Now, the gloves are off. But Republican challengers for the White House aren’t throwing their hardest punches at Barack Obama. No, they’re flailing away at each other.
Monday’s debate in Tampa, Fla., was particularly nasty, with Mitt Romney making his strongest attack to date against Newt Gingrich. And no wonder. Until recently, the former Massachusetts Governor’s dream of finally capturing the Republican nomination looked like a sure thing. But that was before the gods of the recount took away his victory in Iowa.
And Gingrich found a new enemy to attack in two debates in South Carolina: the liberal media. The crowd ate it up, and a huge number of undecided voters made a last-minute decision to vote for the former House speaker.
So after three State contests, we have three winners: Rick Santorum won the Iowa caucuses by 34 votes; Mitt Romney was an easy (and expected) winner in New Hampshire; and Newt Gingrich came from behind to win a decisive victory in the Palmetto State.
Now it’s on to Florida, where there are more delegates up for grabs than in three previous States combined. Florida is a winner-take-all State where only registered Republicans can vote in the primary.
The Sunshine State is huge: twice the size of any other State east of the Mississippi. To reach all Florida voters, a candidate has to saturate the airways in five different media centers. For a while, it looked like Romney’s large war chest and massive preparation gave him an unbeatable advantage. But that was before Gingrich’s impressive victory in South Carolina, which encouraged a ton of new supporters to flock to him — many with their checkbooks open. Now, pollsters say the race is virtually tied.
Who is writing the script for this year’s Presidential contest? It’s become a cross between the Three Stooges and Monty Python. It’s an ugly “least ugly” contest.
Is there any candidate who can electrify his supporters and unite the conservative base while appealing to independents? I don’t see one. The closest is Ron Paul, who has a wildly passionate group of base supporters. But, as much as I admire the guy and his principled stand on some vital issues (principles that haven’t changed an iota during his long career in office, unlike all of his opponents), I don’t see him garnering enough support to win the nomination.
Nor will his support switch to either of the likely nominees. Gingrich was stupid enough to denounce Paul’s views as “outside the mainstream of virtually every decent American.” That’s sure not going to win him the support of many Paul followers.
More and more, I think we need to start thinking the unthinkable: Come November, Barack Obama will be re-elected to a second term.
There, I’ve said it. I know this idea will give many of you apoplexy. Believe me, I resisted coming to this conclusion for as long as I could.
What will Obama’s re-election mean for our country? In some ways, I think an Obama victory could help in the struggle for freedom. Bear with me while I explain why.
It’s a sad fact of nature that many of us will work much harder to defeat something we passionately oppose than to support something we like. I can’t think of anything that would unite and inspire the conservative opposition more than Obama’s re-election. The membership rolls of the various Tea Party groups would explode.
With an aroused and determined opposition, Obama’s entire legislative program would come to a grinding halt. We would not just slow our country’s slide into socialism; with enough good guys (and gals) elected to Congress, we could actually begin to reverse it.
Remember, the Administration can’t spend a penny on anything if Congress doesn’t appropriate it. The Constitution clearly specifies that every spending bill must originate in the House of Representatives. If enough Tea Party favorites retain their seats and enough new ones join them, the House can refuse to give the Democrats any of the money they want.
If enough conservative Republicans also win Senate seats to gain a majority there, at the very worst we’ll have four years of gridlock. At the best, we could actually see some important bills passed — possibly with enough of a majority to overcome a Presidential veto.
Audit the Fed, anyone? Defund foreign aid? Put the brakes on irresponsible loans, outrageous subsidies and absurd earmarks? How about slashing some budgets by 10 or 20 percent or taking away every penny from some of the worst violators of the Constitution? It could happen.
Faced with the pathetic choices for the Republican nomination, I can tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to give my money to the best candidates for the House and Senate I can find, because that’s where the future of liberty will be decided. And I hope you’ll do the same.
How did we end up with such a sorry group of candidates running for our Nation’s highest office this year? I don’t know. Where were candidates like Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour and a bunch of others I could name? I said last year that my dream ticket was Chris Christie and Marco Rubio. Maybe I’ll get to see it — in 2016.
In the meantime, here’s a suggestion for my stalwart Republican friends out there: If you don’t want to lose an election, don’t nominate losers.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.