February 03, 2012
So the primary season is winding down, which is an absurdity since it barely got wound up. The moneymen decide early on who will best serve their interests, and they pay the media people well to make sure the chosen one is the sole “viable candidate.”
Clearly I was a Ron Paul man, but I labored under no delusions he had a chance to get nominated. Even in the Internet age, there is still no way of overcoming the media when it is unified against you. Most people (especially the older ones doing the voting) still get their news from television. When the message being broadcast is that a candidate is: a) crazy; b) a racist; c) wants to surrender military power; d) all of the above, it is an insurmountable obstacle. At least for now.
I can’t honestly say I wanted Paul to win. Oh, for myself and anyone who cares about the Western world it would have been nice. But had he been victorious there would have shortly thereafter been an auto accident or heart attack. Only those who aren’t paying attention don’t know what happens to successful populists in this country, whether they be conservatives or liberalizers.
As for Rick Santorum, who would vote nationally for a man incapable of winning his own state? When the people that know you best decide you’re a loser by a margin of nearly 18%, it’s reasonable for everyone else to wonder what you did back home to set them to pitchforks.
Beyond this is the man’s inveterate smugness. He always seems to think the last words out of his mouth were the most clever thing said by anyone, ever. Lawyers frequently exhibit this trait, which is why I avoid them. Think of being locked in a room full of self-satisfied Rick Santorums (Santora?) making feeble remarks while casting wry smiles. One would almost prefer a community organizer to a practicing attorney in the White House.
This leaves the contest where it has probably always been—a choice of two careerists who between them have more conflicting opinions on issues than dollar bills in their bank accounts.
Gingrich was all but a statistical anomaly for most of this process. Now he is in second place. Largely his resuscitation is the result of fantastic debate performances and casino cash.
His surge has sent the true moneymen (as opposed to quixotic gamblers) into overdrive to derail his candidacy. To some extent this is working, but although Romney has the upper hand, any true gaming man knows the lead horse in the third turn may not win the race.
Gingrich is a wild card. He has held almost every opinion in the spectrum on almost every issue at one time or another. He makes compelling cases, if he would only commit to the correct ones. I have always viewed Newt as a man willing to say whatever was needed to get wherever he needed to be. This can be either dangerous or beneficial. Many of those we consider great presidents have done the same.