Rick Santorum has dropped from the race leaving Mitt Romney as the de facto Republican candidate for President against Barack Obama. This will lead to many people from the two ends of the political spectrum throwing accusations back and forth for the foreseeable future over whether there is a principled and constructive reason for a conservative to now actively and enthusiastically campaign for Mitt Romney beyond their opposition of President Barack Obama’s reelection. Any conservative claiming otherwise is very likely blowing smoke unless they can give examples of the events in Mitt Romney’s time since he was governor which indicates his changes on numerous issues. On the other hand, those who simply condemn conservatives for opposing President Obama as their singular reason without explaining how conservatives should have no opposition or problems with another four years of Obama in the White House are simply taking cheap shots and are no better. Yes, there are going to be many many nasty exchanges which will contain volumes of hot air and little else but will be forceful and just as viscous as ever. It is all part of the modern partisan oppositional political atmosphere where each side views the other as toxic and counter to the continued existence of the United States.
The one entertaining event which has probably already begun is the complete change of direction by numerous talk show hosts who had backed candidates other than Romney now bending over backwards to appear to have been ardent Romney supporters from the get-go. Nothing is ever more shameful than those in the public eye changing horses in mid-stream when their candidate loses or drops from the intra-party race leaving their opponent as the new standard-bearer. We should grant those who still recognize their oppositions to Romney and find valid reasons for their change of heart, even if that reason is simply their opposition to the opponent, President Obama. We should accept their reasoning and realize that this might be their only escape and they are at least being forthright. It is those who pretend they had always been behind Mitt Romney even after supporting his opponents and having cast aspersions and doubts on Romney’s integrity previously who are most guilty of this sin. Such phony allegiance should be roundly condemned and pointed out for the shallowness it displays. I would respect anyone who simply states that their primary choice lost and they are simply intending supporting the Party candidate as they are a Party person, a Republican Party front person in this case.
We have already seen the first few salvos fired between President Obama and Presidential Candidate Romney last week and hopefully things will only get more contentious. A good race with both candidates giving and taking all in stride and with relatively equal aplomb is always more interesting and better to cover than runaway races where it becomes obvious within weeks which way the election will end, ruling out any unforeseen disasters striking down the frontrunner. It was the seemingly inevitability of Romney that probably made the debates so offensively boring as they ended up not having any effect on the outcome. I might as well say that at times it felt as if Mitt Romney had been chosen as the preordained candidate since about thirty seconds after John McCain gave his concession speech after losing to Barack Obama. So, let the games begin and may those who are about to throw barbs, give stirring speeches, and give their all in the race for the golden ring at least be competitive and entertaining, if nothing else. I long ago gave up on politicians being completely honest and accurately representing their true intentions. I guess part of the reason behind this is they cannot know exactly what is coming down the pike any better than most of the rest of us and they are just trying to look good while flailing in the winds of outrageous fortune.
Those who are regular readers of Beyond the Cusp have probably surmised that we tend towards being libertarian Constitutionalists. They may also remember that our original candidate of choice was John Bolton who decided not to run after giving the subject some consideration responding to those who had urged him to enter the primary race. Once the candidates had reached Super Tuesday and been whittled down to four, we had settled on Rick Santorum. He gave it a decent effort and we wish his little girl returned health and a long and happy life as our prayers are with his family. As far as who we will support in the race, we will see. Do not expect us to be anywhere near the front of the race to push Romney, assuming we ever do get corralled into the Romney camp. To be honest, going forward will require serious inspection and also deep introspection and our end conclusion will hopefully not sway our coverage away from critical honesty and frank assessments of the candidates’ positions and their strengths, weaknesses and rough edges. Let the race begin and let the fur fly.
Beyond the Cusp