A paradoxically tumultuous and exceptionally boring Iowa campaign stretch will mercifully be put out of our misery today with the staging of the Hawkeye state’s caucus. Exiting the corn swamp will be a tremendous accomplishment for conservatives, who have witnessed a succession of “Not Romneys” rise and fall like the flood waters of the Des Moines River. Who, or what, will be left standing in America‘s bread basket will likely not be pretty, and like Iowa, should probably be ignored.
While Mitt Romney has thus far withstood a surging Ron Paul campaign, the miraculous intervention of the Occupy crowd might tilt the unregulated votes in the libertarian direction. This isn’t out of any sense of munificence on the Occupiers’ part: they would just as soon see all GOP rot as help a Republican attain the White House (those evil codgers being opposed to the dispensation of eternally unlimited freebies). What the crafty agitators have in mind is a variation of Rush Limbaugh‘s “Operation Chaos” – to drag the primary season out as long as possible. Oh, of course the Occupy movement are far too courteous to let on what they are up to, but a glance at their most hallowed and privy message boards is enough leg of the fox for the hunt.
Such vulgar intervention by the Occufraud movement aside, the stand-off between the progressive Mitt Romney and the libertarian-in-GOP-clothing Ron Paul leaves little wiggle room for the ascending soconRick Santorum. Favorable tweeting by media mogul Rupert Murdoch notwithstanding, Santorum would have to distinguish himself from Mitt by being a far more belligerent alternative to Paul, meanwhile painting Mitt as an abortion flip-flopper.
If that scenario makes you want to take a nappy, join the club. Social conservatism is wearying on the national stage, as voters tend not to be converted by overly polished moralizers and petty proselytizers. Foreign policy is equally a miss; most voters, even veterans, want us to pack up our sandy luggage and return from our decade-long excursion into third world terrorist wack-a-mole.
It would take a precipitous bowing-out by Bachmann and Perry to boost Santorum over the top, and that’s not going to happen. Romney will likely withstand the divided Not Romney opposition, and edge out Ron Paul. Mitt will then cruise in New Hampshire, where he will receive his first delegates.
The last stand to defeat Mr. Statist-Lite will come in South Carolina, and the fading Newt, another progressive, had best shore up his campaign in order to triumph there. Paying lip service to freedom is what got Newt the temporary lead; being exposed as a shorter, more corpulent version of Mitt Romney is what sunk him.
A champion for liberty is what is needed; one the American people believe can actually defeat Obama. Ron Paul has a lot of people believing – but in the long-run, fervent faith is not enough. Barack Obamaneedsto be defeated, and the best candidate for that task, according to national polling, is Mitt Romney. Conservatives had best start looking to stack the deck in the House and Senate to prevent President Romney from following his progressive inclinations.