Thursday, November 17, 2011

Negative campaigns and the Republicans

One of things that people consistently tell the media and the media tell us is that they hate negative campaign ads and negative campaigns.  But the logic of negative politics couldn’t be more obvious than it is in the current race for the Republican nomination. 

It would take a very sensitive instrument to detect any conservative enthusiasm for Mitt Romney.  But as has been evident for awhile and becomes clearer by the day is that Mitt’s challengers are simply not plausible as President. 

The current, not-Romney is Newt Gingrich who at least has held a high position in government before and is at least, compared to other politicians, a pretty good debater.  But Newt’s reputation as an intellectual has never been deserved.  Yes, he has ideas (rare for a politician) but having 15 ideas a day is actually not much more evidence of having a fine mind than having none.  After all it isn’t coming up with ideas that is tough, it is coming up with good ideas that is challenging, and Newt either ignores the quality aspect or can’t tell the difference. 

And then there is the whole electability question.  Apart from his messy personal life, reputation for being a loose cannon, and limited ethical scruples (current example his consulting income from Freddie Mac) there is the small matter that when he was last in the political limelight he was despised.  Indeed I would argue that Gingrich would be the most disliked party nominee since Nixon.  But you say Nixon won.  Yes he did by a narrow margin and recall the other party had a televised riot during their convention.  Probably not wise to bank on a similar spectacle in ’12.

Looking at the field it’s clear that the case for Romney boils down to a simple question.  Have you looked at the others?  Case closed.

No comments:

Post a Comment