Romney, Gingrich, Paul are trouble symptoms
They are not the troubles or the causes.
I could probably explain this with a Venn diagram. The Republican Party has at least four fragments each shown as circles. Let’s label the circles: 1) ideological and sociological religious extremists, 2) financial conservatives and government minimalists, 3) defense hawks and nationalists and 4) wealthy elitists. All four of these fragments touch one another, but just as kissing cousins.
The urban dictionary provides two definitions and I will pick one to avoid crudeness.
“A "kissing cousin" is any cousin that is not a first cousin. In most places in the world, first cousins may not have sex and have babies. But, in most cultures second cousins and higher can have sex and babies. Degree of cousinship is determined by how many generations the shared ancestor is removed from the individual closest to the generation of the shared ancestor.”
So don’t be too literal here, but I think Republicans are generally related as political cousins. Some of them have encountered Democrats along the way and may have gotten mixed up. The outcomes are like Rick Perry, for instance.
The deal is, the guys with the money, the smart guys, they are in a very small percentile. They know the only way to win elections is to develop broad appeal. So, they try to connect as many dots among the segments as they can. The poor and stupid are in one circle. The rich guys appeal to the poor and stupid by pretending to be like them – to share common values in faith and bigotry that is disguised as family values and tradition. There are some serious thinker-philosophers in one circle that are fiscal conservatives and small government minimalists and frankly there is a need for these people to keep government level headed. They aren’t necessarily akin with other circles and often work for the wealthy guys as accountants. Then there is a batch of military-minded people who like a strong defense and enjoy working in that industry so they like to see government spend money on that.
The three prominent people standing today can find alignment among one or two of these segments, though none can muster a critical mass of voters in the general election.
So this is a silly story in the Washington Post about the Romney-Gingrich split because the party is already fractured in so many different ways.
While the economy improves as some believe it will do so naturally, President Obama is going to look pretty good next year among all of the Republican rabble.
“Will Romney-Gingrich battle lead to costly split in the GOP?
By Dan Balz, Monday, January 30, 12:14 PM
TAMPA — Newt Gingrich has vowed to take his fight for the nomination all the way to the Republican convention in August. That may be nothing more than an empty threat by a frustrated candidate with a history of exaggerated rhetoric. But could Gingrich’s battle against Mitt Romney leave the party badly divided heading into the fall campaign?
That question will intensify if Romney wins a big victory in Florida on Tuesday. Election-eve polls show the former Massachusetts governor with a healthy lead here, though the volatility of the Republican race so far this year makes forecasting more precarious than in the past. But already the lines are being drawn over whether Gingrich, if he loses badly, should begin to throttle back or keep the pressure on Romney.
Behind in the polls the day before the Florida Republican presidential primary, Gingrich criticizes Romney's negative advertising and urges supporters to help get out the vote. (Jan. 30)
GOP PRIMARY TRACKER: The race for delegates
Former Republican senator Mel Martinez (Fla.) said Monday that he cringes at the prospect of a lengthy and bitter contest continuing through the spring and into the summer. “It only benefits President Obama,” he said on NBC’s “Daily Rundown.”
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, no friend of the establishment, took the opposite view over the weekend on Fox News. She accused the establishment of trying to “crucify” Gingrich and said it is far too soon to call a halt to the debate and the vetting of the candidates. “If for no other reason, rage against the machine, vote for Newt,” Palin said.
Whatever the outcome Tuesday, the Florida campaign has crystallized the battle between Romney and Gingrich. The backlash against Gingrich since his victory in South Carolina has made Romney the clear establishment favorite in a party where tensions between the party elite and its insurgent grass roots are still strong. The endorsement of Gingrich by former candidate Herman Cain, a tea party favorite, underscored the split.
Gingrich is hardly the perfect vehicle to lead a tea party protest against the establishment-backed Romney, given his record as former House speaker and later as a Washington consultant. But he has the capacity, if not the resources, to wage a lengthy and personal campaign against his rival. In the past few days, he has escalated his attacks on Romney, labeling the former governor as a liberal rather than a moderate and calling Romney’s character and honesty into question.
Romney has responded by matching insult with insult. He has belittled Gingrich as a complainer and doubled down on his attacks on the former speaker over his work for the housing agency Freddie Mac. Romney’s campaign appearances are mild compared to the negative ads running constantly on television here, both from the Romney campaign and the super PAC supporting his candidacy.
Political analysts are looking at past nomination battles for clues as to what might happen if the Romney-Gingrich contest continues unabated for some time.
At this time four years ago, Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton were waging an increasingly nasty campaign against one another, coming out of a South Carolina primary in which former president Bill Clinton was accused of playing the race card against Obama by some African American leaders. Though many predicted otherwise, Obama and Clinton eventually reconciled.”