My thoughts on the grim reality of the 2012 elections, as initiated in an online discussion:
Yes, we're in trouble. When we elected Obama, I almost gave up hope. That Obama's approval numbers still aren't in the low teens concerns me greatly. And I get no comfort from the current state of the GOP. The Republican party is unprincipled and rotten to the core.
Republicans haven't learned the hard lessons of 2006 and 2008 because they don't want to learn them. They LOVE watered-down statism. And they present themselves as little more than a semi-competent alternative to the socialist buffoonery of the Democrat party.
I don't know what the current crop of Republicans will do for us...except maybe they'll slow down the rate of destruction just a little bit.
So here we are, probably stuck with Mitt, Perry, Cain or Newt.
As far as I'm concerned, Mitt's a moderate Democrat. Where I live, Democrats are often more conservative than he is. What's the point in replacing a Dem with a Dem?
Same analysis for Al Gore's old buddy, Rick Perry. He'd make a fine Democrat governor in my state. With hair so pretty, Rick Perry is simply a poor man's Mitt Romney with W's southern drawl.
What about the Hermanator?
Cain is Cain. WYSIWYG. His heart seems to be in the right place most of the time. But I'm no longer willing to try to believe that he's "in it to win it," as he so often tells himself.
I'm convinced that Cain is as at least as intelligent and competent as Barack Obama -- and he can communicate at least as well off tele-prompter -- but unless he develops the communication skills of a Ronald Reagan and a mastery of the issues comparable to that of Newt Gingrich, there's no way the Obama MSM won't annihilate him on the way to the White House. There's just too much at stake. If the Democrat party stands to lose even 25% of the black vote, Whig-esque oblivion will be just around the corner.
That brings us to Gingrich, the "not Romney" du jour.
Gingrich is a big-government moderate with some conservative tendencies. He can be an idiot, but at least he always knows what he's talking about. And I think a conservative Republican congress could keep him in check. That might not be easy, but it's probably doable.
My biggest worry with Newt is that he seems to yearn for approval from the wrong people. So he'll be too easily influenced by the Journolist MSM. But I've been slightly reassured by his willingness to attack the media lately. We'll see how long that lasts.
Anyway, I think the smart money is on Romney or Newt at this point. My apologies to anyone who has their heart set on other candidates, but I don't think any of them will make it. I'll eat my hat if they do. Mark my words.What do you think?
Having said all that, and having gone on record as being adamantly opposed to Mitt the centrist socialist, I'm beginning to lean to Newt at this point. Yes, he sucks lemons -- and he's only modestly better than Romney -- but I'll take what I can get. Mike Pence and Nikki Haley aren't running this year.
UPDATE: I think Jacobson is generally correct here.