Well, the final tally was counted last night, and Mitt Romney edged out Rick Santorum by eight votes.
That’s got to drive you nuts; they say this stretch between Iowa and Super Tuesday is the hardest and most stressful and arduous period in all of politics; and Rick Santorum enters this stretch realizing if he’d just shaken as few as five more hands…
Romney kind of won (a meager technical victory) and Santorum kind of won (by winning the surge of the last few days of the race). Both candidates will legitimately be able to claim victory. The question is who will most effectively be able to take advantage of the victory they won in Iowa in the coming days.
At this point in the GOP contest, the race boils down to one of “the establishment candidate deemed most likely to win” versus the candidate we’d vote for if we were going to actually vote our values. I don’t say it that way to say we should all necessarily be voting for Rick Santorum; I myself would rather have a President Mitt Romney than a defeated GOP contestant Rick Santorum. We all have to do that calculus: which Republican candidate has the best chance of actually winning?
I believe along with Charles Krauthammer that we should elect the most conservative candidate who can win. And I don’t profess to know which candidate that is.
It could be Mitt Romney; it could be that Rick Santorum simply won’t be able to get those millions that will be able to compete with Obama’s billion (and isn’t it interesting that the same president who has so self-righteously eschewed “the system” would be the one who has amassed more money from that system than any other candidate in the history of the entire human race?).
If we’re talking big money, the guy is probably Romney; he has been the only money-raiser who has demonstrated an ability to compete with the Money-Raiser-in-Chief who sits on the White House throne.
But there’s a rub:
We need a candidate who can unite the party, yes, but we also need a candidate who can successfully unite both the big donors who fund the party and the conservatives who would serve as the willing foot soldiers to help carry the message. You need money to win or you can’t win; and you just as much need inspired volunteers to win or you can’t win.
Romney can raise the bucks – probably better than any Republican in the field. But can Romney inspire the troops?
He sure aint inspired me yet. The best thing I can say about Mitt Romney is that at least he would at least be better than Obama (and frankly you’d have to go with guys with names like Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Kim Jong Il to point out people who would be worse than Obama).
But can Santorum inspire the conservative troops? Think about it: Santorum represents the fifth candidate in a chain of candidates whom conservatives have tried to back as the “anti-Romney” choice. He’s the fifth choice at this point. That doesn’t mean he can’t truly rise to the occasion; it does mean he’s got an awfully long way to go to get there.
Romney has got the money; Santorum was able to get people to work like dogs for him in the final few days of the Iowa Caucus. We need a Republican who can do both and do it on a national level.
I said a couple of weeks ago that I feared that neither Santorum or any other conservative would be able to rise that far in the time remaining. And so allow me to talk about Romney for a few moments.
This is what happened to the Republican Party last year: we needed a visionary leader, and we got John McCain – a RINO who couldn’t be counted upon to stand up and deliver the conservative message and the conservative worldview. My fear all along is that Mitt Romney is a John McCain with better hair and teeth.
What did the left do to that RINO McCain who had reached out so many times to Democrats? Basically, this:
They turned him into some kind of arch-über-conservative that would frighten away independents. And of course actual conservatives knew that the brand wasn’t true. So damned near everybody was turned off to McCain.
McCain talked about remaining in Iraq the way we’ve remained in Germany and South Korea; not as “bloodthirsty warmongers,” but as guarantors to safeguard and protect what we had won with too much blood and treasure. That was a message that Obama and his minions proceeded to twist and distort so they could deceive the American people into voting for a fraud who would fail.
And they’ll try to do the same thing to Mitt Romney, mark my words. It doesn’t matter if he’s not a real conservative and every conservative knows he’s not a real conservative; liberals don’t give a flying damn about what’s real; they are all about rhetoric, and they’ll try to use their bogus, vicious rhetoric again. It’s all they’ve got; it’s all they are.
I’ll vote for Mitt Romney and I’ll vote for Rick Santorum. But I’ll sure be wishing for Ronald Reagan.
Reagan was a conservative whom the Democrat and Republican establishments both agreed couldn’t win when he captured the Republican nomination. In fact, when he defeated the establishment candidate George H.W. Bush, the Jimmy Carter campaign staff literally opened champagne bottles and toasted one another.
Reagan shove that bottle right up… well, you know where. He defeated Carter in the biggest landslide against an incumbant anyone alive had ever seen.
But Obama has given us God damn America, and in God damn America you don’t get a Reagan because you don’t deserve a Reagan.
In God damn America, Americams sow the wind and reaps the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7).
God damn America is a land that believes lies because they would rather believe lies than face reality.
Obama has buried America in $6 TRILLION in debt in only three years; after demonizing Bush for handing America $4 trillion in eight years. God damn America shrugs off that truth just as it shrugs off every other truth.
We’re down to three Republican candidates, and all three of them are deeply flawed even while all three of them remain far superior to the Liar-in-Chief we’ve got now.
I believe this nation – and this world – is in the last days. I believe we’ve kicked the can down the road until there’s no more road to kick the can down any more, and we are about to pay for it with a Great Depression that will make the last one look like a walk on the beach.
A vote for the Republican challenger would be a vote against that fate; but if we are God damn America, we are too much a nation of fools to care about disaster, aren’t we?
November 2012 is going to come fast. And America doesn’t seem to handle deadlines very well. We’ve got a huge choice to make; and my fear is that the American people will vote to kick the can down the road just as they have demanded their representatives do over and over again. Until certain doom overtakes us.
One thing is certain: we don’t have enough road for Obama. A vote for Obama is a vote for fiscal implosion and national suicide. And that is precisely the choice that God damn America would make.
Here’s the essence of the 2012 race in all probability: the Republican Party will be uninspired because they will have an uninpsiring leader; the Democrat Party will be uninspired because their leader is a fraud and a failure. Will the uninspired Republicans be more determined to get Obama out, or will the uninspired Democrats be more determined to keep their failure in?
I hope I haven’t come across as overly optimistic about our choices as Americans.
There’s only one candidate for your heart that will save you from the hell that is coming: and He isn’t a Republican. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
I’ll vote in the election; but I’ve put my trust in Jesus.