Monday, July 6, 2009

I don’t get it

Sarah Palin kissing her political career good-bye?

I have been trying to work through the Palin resignation and have it make sense, thus far to no avail. The big knock on Palin was a lack of experience, so she quits as governor before the end of her term? Her only real experience, mayor of Wasilla aside, was as governor of one of the remotest and least populous states. Now she looks flighty and opportunistic. Gone is the down to earth hockey mom of five from Alaska coming to set things right in Washington. Now she looks like just another politician. I am trying to see the upside here. Alaskans are mad at her, the party is mad at her, the media is having a field day. Who is this benefiting? I guess she could spend the next few years working the circuit, speaking at events, sharpening her political acumen a bit but that seems to be strengthening her only among a small subset of the party. She references a “higher calling”, so maybe she is going to stay home and take care of her kids and help her daughter who is an unwed mother raise her child. That would be nobler than abandoning office in a Quixotic run at the White House but I doubt that is what she has in mind.

I was talking to a co-worker this morning and even though he is a dyed-in-the-wool democrat, we both agreed that at this juncture Mitt Romney looks like the strongest candidate in a weak field (and getting weaker through self-inflicted wounds seemingly by the day), which granted isn’t saying much. What will defeat Obama in 2012 is not going to be culture war social issues. As important as abortion is, from a pragmatic standpoint it is not going to make or break the 2012 election. It is going to be economics. The runaway spending, the absolute certainty of either massive tax increases or equally massive defaults on debt, the creeping socialism of the car company takeovers and health care “reform” all make Obama ripe to be painted as a lightweight socialist.

Conservatives have to get a solid candidate in 2012 to run against President Obama. None of this “It is his turn” garbage. The nation might have dodged a bullet because President Obama’s runaway spending train has done nothing to “stimulate” the economy and that has made people leery of an enormously expensive socialized medicine plan. President Obama is clearly in over his head, whether in dealing with rogue states emboldened by his “grip-and-grin” diplomacy or in dealing with financial calamity brought on by irresponsible spending by engaging in even more irresponsible spending. The economy and impending problems globally may have bought us some time, but make no mistake that if President Obama is reelected in 2012, we are going to see a de facto single payer socialized health care system and who knows what else. Romney is not my favorite candidate, but he might just be the best chance to dethrone Obama in 2012.

Romney’s grace in losing in the 2008 primaries engendered him a lot of good will from Republicans, including me. He has already been through the media circus, so it is unlikely that he has any skeletons in his closet. He is a known quantity. His business experience, his soberness and maturity will all play well in comparison to President Obama bumbling his way through crises, domestic and international. After four years of Obama, Christian conservatives will be far more willing to vote for a mormon. Better the socially conservative believer in a false religion than a socially liberal believer in himself.
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