What's the biggest problem Republicans face?
You want it in a nutshell? The problem Republicans face is; they have no face.
We're all familiar with the "Reagan Republican:" Does anyone reading this regard him or her self as a Romney Republican? If so, would you kindly describe than animal?
I've been characterizing Romney with words like: mechanical, rehearsed, robotic, stiff, mannequin-like, and probably a few others that aren't as flattering, but there's a fellow named Green (sorry I didn't get the first name) who was talking about the "heated" exchange between McCain and Romney in last night's debate when McCain accused Romney of backing a timetable for Iraq – the irritated Romney, Green says, "spoke in the same tone he'd use when ordering fine wine in a restaurant."
So there it is, would Reagan even order fine wine? A Martini with a jelly bean, maybe.
Republicans haven't embraced McCain, but they haven't embraced Romney either. And he hasn't embraced them. In fact, I dare say John McCain has made more overtures to the base than Romney has, and with time growing short for Mitt to turn things around, he still doesn't seem to understand what he needs to project. He's actually more like Fred Thompson than Ronald Reagan.
I keep hoping Romney will take that spark he showed after his Michigan win and turn it into a wildfire, but as Charles Krauthammer put it, he hasn't up to now, so there's no reason to think things will change.
What's even more interesting is how right-side commentators have responded to the McCain surge. I didn't hear anyone savage the Senator the way they did in 2000 except, well, Savage himself, which could only mean that for whatever reason, pundits felt they needed to keep their options open.
And now that John McCain is the clear frontrunner, those options have narrowed considerably. Rush Limbaugh has been more tempered than I've ever heard him. Sean Hannity still doesn't accept McCain, but he's sure not mounting a counter-offensive. Only Ann Coulter got tougher, and her column yesterday was one of the worst she's ever written, utterly devoid of humor and as shrill as a Hillary stump speech.
So Republicans had better not just resign themselves to McCain if he's still on top after Super Tuesday, they'd do well to swallow hard and embrace him in the hope that he'll embrace them.
Why? because they'll need him more than he needs them. Some people have said they won't vote for McCain, that they'll just stay home. What a great way to render yourselves irrelevant. McCain hasn't needed you much to win what he already has, why would he need you at all if he wins the election?
I like to talk about the conservatives who are being driven mad by McCain's success, but when I do, I'm really referring to one in particular. She's an otherwise lovely young woman who quite literally becomes insane when talking about John McCain.
We parted company two years ago when Missy labeled McCain a traitor, not to conservatives, but to the country. I felt badly because one has to be crazy to say what she said, but I didn't want to entertain that kind of talk, much less indulge her on it.
So here we sit with no perfect candidate. The Dems think they have two – but that's another liberal illusion. The fact is that John McCain simply cannot be worse than George Bush, and 70 percent of Republicans still think the President is just fine which makes the case that Missy may have been merely the most visible crazy conservative.
Let's get some things straight once and for all, since I'm just as tired of right-wing nonsense as I am left-wing nonsense. John McCain's name is on the title of McCain-Feingold, but the name that appears where it really counts is that of George Bush. McCain introduced a bill. That bill had input and agreement from a majority of the Congress, and they are every bit as responsible as McCain is. But again, in the end, the sole responsibility lies with Jorge Whatsaveto Bush who signed it – and every other bill that came across his desk save one rather insignificant bone he tossed to conservatives.
And regarding McCain's lack of support of the Bush tax cut, what part of McCain's "Hey, where's the spending cuts" question don't you self-described conservatives understand? Especially because seven years later, your President still hasn't seen an expenditure he didn't like? And why aren't you outraged that Bush now threatens to veto spending when he never did it even once before?
The bottom line is that if John McCain is the nominee, if you don't get behind him at least as much as you did and continue to do for George Bush, McCain isn't the traitor, you are… and you can add "hypocrite' to that.
I know that's tough, but it's about time you heard some straight talk.