Vincent Ferrer/The Mirror

It is likely that the GOP has done itself irreparable harm in preparation for November, despite Romney’s claim that the competition actually strengthens it. Santorum’s criticism of the conservatism of Romney’s record has a significant chance of weakening his base, much of which views Romney as the only electable candidate.

Gingrich’s success in South Carolina, the state that “chooses presidents”, has apparently not boosted the momentum he would need in order to capture enough delegates.  Santorum’s consistency as a social conservative who supports “some spending” may help voters see him as a viable candidate, but his strong stance on social issues have thrown him under the bus, especially if Obama appeases conservatives in any way.

His administration has taken a step back on this issue allowing religious organizations to opt out of providing contraceptives. But as Romney pointed out in a New Hampshire debate in January, any discussion on banning contraception is “silly.” The heart of the matter is freedom of religion, (i.e. allowing religious groups to follow through on their respective principles), but when one discovers that 98% of sexually active Catholic women use contraception, one finds that the “culture war” that Gingrich and Santorum are fighting will eventually be forsaken.

Such a fight will not appeal to the liberal voters needed to elect a new president, which is why Romney need not worry. His reputation as a

“flip-flopper” goes both ways: even though some conservatives accuse him of compromising in regard to abortion and health care, liberal voters are likely to see this as a sign that he would make sound decisions were he to find himself in the oval office.

Meanwhile, Ron Paul, who in a recent national poll finds himself in second place behind Romney, does not need to fight between the other candidates on

the conservatism of his voting record. The other candidates, likewise, do not bother attacking him. Paul’s consistency over the 30 years in congress liberates him from scrutiny concerning his loyalties and views. Even Gingrich applauds Paul on his views regarding the Federal Reserve and monetary policy. But when it comes to Paul’s other favorite topic, foreign policy, many conservatives’ minds are filled with images of mushroom clouds. Not only does he plan to immediately bring all troops back from war, he also wants troops home from everywhere in the world. Would this save the US money? Certainly. Would it make us safer? Most Republicans do not believe so.

It does not matter that Paul would have a chance against Obama. He has no chance to win the nomination. Romney enjoys saying how he wants to make the military “so big, no one would think to attack us.” As with most ambitious statements, it receives plenty of applause. But it will not lighten the burden on the taxpayer. Obama’s original promises about the troops were never brought about (although he did bring the troops back in time for election year, against the advice of some who called the decision a “disaster”, and for many Iraqi victims, it has been).

We may witness a struggle between Obama and Romney focused on “Keynesian economics” vs. “capitalism”. Regardless of who wins, we can expect continued foreign adventure, and a dwindling middle class. Whether Israel gets attacked will be an enormous deciding factor.

The late Christopher Hitchens once said to an audience about Iranian President Ahmedinejad: “Have you ever wondered what would happen if a madman got a hold of a nuclear bomb? Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’re about to find out.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.