If there is one word that could aptly describe the state of the ongoing Republican presidential primaries, it would be this: sorry. Things are so sorry, apparently, that over twenty percent of registered Republicans plan to vote for President Barack Obama during the fall. Although his presidency has been mediocre at best, and haphazard at worst, I can easily see how a dastardly primary season might make many of my fellow moderate GOPers bail on their party.
In all honesty, I can hardly blame them. Just knowing that a sizable bloc of voters have the wherewithal to back either former House speaker Newt Gingrich, the stereotypically angry old man, or defeated Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, an actively dangerous theocrat, is depressing. While the former is becoming thankfully irrelevant, the latter is actually gaining steam. In a victory lap on Sunday morning, he stated that he “would overturn” any Supreme Court ruling recognizing same sex marriage and “would do the same thing” to Roe v Wade. He must plan on evading the Constitution in order to achieve these ends as the executive branch has absolutely no power to tamper with Supreme Court decisions at any level.
This is the exact sort of nonsense that is driving Republicans into the arms of the Democratic Party, which itself is no great shakes under the farcical yet fanatical leadership of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Even worse is that the exact sort of Republican least likely to vote the GOP ticket this November is the one most needed for victory: the centrist, principally affluent man or woman living in urban to suburban areas. If he or she cannot be successfully courted, then the Republican National Committee ought to save its money, cancel the convention, and focus on a strategy for the 2014 midterms.
Such abject failure, however, can be averted with a center-right nominee like former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. His biggest asset is that he sounds thoughtful and pragmatic when he speaks, a far cry from his ideologically charged competitors. If he is not the one carrying the Republican banner this August, then I will have to write a name in for president. Sad as it is to say, I, and surely millions of others like me, will be left with no choice because Gingrich, Obama, and Santorum are not choices at all.