The Romney Effect (aka When Nothing Happens)

When former GOP Nominee / Next Guy Up Mitt Romney came out guns blazing against Donald Trump’s candidacy last week, many saw it as a sign that the Republican establishment was moving to block the future Republican nominee from his chance at the Oval Office.  The speech, delivered as the text format of paint drying, did little to accomplish the GOP’s grand plans.  In fact, a poll conducted by Morning Consult found that nearly half of Republican voters (48%) wouldn’t let Romney’s warnings impact their vote.

Perhaps Mitt put it best in his Netflix Documentary “Mitt” (Side note: this is worth a watch regardless of your general feelings toward Mitt) when he declared “when you lose the election, you are forever a loser.”  Trump’s campaign has been all about how much of a “winner” he is and how all that stand in front of him are “losers, dummies, jokes.”  With that in mind, is it really that shocking that Mitt’s speech didn’t sway Trump’s supporters?

Trump destroying Rubio in Florida last night despite it being Rubio’s home turf and having the backing of both Jeb! and Mitt Romney is nothing short of embarrassing for the GOP establishment.  Kasich was popular enough in Ohio to put him over the top there, but let’s not undersell what is happening:  In 2012, Mitt Romney lost a very winnable election to President Obama.  Top to bottom, voters saw how badly the establishment messed up the campaign. This failure caused an open revolt from the “next guy up” playbook that the Republicans have relied on for so long.

McCain failed.  Romney failed.  Jeb! failed.

Working class Americans are pissed and have taken a “guilty by association” view of the establishment.  The reality is this: Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for a lot of reasons good and bad.

Trump has run a very good campaign while spending very little money – something no one in the Political press would have predicted a year ago.  He has also tugged on the very heart strings that working class Republicans have been upset about for a long time: people who are working aren’t getting ahead and no one in the Federal government seems to care.  You can argue the merits of this point of view, but it is how they feel.

As it also looks more and more likely that the Democrats won’t have to use the power of their super-delegates and other backroom deals to put Hillary up as the blue candidate, we can begin to think about future debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Trump is a master at counter attacking and seems to hit back harder the more challengers press against him.  If you think these debates will be about policy or detailed plans, you are going to be very wrong.  This is going to be a gutter war and Hillary does not have the clean slate to win a gutter war.  Trump will attack – without hesitation – Hillary’s character and record with a relentlessness that will bother a lot of people.

Hillary should focus on policy and what she is going to do once in the White House, but her campaign staff seems inept so she is likely going to fall into Trump’s mousetrap.  This will be her downfall – she must avoid it at all costs.

For those, like this author, looking for sanity in our elections, one can only hope that it is this showdown that finally puts the status quo to bed.  We need better candidates, real discussions, and common sense in governing.

 

 

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Boehner Resigns: Another Crack in the GOPs Base

Since Mitt Romney’s loss to President Barack Obama in the 2012 Presidential Election, the GOP has been in a state of duress. Mainstream Republicans lost important seats and positions to more extreme members of the Tea Party.  The base of power shifted left toward Gay Marriage and LGBT rights.  The GOP was, correctly, painted as “old,” “out of touch,” and “evil.”

Speaker John Boehner stood at the front of the Republican old guard.  As the leader of the GOP in the House, Rep. Boehner was uniquely positioned to control the order of events.  While the Office of the President gets more press, it is Congress that truly runs the country by building policy, laws, taxes, and regulations.  Setting the agenda of the country and the positioning of the Republican party is a power that few others will ever know.

This is a truly significant turn of events.

The Republican party must evolve in order to continue existing.  The party itself has remained steadfastly focused on minority pockets of the US population, chief among them, the highly religious south.  A mainstream party that is very Conservative is not what the United States needs.  The Republican party has sought to keep the status quo and to avoid coming to terms with the true issues of the age.  Change is far to rapid to ignore.

Hoping that “someone else” takes care of issues like Climate Change, Poverty, and Energy is a cowards way of handling the Republic’s affairs.  This country deserves better from the Republicans party and if the current crop of GOP leaders cannot deliver the ideas and programs that will move this country forward, they should be voted out of office.

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