The latest statement of the so-called Republican candidate Mitt Romney about Obamacare leaves no doubt the strategy of the (so-called) Republican camp is to make Romney as similar as they can to Obama, counting on the fact the traditional Republican electorate will vote for him anyway (for economic reasons at least) and he will be able to mobilise enough of the undecided and middle-of-the-road types (if there can be any middle of the road when Obama is one side of the road) to secure the election.
I see the following problems with this strategy:
1) It is morally despicable;
2) it does not work often; and
3) it is poisonous in the long-term.
1) The strategy is morally despicable because Romney (which might not have any) and his followers (which might have had any) sacrifice what is at least supposed to be their ideological stance to prostitute themselves to the whims of a supposed mainstream, or of groups of voters (the pensioners, say; or the sodomites) for the sake of political calculations. That a person could become the candidate of the Republicans by being tepid on abortion, despicable on perversion and now even openly cowardly on Obamacare can only be explained with the obsession of being just a bit less bad than one’s opponent in order to catch the vote of the bad people who vote for him. I knew the father of “Romneycare” wasn’t the sworn enemy of Obamacare, but Romney has truly sold out and has shown he knows no shame.
2) I wonder, too, whether it will work. Was not this mentality the one who gave the Republicans McCain as their candidate? What makes Romney so different from McCain, particularly considering he fights against the same person, who is now in charge? Why should sincere Republicans feel so motivated to vote for a person showing his wish to become as similar to his opponent as it is safe for him to do? Did this RINO attitude work for McCain? Is it really so sensible to choose a candidate trying to look as little Republican as possible? If you ask me, the middle of the road is where all the trucks are.
I hate to say it, but in days like these Romney makes me wish he would lose, and lose badly. Painful as it would be for the country – how painful, would depend on how things go in the Senate and the Congress – to see Obama win again, the victory of an Obama-ised Romney would give the country Republican candidates who are almost indistinguishable from the Democratic ones for a long time. If the Republican party apparatus (and, alas, the American Republicans voting at the Primaries) continue to set their hopes on a fake Republican after what the same opponent Obama did to McCain, why should they change their tune if Romney wins? Romney would, then, feel even more motivated to behave as much as he can like Obama. Cameron has done the same in England, Boris is in the process of following him, and in Germany Helmut Kohl acted (at least in economic/social spending matters) in exactly the same way.
Fake conservatives are pure poison. They do not bring in power conservative ideas, but merely a slightly watered-down version of socialist and liberal ones; and those who vote for them because they are just a little less bad than their Democratoc (or Labour; or SPD) opponents actually encourage them to become almost as bad as their opponent, and make it unavoidable that all their candidates will be made from the same mold.
Unpleasant as it would be to see Obama at the White House for other four years, I wonder how different (from a social/moral perspective at least; I do not doubt some beneficial effects on the deficit and the economy) Romney would be. He’d be a paler version of Obama in all senses of the words, but nothing more than that; and for that, one would lose the opportunity of having a real Republican (and possibly a Christian) in 2016, as the party hopefully abandons the illusions of “middle of the road” candidates after the repeated disappointments.
It’s less than two months to the elections now and I am afraid this is not the last time Romney will make us cringe. Again, one knew he wasn’t born the Knight of the Apocalypse, but he is showing a political opportunism of the worst kind, in a manner which is probably not even so electorally wise anymore.
Put it very bluntly: when the choice is between shit and piss, one does not have to vote for the second in order to get rid of the first.
Probably the results of the votes concerning Congress and Senate will have a bigger influence on the next four years than the choice between Obama and his (at least in social matters) pale imitation. A solidly conservative House and Senate would tame a bad President whoever he may be, and if this does not happen I begin to struggle to see – at least in social matters – what great difference Romney would make.
I think it can be legitimately wished that the Republicans would lose as many Presidential elections as it is necessary to either die or understand that in order to win they have to candidate a seriously conservative candidate. Whilst it is difficult to deny piss is probably less bad than shit, I can’t blame those who do not want to help piss to win.
Alas, the American Republicans pay the price of their puritanism: they didn’t like Gingrich, now they’ll have to live with Romney.