Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Time to stop dreaming of a brokered convention


Mitt Romney talked to Fox News’s Neil Cavuto about the prospects of a brokered convention. He explains (beginning at the 2:04 minute mark) why that isn’t going to happen and why, in any case, it would be a disaster for the Republican Party:

This is a critical argument: Rick Santorum and those dreaming of a brokered convention are spinning a tale that almost certainly would, in Romney’s words, “doom” the Republicans chances in November. There would be a huge kerfuffle if political insiders picked someone other than the winner of the majority of votes cast in the primary. Moreover, the failure to fundraise for the general election and focus on the president for many more months would give President Obama a huge advantage. (“We sure as heck are not going to go to a convention, all the way to the end of August, to select a nominee and have the campaign working during a convention. Why, can you imagine anything that would be a bigger gift to Barack Obama than us not having a nominee until the end of August? That is just not going to happen.”)
It is worth asking, then, why Santorum and his decreasing band of fans in the conservative media would be angling for a scenario that would undermine the Republicans’ prospects in November. Is Santorum willing to tear down the party and give the president a huge leg up for the unattainable goal of flipping delegates in the convention to his side? And those egging him on, what is their angle? I suppose if you have rooted for other candidates there is some perverse satisfaction in watching Romney’s chances go up in flames. Certainly, there is certainly an ilk in the party that would rather howl in the wilderness than win with a center-right candidate who would have to govern — that is, make some necessary compromises. And then there are those pundits and operatives who simply delight in mischief-making and creating havoc, for it confirms their place in the constellation of conservative players.
But c’mon. We re talking about the country’s future. And if conservatives really do care about getting rid of Obamacare, disarming the Iranian nuclear threat, restoring funding for defense, avoiding a debt crisis and picking the next couple of Supreme Court justices, isn’t it time to cast aside the foolish gamesmanship? Those conservatives, including Santorum, who insist on playing a destructive game that benefits only the president should engage in some introspection and decide if they are in this for their own cockeyed reasons and ambitions or for the good of the conservative movement and the country. And the rest of the party should take note of the GOP version of birthers (“conventioners”?), recognizing just how nonsensical and counterproductive they have become

No comments: