At this point, it seems to me the logic of the electoral contest does not leave much time for hesitation.
We know this year the distribution of the delegates is of a more “proportional” nature. This allows candidates who considers themselves credible to keep their hopes for longer. Look at Gingrich winning in Georgia (playing home, granted), when with the winner-take-old system he would probably have finished the money a long time ago. I also note Romney has won six of the ten Supertuesday races and still is if not nowhere – which would be ungenerous – rather far away from imposing his presence and charisma – if any – as the Republican candidate. The way he continues to outrageously outspend his opponents for a summa summarum rather disappointing return (a win of around 1% in Ohio; really?) goes to show an awful lot of Republicans just don’t like Romney and they might vote for him – obtorto collo – only for the sake of getting rid of Adolf Hussein.
I had said in the past that the new proportional system doesn’t make it so decisive to have a quick decision between Gingrich and Santorum, as they continued to accumulate delegates who wold unavoidably vote for the one of them who remained. This was when Santorum and Gingrich together had around the same delegates – acouple more, in fact – than Romney alone.
This does not seem to be the case anymore, though. Last time I looked, Romney had 380 delegates and Gingrich/Santorum together less than 200. Basically, this means the clock is ticking fast and if they go on this way, by staying in the race Gingrich will only manage to destroy Santorum’s hopes of winning the nomination, without even a hope of being picked up as vice president because he and Romney are not exactly best friends, and Romney would probably prefer to pick up Santorum to give himself a conservative virginity.
Romney must, then, now hope Gingrich stays in the race as long as he can, because this is the only way he can avoid the emergence of a candidate the Republican people can really perceive as Republican, and as the alternative to him. It seems to me the time for choosing has now come, and Gingrich should very seriously consider quitting and supporting Santorum, sharpish. It is true he might do better in places like Alabama and Mississippi, but again Santorum could do better than him anyway. Santorum appears to be just better at mobilising the clearly conservative electorate, whilst the more moderate Gingrich cannot profit from his more expendable profile to take away many votes from Romney. If you are distant third after now many races, and could only win in your own state on Supertuesday, how realistic are your chances?
Romney won Ohio for around 1%, but in Ohio Gingrich got around 15%. In Alaska, Santorum lost for only 3 percentage point, and Gingrich got 14%.
What does this tell us?
I still think Gingrich would have better cards than Santorum in November but hey: he will not make it to November, one way or the other.
The time for skirmishes is coming to an end. I think it is now time for Gingrich to admit Santorum has the better cards (or alternatively: that he can damage Romney’s chances more if he quits the race) and supports Santorum.
The CNA has an interesting article about some remarks of the 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
First, there is this interesting remark:
“Any leader should seek God’s guidance,” he said. “The teachings of the Church inform my thinking about solving earthly problems.”
I do not know to what extent Gingrich practices what he preaches, but I can’t say he is preaching badly. The idea that a Catholic could be allowed to forget his faith when voting or taking political decisions is certainly being challenged more and more often.
Please also note that Gingrich correctly says “the Church” instead of, say, “my Church”.
The most interesting part is, though, the following one:
Gingrich said that he would “listen” to the concerns of those who feel threatened by his views and values.
“In many cases better communications and clarification will eliminate their worries,” he said.
“In some cases they are right to feel threatened because we have incompatible values and fundamentally different visions of the future.”
It is the first time that I read of a Presidential candidate saying to the anti-Christians fraction such open words, “you are right to feel threatened”. They are right to feel threatened because they are a threat to Christianity and their right to damage Christianity would therefore be taken away.
He is basically saying that there will no namby pamby slogans about everyone not having anything to fear, and a Christian society being able to be Christian and at the same time accommodate everyone’s whims, like, say, your British bishop would do.This kind of open talk is very, very rare in Europe and is probable to have one accused of being an extremist.
If a conservative President is elected, a march toward the curtailing of legal right will be set in motion, either through direct presidential action or through legislative action – if the President disposes of the necessary majorities in Senate and Congress, which I consider rather probable – or more long-term with the attempt to appoint decent Supreme Court judges instead of, say, left-wing lesbians.
It is good and honest that these things are said loud and clear, and become an integral part of the electoral campaign. It is also refreshing that Gingrich doesn’t try to use the usual European tactics of “do not worry, we’ll make everyone happy anyway” and says instead that, legislatively speaking at least, there will be blood.
Please do not use the combox to write your opinion about Mr Gingrich as a candidate, as I think that such discussion belong elsewhere – I might make a poll in future about this -. The matter here is, as I see it, not whether Mr Gingrich is a good candidate or even a good man, but whether the debate is going to go in the direction of frontal assault to anti-Christian legislation. If anyone could provide a parallel statement of other candidates, this could be very interesting.
Let me start with a very European observation: I ‘ll never get accustomed to the way those american ads work. He looks at her smiling in a woody, embarrassing way as she talks, and she look at him with Newfoundland dog eyes when his turn comes; one almost expects to see her tongue dangling out whilst he gives her the bowl with the Royal Canin. Cheesy, I would call it. Still, if it works the other side of the Pond it is not for me to criticise…
What it is for me to criticise in this video is something that for many Christians in the US will probably be a detail, but for a Catholic actually never should: Pawlenty apostatised.
The messages I get from the video are the following ones:
1. Pawlenty discovered a profound connection to Christianity through Protestantism. He mentions very much en passant his being born as a Catholic, but it is very clear that the bible studies & Co. “introduced him to the Lord in new and powerful ways”. It seems to me that in Pawlenty’s environment Catholics weren’t doing their job properly (his family; his priest; the Catholic culture around him) whilst Evangelicals were. I can’t explain in any other way how the man could feel in him a desire to know the Lord “in a more powerful way” without understanding that the right way to do so is to improve his knowledge of Catholicism.
2. Pawlenty doesn’t see a problem in his apostasy, nor probably do most of his viewers. He doesn’t say a word of real justification as to why he apostatised; he seems not to consider this a possible source of trouble with the 70 million of US Catholics. He presents his choice as a kind of “path to unity”, basically still sending the message that he did something good. There’s not even a hint at his feeling, today, some degree of guilt, or at least discomfort.
From the points above I can only deduct that the Church in the US must have done something massively wrong for decades, as I can’t imagine any other possibility to explain how someone could not only apostatise, but think that he can candidate to the office of President without this becoming at least an issue that must be seriously dealt with.
Mind, I am not saying that Catholics shouldn’t vote for an apostate, as every sincere believer, pro-life supporter and defender of the real marriage surely is a zillion times preferable to Adolf Hussein Obama. I am also not saying that having apostatised should make every man not worthy of a Catholic’s esteem (Sarah Palin is, as far as I know, another apostate, and Glenn Beck a third; no doubt, there will be many others). I am merely pointing out that the absence of a real debate on the matter – a debate strong enough as to force Pawlenty to say a bit more about the issue than his utterly unacceptable “I wanted unity in my family, so I apostatised” – clearly indicates that there is an awful lot of religious relativism going on in the Church in the US and that this goes on unchallenged.
Independently of Pawlenty’s suitability as a President, it seems to me that:
1. he is still awfully ignorant of the relevance of the step he took at the time;
2. the broad public, even Catholic, is not much better instructed than he is;
3. the US clergy, collectively seen, doesn’t seem to care.
Irrespective of the US presidential race, it seems to me that there is a lot of work to do.