Blogger Dan Riehl

Fellow blogger Dan Riehl posted an article this evening, and it’s short and to the point.  His thesis is that if Romney wins the nomination, we might be better off losing in 2012.  This is a viewpoint for which I have some sympathy, and I know any number of people who are considering sitting this election out if Mitt Romney is the Republican Party nominee.  Before you leap to shout down Dan Riehl, or me, I’d like you to consider what Riehl offers as justification for this position.  He links to an article over on that explains what the Romney camp is trying to do in South Carolina now that it seems Newt is on the march again, and may be reversing things.  It’s another case of Romney and his folks doing and saying anything to win, and it’s disgusting.  I don’t think we should ever reward this kind of under-handed politicking but as Riehl suspects, it may be influential and effective. From LegalInsurrection:

Although I can’t find a link yet, Fox News reported a few minutes ago that Romney is rolling out former Senator Jim Talent, who led the smear campaign in December.

Is this some sort of theater of the absurd? I’ll modify my prior explanation of clarity:

We are on a path to nominate someone who campaigned against Reagan, campaigned against the Contract with America, campaigned against those who are pro-Life, campaigned against 2d Amendment rights, campaigned against conservatism, and designed and enacted the precursor to Obamacare from which he will not back away, yet may successfully convince Republican voters that he is the most reliable conservative.

Operation Zany is working like a charm … on us.

This all goes back to early December when, as you’ll remember, Newt was riding high.  Suddenly, his numbers began to crater, and if you missed their earlier article on it, you really ought to read Romney’s Strategy of Crazy, and what this article details is how Mitt Romney’s campaign set out to wreck Newt by painting him as unhinged.  This is the slash-and-burn political character assassination in which your “inevitable” nominee and his army of flacks, shills, and SuperPAC contributors engage beccause they have only one cure for every ‘problem:’ They throw money and public relations at it.

In truth, as a matter of justice, there is no circumstance by which we should ever permit Mitt Romney’s brand of dirty politics to come to occupy the White House.  While Barack Obama is indeed disgusting, and he is absolutely wrong for America, I have a similar judgment about Mitt Romney that I’d be prepared to render.  I can’t help but think Dan Riehl is right about all of this, and as we see Mitt’s campaign firing up “Operation Zany” again in South Carolina, I think it’s clear what we must do.  I think that Sarah Palin even offered us a clue, not only as a matter of postponement, but also as a matter of justice.  What Mitt has been doing throughout this campaign is sleazy, and we should call him to account for it.  It’s bad enough we must tolerate this sort of thing from the other side, but to see it inflicted on our side is quite another thing.  I have serious questions about the character of anybody who supports this sort of disgusting slash-and-burn form of politics, particularly on our side.  In this light, it’s somewhat easier to understand how Gingrich got lost in the moment too, because frankly, I’d be throwing some verbal bombs myself if somebody said these things about me in a war against a concocted caricature of my person.

It’s true that this is politics, and it’s a full-contact sport, but I also think there must be some limits imposed by a sense of decency that Romney’s camp surely exceeded by any measure.  It’s time that we stopped looking at this as some damned football game and conducted ourselves as adults, realizing that this isn’t fun and games, and we can ill afford to let such smears dominate the process further.  How many good people must be destroyed before we admit that this has gotten out of hand?  Think of them all.  Bachmann was portrayed as a wild-eyed, unblinking kook, and it’s unfair in the extreme.  Palin’s been bashed relentlessly since 2008, in part by the same people still working for Mitt in one capacity or another.  Cain was taken down by claims that have evaporated in the wake of his withdrawal.  Perry’s been portrayed as a good old boy, and flawed though any of them may be, this whole thing now takes on the look of a circus.  Now we have Newt, who is clawing back after a similar campaign of destruction waged against him, and we wonder why we’re in trouble, and in danger of nominating a world-class jerk?

You might claim not to know about Romney’s maneuverings and strategies behind the scenes, and I could forgive that, but once you know what this guy is about, I don’t understand how you permit it to fester any longer in your midst.  South Carolinians are said to be more savvy in some ways than others, and I have no idea if that’s true, but I think the evidence will come when the votes there are tallied, and we find out if they too can be suckered by Romney’s professional propaganda machine.  If so, I may wind up siding with Riehl on this one, because to me, what Romney has done is detestable. Every additional piece of information that floats in about him or his operation just makes me wretch in nauseated convulsions.  There’s something quite wrong with this man, and he seems to lack the moral underpinnings to see that what he’s doing here is wrong.  That he’s assembled a campaign to carry this out speaks as ill of they as he, but I still hold out hope that the American people can react and get wise to the ploy.  It will be a dual tragedy if they don’t.