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CPAC – Much Ado About Nothing CPAC – Much Ado About Nothing

February 24, 2012


The Conservative Party Action Committee (CPAC) is a gathering of conservatives to “test the wind.”  It’s chock full of candidates, pundits and everymen giving some really good speeches followed by an annual straw poll.  Rick Santorum believes that Romney rigged the straw poll, Ron Paul didn’t even show up and Romney made some gaffs.

But so what?  As straw polls go, it’s a stinker when it comes to predictive power.  In the last 30 years they’ve gotten the presidential winner right… twice.  Ronald Reagan and G.W. Bush.  Every other year, nada.

Ron Paul won the last two years, Romney this year and the three years before Paul.  Before him a bunch of people you’d need to scratch your memory to recall who they were.  So will they be right again with Romney?  I hope not.

Give this to Obama: he isn’t business as usual.  Unfortunately his deviations are ruinous to the country, but really, Bush’s last term was business-as-usual (despite the wars) and he didn’t do much as a lame duck, and his first term No Child Left Behind has ensured that our country has been left behind.

A radio dude was lambasting Gingrich for decrying the Republican “establishment” when Newt is a card-carrying member of that establishment.  I disagree.  He was but the thing that Gingrich, Santorum and Paul get that I just don’t think Romney does is that business-as-usual will be the final nail for our country.

Romney sort of says the right things, but his whole demeanor has been the opposite.  From the beginning, he thought the nomination was his so he laid back and didn’t take a risk of any kind.  When Newt threatened him, he acted like a rich bully.  The other three have a fire in the belly, Mitt doesn’t.

With our spiraling debt toChina, our energy issues, and economy issues, business-as-usual from either party just changes the speed of our approach to the cliff.  We need a reversal where slashing government isn’t just lip-service.

CPAC gets it wrong more often than not; let’s hope that streak continues.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2012 8:49 am

    I’ve developed a theory and prediction for the Republican primary and convention. Looking at the current crop of candidates, I shake my head–as do many Republicans–because none of them has much of a shot in the general election. Romney obviously has the best shot because he’s the most moderate and a huge flip-flopper who changes his talking points with the prevailing winds, but when it comes down to it he’s the poster child of the 1% and would fare very poorly in an election that’s about the economy and the declining situation of the American middle class, as this election is bound to be. The rest simply have no chance in the general election because they have zero ability to pull votes from the liberal base, and so probably wouldn’t carry any swing states: Gingrich is largely despised, Santorum is regarded by many as a religious nutcase, and Paul has always been seen as the doddering uncle who means well but is completely off his rocker. I can’t imagine that the powers driving the GOP fail to be aware of all this, and realize fully that none of these 4 men has any hope of beating Obama (at least so long as the economy continues improving, however slowly, and nothing else goes horribly awry on a global scale that can be spun against him).

    Therefore I have concluded that the GOP primary, up to now and through to the August convention, is nothing but a sideshow thrust into the center ring. It’s fairly brilliant, actually. The GOP knows they need to nominate a stellar ticket to beat Obama, and they also need to make a splash going into the general election season. So I suggest that they selected a crop of candidates for the primary who are basically cannon fodder: they’re spending the year beating each other bloody, scoring the occasional collective point against Obama, and also figuring out which issues and lines of spin serve them best at the polls. Then, when the convention comes around, the ultimate nominate will be None Of The Above–the guy they *really* wanted to put on the ballot all along. He’ll be fresh, without the battle scars or baggage from the primary season, he’ll have spent far less time under the microscope, and he’ll have the benefit of assembling his campaign based on what’s worked for the primary candidates. Campaign funding is now a non-issue, of course, because the technically non-affiliated SuperPACs who’ve collected unprecedented amounts of money to support the other candidates (thanks, Citizens United!) will simply shift their support to the new guy, who has quietly been preparing his campaign team to go live and hit the ground running. Is it crazy? Sure, crazy like a fox. Why do I increasingly think it’s likely? Because FoxNews themselves have begun to float the idea–though they’re careful to present it as unlikely, of course, and even got a quote saying as much from the very guy I think could be the ultimate nominee, Jeb Bush, who is suddenly popping back up in articles and interviews.

    Maybe I’m nuts, but no more so than the GOP if they actually believe any of the 4 left standing would be a good (and electable) nominee.

    • February 24, 2012 10:20 am

      I doubt they are that crafty, but able to switch to that strategy? Maybe. Who though? Paul Ryan? Mike Huckabee? Marco Rubio?

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