Those darn Republican "Strategists". Just when you get the so-called and self-styled "legitimate political news outlets" to begin writing about the realistic prospect of Jeb Bush entering the republican presidential nominating fray...Rick Santorum stops making Annie Coulter gag.
What do you make of that?
Well...not much, if that was the only change from one week to another. However, when you combine Adam's Apple Annie's 180 on Tricky Ricky, with Santorum's refusal to reverse field, The Mighty Mittster's corresponding commitment to all things financial, AND the fact that Hollywood isn't the only industry that loves a good sequel...and all of a sudden, The Gipper be DAMNED...I'm hearing the same Overture that was being hummed in 1980 just before Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan and Georgie Porgie began the eight year liplock that started this Once Great Nation on the road to oblivion.
For those of you that don't remember 1980, and are buying into the CNN hype over how devastating this drawn out campaign has permanently damaged the republican party...and ANY nominee; let me simultaneously either enlighten, or otherwise refresh a recollection or two.
George Bush HATED Ronald Reagan. In fact...prior to Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan gaining what appeared to be an upper hand in the 1980 primary season, a lot of republicans hated him. Like this year, a democratic President was concluding his first term in office. Like this year, that democratic President found himself with a terrible economic situation...instability in the oil and capital markets...and without the benefit of a government sponsored and implemented plan to keep inflation in check.
There was such concern on the part of the moderate wing of the republican party over the prospect of running an ultra-conservative in the general election that Former President Gerald Ford even considered entering the race in early March 1980, in an effort to thwart Reagan's third attempt at getting the republican nomination.
In the end, most political observers believed, and probably still do, that had the moderate republican vote not been divided between multiple candidates...Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan might have ended up as part of the setup to a joke which began with, "Eugene Debs, Ralph Nader and Ronald Reagan walk into a bar...".
However, when Reagan managed to use the moderate divide to secure enough delegates to claim the nomination...those darned RNC "strategists" put on their thinking caps and devised the plan that was the beginning of our end.
Ronald Reagan would continue to put forward his socially-dominated agenda. George Bush, who had previously labeled the Reagan Economic plan "Voodoo Economics" and claimed openly that the plan would cause even higher than the 30% inflation witnessed during the previous four years...would not only provide political and geographical balance to what scared republicans about Reagan...he would also actually have a role in the campaign.
Reagan made Middle America angry.
Bush made sense.
Fast forward thirty-two years to the current version of republican America. In some respects, the nation is in almost the exact same position that is was in 1980. In other, equally critical areas of consideration, we are at almost opposite ends of the spectrum. And, during the republican primary, we have this time...THE CONSERVATIVE VOTE being divided...and essentially one lone moderate in the race.
Unless Tricky Ricky and Mitt of the Magic Underwear are each deserving of an Oscar...it's also pretty apparent that they don't honestly enjoy each other's company...or, the way they are running their respective campaigns. Romney openly accuses Santorum of campaign dirty tricks. Santorum openly courts social conservatives from the ranks of democrats. Santorum rips into Romney for his Massachusetts Moderation. And, Romney openly declares that Santorum has no clue on economic matters, and can in no way be successful in a general election, given his unwillingness to consider any position other than the one he brought with him into the campaign.
In 1980...before the problem reached critical mass, the party sought to enlist a former sitting President to bridge the enormous gap. Not at all unlike the chorus of escalating in significance, voices openly encouraging first Mitch Daniels and now Jeb Bush to "save" the party.
In 1980...when Ford opted to stay out, and Reagan's nomination became a fait accompli..."Voodoo Economics" took a backseat to "Plan B".
How does this translate to what has been happening internally on the republican side of the equation over even the last 24 hours?
Yes...there is still a reasonable chance that no candidate will secure the number of delegates necessary to nominate in advance of the convention. Obviously, that would require additional consideration to be given to, my continuing prediction...Jeb Bush, to serve as savior.
However...all you have to do is READ and go back only days ago...when Adam's Apple Annie Coulter was RIPPING into Santorum in her characteristic and equally merciless style. If the two had been in the same room, and Coulter had the taser...Tricky Ricky is on the floor playing the part of "bacon frying". He was "insane"..."unelectable"...and a lot of other things even less flattering.
Today...Annie says...she WANTS to agree with him, and simply admonishes Santorum to "stop trying to explain his positions". If you know The Ann-gel of Death"...you know that if there were a number more significant than "180" to describe a total reversal...this would be the time to use it.
Yesterday...Santorum's closest friends and advisers were suggesting that he alter his message, however slightly...to at least appear to be less divisive on women's issues, and in certain other areas. The campaign later announced that it would stay on message...indicating no need whatsoever for a course correction.
Where is Leo the Lip when you need him?
"Plan B"...DO NOT risk either the loss, or the ambivalence of ANY social conservative that couldn't get totally behind McCain...and realized that Sarah Palin shouldn't be allowed TO BUY A HOME in Washington, DC.
Romney - Santorum is NOT McCain - Palin all over again. Romney isn't 104, doesn't have cancer, didn't spend five years in a POW Camp...wasn't labeled "insane" by Karl Rove...and doesn't sound like he has gastritis every time he opens his mouth.
Romney is a business success story at a time when the nation needs a far better understanding of how to deal with a prospective worldwide financial collapse. At the same time, Romney PLAYS THE GAME and knows the rules. Until McCain took it in the ear to get the George W. Bush team on-board...at a time when it looked like HE would be a three time loser...he hadn't compromised with anybody on anything since Meghan first asked to borrow one of the family's 15 cars to drive herself to one of their 7 houses.
Santorum....make no mistake about it...is absolutely as batshit crazy as Sarah Palin (or Ronald Reagan). However, you can put him in a cute little sweater vest, wrap his home-schooled family around him, and send him to every trailer park and Baptist Church in every one-horse, three-tooth town...and they won't even care that he takes his marching orders from an alleged former Nazi...who just happens to be The Pope. His daughter will likely not give birth during the campaign...and there are at least moments...unlike in the case of Sarah Palin...when he appears that he won't sleep with half of the NBA, or quit the race in the hope of landing a reality TV show.
None of this is to say that democrats are staring eight years of a Romney - Santorum debacle in the face. The Chicago Mob IS NOT the crowd from Plains, Georgia. Democrats have gotten A LOT smarter and far more campaign savvy since that time. The Obama Administration has a far better hold on the office, complete control of every aspect of its own press, unlimited financial resources...and a willingness to straddle the lines of propriety which Jimmy Carter never had...and which President Obama himself lacked in 2008.
Mark it down...this date; nearly a week before Not So Super Tuesday...and when Mitt Romney Still needs nearly 1000 delegates to become the nominee.
IF, no candidate reaches the Convention with the required delegates...Romney is unceremoniously DUMPED in favor of Jeb Bush.
IF...Romney is certain to be the nominee based on his delegate count...TRICKY RICKY SANITARIUM...IS the choice for Vice President. Fences are mended. Santorum, when asked about their differences, declares that he will not "be nickled or dimed"...and that TOGETHER, their ONE GOAL is to unseat Barack Obama.
If a month from now...it becomes more likely that the Convention will be open...I'll let Jeb know who HIS Veep Short List includes...AND...who he will ultimately select.
In the meantime...WATCH how the REST of the republican establishment...all of a sudden STOPS bashing Santorum. It ain't because they think he has a PRAYER of becoming their nominee.