Morris: Michigan means chaos; our own conclusion: Michigan means that Romney takes the GOP nomination
[…] “The Republican Party is simply not used to selecting a nominee without having it imposed from above,” writes Dick Morris in a vote.com blog burst titled Michigan’s Meaning: GOP Chaos
In near-monarchic fashion, the party has always had an anointed front-runner in every election since 1944 – Tom Dewey begat Ike who begat Dick Nixon who begat Gerald Ford; Ronald Reagan challenged Ford, and then it was his turn. He begat the first George Bush – who literally begat the current president.
The designated candidate won the nomination in each one of those years but 1964 – and that year, the party met disaster.
But President Bush has been unique in refusing to help his party choose a successor. The result is the fissure now is tearing the party apart.
Comment: The historical task of the current Bush presidency appears to be to (a) discredit the conservative movement, and (b) liquidate the GOP as the political basis of its many constituencies.
Why did we—we meaning me, Gilad D.—ever support this troubled man?
Back to Morris:
The winnowing-down process that’s worked so well in the Democratic Party has failed totally in the GOP contest. With each candidate finding adequate momentum in the results so far, the party faces the prospect of a deadlock with each of the four main candidates (McCain, Romney, Huckabee and Giuliani) winning a share of the vote but nobody winning a majority on Super Tuesday.
Can South Carolina or Nevada winnow down the field? Unlikely. Neither is significant enough, and each is so totally atypical of the rest of the nation that its results won’t have great national credibility.
Florida is probably the last time that the GOP can avoid a destructive fracturing. Its pivotal vote, the week before Super Tuesday, may offer the best chance to focus the field and allow somebody to win a majority. But the state is now a four-way tie, with vote shares ranging from 17 percent to 21 percent […]
The struggle for Michigan has entered its archival phase. As we wrote for Iowa and New Hampshire, this is when the political community and various media dispute, interpret, or redact the outcomes of the contest.
We would dispute Morris’ overwrought conclusion of chaos.
Our own conclusion: Michigan decided the GOP nomination.
It will be Romney. The only chance the other campaigns ever had was to take Romney out early. They failed to do that.
As for Romney himself, he will pay no price for his sudden transformations or the catastrophes he wrought for himself in Iowa or New Hampshire—these will be quickly forgotten as the focus shifts to upcoming contests. The media will receive Romney’s latest incarnation as populist champion of working families—as a moderate pragmatist—quickly, uncritically, and with a straight face. If any decide to comment at all it will be to argue about how the candidate has grown as a person or discovered a compassion within himself. Or, worse, journalists and editorialists will identify with Romney’s duplicity and celebrate how Romney cynically played the rubes and knuckle-draggers of the GOP base so that he could pursue progressive policy goals as he had always intended. And did we ever get played!
Whatever is the case it will be the conservative movement, and not Romney, that gets discredited.
Also: after a lot of painful trial and error Romney has finally field-tested a successful message—a relevant message, and a message consonant with his biography—and it is the economy. Economic insecurity is breaking out everywhere. Markets are crashing. Banks are failing—etc., etc. Against this insecurity Romney offers the palliative care of massive bail outs, other subsidies, and supervision from Washington combined with his own native genius and ferocious appetite for hard work. To fight for every job, Romney promises. See:
- Romney in MI champions big business and big government partnership for the purpose of economic nationalism even as he funds Club for Growth attacks on Gov. Huckabee—oh, the cynicism
- equity sector multi-millionaire Romney now champions the dignity of human labor, completely abandons arch-conservative line for latest version of Romney, Romney the progressive-populist
The game now becomes a difficult scramble for every last delegate.
Only Romney has the cash—his own, of course—necessary to endure a contest of grim attrition like this one.
The game is effectively over, friends and well-wishers. The details will get worked out along the way. We intend to enjoy the ride.