The Four Sides of the GOP
– by David Matthews 2
There is a reason why President Barack Obama is sitting pretty comfortably in the Oval Office in 2012.
Actually there are four reasons, and their names are Mitt, Newt, Ron, and Rick. The “Final Four” of GOP contenders.
Now, politics being what it is, this quartet could very well become a trio very soon, but as of this column, you have in the spotlight the four people that not only are the remaining contenders for the GOP Nominee for President, but you also have the four faces of the GOP itself.
In Mitt Romney, we obviously have “the establishment” being represented here. He’s the “old guard”, the traditional party determined to get and hold power by appealing to the general masses. He’s not the “ideal” candidate, but much like John McCain in 2008, George W. Bush in 2000, and Bob Dole in 1996, he appears to be the one that the voters “default” to. When compared to the others on the ballot, Romney comes out as “not as bad”, which political purists may despise, but they’re really not the ones that have the final say, and they know it.
In Newt Gingrich, we have the rabid insurrectionists. He represents the so-called “true conservative”, the guy that wants to shut the government down just out of spite… and actually did at one point when he was Speaker of the House. Again, far from perfect; he carries more personal baggage than a reality show diva on a photoshoot. But that doesn’t matter to the purists. He carried their banner in the 90’s, he has kept himself busy thanks to FoxNews and his fictional book tours, and he made sure people remember him even as he tries to re-write his own history to ignore those “embarrassing moments”. He’s the candidate that the conservative purists want as the party’s nominee.
In Ron Paul, we clearly have the libertarian, anti-government, and anti-federal factions. As the Congressman from Texas, Dr. Paul has a solid record of opposing the expansion of the federal government, going against even members of his own party. When it comes to cutting the federal budget and eliminating government agencies, you can’t find a better champion of that than Paul. Even Gingrich, with his claim of balancing the federal budget (even if that was from factors that had nothing to do with the GOP), wouldn’t be willing to make the cuts that Paul would support.
Finally we have Rick Santorum. In Santorum we have the evangelical crowd; the self-righteous, self-serving, moralistic, do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do busybodies. The ones that firmly believe that America is “condemned by God” as long as government doesn’t operate according to their standards and their dictates. Unlike Gingrich, Santorum has no personal baggage on him. Rather, his fault is with the company he keeps and the ultimate goals of that political faction. They don’t want to turn the country into a Christian theocracy; they firmly believe that it was already one from the start.
There you have it, folks. The four sides of the GOP being represented by the four candidates; and only one of them will end up at the top of the November Presidential ballot for the GOP.
Are you ready to vote third party yet?
The problem is that these four facets really don’t like each other. The “pure conservatives” as represented by Gingrich despise Romney and everything that Romney stands for. They hate the man, they hate his record, and they even hate his religion… even though they will be very careful to not admit to that part. They consider Romney a “moderate”, or even a “liberal”, that will say and do anything to get and keep power. In conservative circles, those two labels are worse than “sluts” and “whores”.
Romney reeks of Corporate America, but he’s really not the only one. As stated before, and needs to be stated as often as possible, Gingrich has way too much personal baggage, and some of that baggage deals with his own link to Corporate America and to the elites that continue to cannibalize the United States from within. Gingrich’s worst enemies are his past and his ego, both of which are competing in size with the federal debt. Should he get elected, I’m sure that psychologists will retire Narcissus and begin to refer to that dangerously self-centered personality disorder as “Gingrichism”.
Doctor Paul means well, and he has proven to have the determination to stay through a campaign to the bitter end, no matter how “bitter” that end may be. The problem is that the GOP hates libertarians. They’ll give libertarians lip service about shrinking government, but, as a party in general, they certainly fail to practice what they preach. Paul’s “don’t start none, won’t be none” approach to foreign affairs, for instance, flies in the face of the GOP’s favorite game of World Domination as a way to promote “world peace”. They certainly don’t like his social solutions. End the Drug War? Are you kidding? Stop prosecuting the adult entertainment world? Are you sick?
Of course it should be noted that even some libertarians aren’t fans of Paul’s stances, because while Paul thinks that the federal government should be leaving people alone, he has no qualms whatsoever allowing state and local governments to do the same thing. So he’s not as much a libertarian as he is a traditional anti-federalist.
Then there is Santorum’s faction. Again, Santorum’s the anti-Gingrich in terms of personal baggage, but that’s really not why he’s running for President, nor why the evangelicals are desperate to support him. They want someone that they know will champion their dreams of conquest. These guys are polarizing, and when you’re trying to appeal to the mainstream crowd in November, the party bosses don’t want them to be the face of the party!
Worst comes to worst, though, Santorum’s faction will probably be the first of the four to fold, especially if he continues to remain at the bottom of the primaries and caucuses. No real loss, though, as the evangelicals are used to political arm-twisting after the elections. This is what makes them dangerous. They’re used to manipulating behind-the-scenes. They can even continue to hold out until the national convention to lobby for some party concessions.
So there you have it… the four sides of the GOP squabbling over which of their chosen champions are “better”, and foolishly believing that somehow they can beat Barack Obama in November when all is said and done.
You guys ready to vote third party yet?
Let’s get brutally honest here… if you still wonder why President Obama is confident that he will be re-elected in November, then all you have to do is look at whom the GOP is trying to decide between as the competition. Their odds-on favorite is someone that most of their own people say they’d have to grit and accept, and the other three would practically hand Obama those four more years on a silver platter.
Even if they manage to come together by November, what do they really have to offer as an alternative to Obama? Romney’s friends contributed to the bleeding of jobs. Gingrich’s friends helped create the housing bubble. Santorum’s friends are more fixated on “saving” American’s collective soul than in getting it out of the Great Recession. And Paul’s efforts would trade in one Big Brother for fifty Medium Brothers and a few thousand Little Brothers. Not much of a “solution” when you think about it. But, then again, the GOP doesn’t want you to think; just to obey.
Unfortunately what you see is the end result of decades of political polarization; of factions that have convinced themselves that they are right all of the time, and that compromise is only something that the “other side” does. And the only reason why they continue to think this way is because the vast majority of the electorate are convinced that these guys are the only alternative to Obama’s continual Fail Machine.
So… you guys finally ready to vote third party yet? That’s really the only way you’re going to get better quality candidates.