilemma for Romney.
But the Republican Party brought this on themselves. They thought they could control these people and groups. Now they are fighting them for control of the party, and may well lose. Those timid mice they let into the party have turned out to be rats (and rabid ones, at that). The elephants should be scared.