The Republican debate in New Hampshire last night was proof again that the GOP is in a mess. Their party leaders apparently realize that Mitt Romney is the only one of their candidates who might have a chance at defeating President Obama.
The problem is Romney is just so undesirable to most Republicans. They see him as a moderate and not a true conservative. They know he is someone who has changed his stance on so many important issues and so they consider him no longer trustworthy. And this leaves them in the mess they are in.
I find Mitt Romney a puzzling man. He seems polished and poised and certainly has the intellectual capacity to lead and be president. But there is something strikingly disingenuous about him. He often appears to try too hard. He’s wealthy and has lived a privileged life and seems to strain at relating to the ordinary common person.
He has jokingly called himself “unemployed” which is basically true. The man has been running for president forever. In 08 he was trying to identify with the man on the street or I guess the guy in the country when he started talking about being a hunter and buying a gun when he was 15 and shooting “varmints,” you know, “rodents and rabbits.” I’m sure all the hunters out there heard that and thought, “Huh?”
I think it might be stretching things to say you’re a hunter if all you’ve done is kill rats and rabbits when you were a teenager.
And have you noticed how he smiles and sort of holds his head at an angle while listening to the other candidates speak in the debates? I mean, honestly, he looks like he’s listening to a child recite a poem. It’s a sort of sweetness or something that just seems so out of place in that context.
I think Romney is a good person, a great husband and father and grandfather. He has been a successful business professional. He’s well educated, articulate, and bright; but there is something about him that just seems…off. I’m not convinced he knows why he wants to be president or if he even really does. I think he may just want to have something important to do like when he led the 2002 Winter Olympics. But that is hardly a reason to attempt to be president, especially in a time when the country desperately needs focused, dedicated, courageous, thoughtful, visionary leadership.
The other GOP candidates seem equally inadequate. I don’t think a one of them is capable of winning the general election. I still like Ron Paul’s foreign policy ideas but his domestic policies are far too extreme for me.
And Rick Santorum continues to offend me with his bluster and sanctimonious judging of gays and pro choice advocates. He reminds me of C.S. Lewis’s great comment, “It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.” That is Rick Santorum plain and simple. He’s simply out classed in this race. He’s too naïve, narrow-minded, and one-dimensional to lead this country with the enormous problems now facing us.
There is that old saying about how power can corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This of course is true. But absolute power also attracts corruption. When you only have a few people in control of everything sooner or later terrible things start happening no matter how good or genuine those in control think they are and believe what they want is right.
The Republican Party promotes so much fear and partisanship and the notion that only they have any right or ability to lead our country. Their candidates now running for president—one and all—display this kind of hunger for absolute control.
It’s true that Democrats dabble in this as well. But the GOP has control as their number one goal in politics. And that ought to cause all of us to beware.
© 2012 Timothy Moody