Beyond the Cusp

January 3, 2012

It’s Iowa Caucus Day

We have finally made it to the first day where the voices of the people are recorded for all to witness. By this evening there will start the questions about who needs to drop out and who still remains viable either due to doing well or still being mathematically in the race. As is all too often the case, and sometimes I think it is planned to be this way, there are many true conservative candidates and but one or two so-called moderate Republican candidates. For those conservative hopefuls, knowing and admitting this up front is crucial and acting responsibly in the face of these facts vital if we are to have a viable conservative candidate this fall, or even the glimmer of a hope for such a result. So, what is it this writer can predict for the results today?

From what I have read and heard of polls, the race for fist appears to be between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, not much of a surprise there. Rumor has it that Newt Gingrich has fallen off sharply in the final days, much as every other not Romney candidate has after a few short weeks of intense scrutiny after rising to the top briefly. Many of the polls report that the true conservative candidates, Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, and Rick Perry are all closely matched splitting up an equal amount of the caucus ballot as Mitt Romney will garner as he does not appear to be sharing the liberal vote with anybody else, well, except possibly Jon Huntsman Jr. who will probably be statistically absent. Then there is an unknown percentage that will go to Newt Gingrich and totally depend on exactly how much he has fallen from grace. There was one poll that had suggested that Rick Santorum had shown some gains late last week which might place him as the most favored among the true conservatives in the race. I must admit that I hope this is true as Rick Santorum has been my preferred candidate since it became obvious that John Bolton was not going to enter the fray.

By the end of the caucus some things should be made a little clearer, but not sufficiently to force anybody to act too hastily unless the results should leave them feeling at the end of their rope and honestly think they have no honest hope of winning. But, I do think that the three through and through conservative candidates need to assess who among them has the best chance of taking the nomination and making that determination as quickly as is possible. I would think that by the end of the Florida primary voting that should one of the three have a significant lead over the other two, then it may be best for the other two to suspend their campaigns while possibly still holding the votes won so as to kind of hold them for safe keeping as they remain beholden to vote for them in the first round. With the Florida Primary being held on January 31, 2012 and Super Tuesday coming just over a month later on March 6, 2012; slimming the field down to the most promising conservative candidate between Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry would be an intelligent move thus allowing the strongest of the three to have the best shot at an uncontested run with the whole of the conservative body of primary voters backing them rather than splitting that vote three ways as has been the results in past primary elections.

I know that right now there are people screaming “Foul” and pointing to the fact that the selection of delegates is supposed to be proportional instead of winner take all as was the case in previous elections. Well, that is true in theory and theories are beautiful things while reality is almost always quite a bit uglier. Truth is that there are sufficient loopholes and fudge factors built into the proportionality system being tried for the first time that quite a few states may as well be winner take all and others will not be as straight proportional as one might like. For a breakdown on the whole picture of the proportionality myth, I offer links to Talking Points Memo.com and the Washington Post. Given the information that a fair number of states are finding ways of going so far as to go district by district in an attempt to get around the proportionality rules by awarding each delegate to the person winning in that particular district and then possibly splitting the delegates only if no other option can be found or using other gimmicks to retain as much of the feel of winner take all, would you want to not have an honest conservative as the Republican candidate and risk not defeating President Obama? I do not want to see such a possibility if it can be avoided by any honest means, and having the conservative candidates agree that after Florida, the one with the most delegates takes the lead and the others give their support in an effort to unify the conservative electorate.

There is one more reason I so desperately desire having a real through and through true conservative win the Republican nomination. Despite the presumed well known, recognized, mainstream, and unadulterated truth that only by running a moderate, middle of the road Republican will allow the Republican Party candidate to win sufficient moderate voters to win the election, I believe something entirely different. If we send a moderate, mushy, middle of the road, compromising Republican candidate up against President Barack Obama we will be guaranteeing his reelection. The first and, by far, most important objective is to nominate a candidate that will excite the main body and conservative base of the Republican Party and get them excited and out to vote in force. The truth of the matter is that the United States has become a polarized country with a very small number of honestly mushy, middle of the spectrum, undecided voters. Presidential elections are not won by running to the middle and have not been won that way since very likely President Eisenhower or President Nixon at the latest. Since then either the true Progressive Liberal (or so perceived) has won or the hard right Constitutional Conservative (or so perceived) has won. Jimmy Carter was not a centrist. Ronald Reagan was not a centrist. George H. W. Bush was not considered a centrist in the first election and was seen as one after breaking his “Read my lips; no new taxes,” pledge where he lost the election. Bill Clinton, despite all the effort to paint him historically, was not a centrist. And Barack Obama is most definitely not a centrist. All right, I left out the one possible centrist who won when running against another perceived centrist. We need to get the conservative base of the United States excited and it may as well be the Republican one as any. Anything less and we risk losing the election and possibly the entire future of the United States. It’s your choice.

Beyond the Cusp

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