On our weekly MOMocrats MOMochat podcast, co-host Cynematic described the slate of Republican candidates (and their never-ending series of debates) as “the longest-running reality show on TV, the Clown Car Rally.”
Cyn and I dissected the results of last week’s New Hampshire primary with frequent panelist Karoli (CrooksandLiars.com) and Texan Julie Pippert, who provided some personal insights gathered from living in Massachusetts when “the Romney-Vane” (another good characterization from Cyn) was Governor.
“You have to understand he was a flip-flop candidate back then, too,” Julie said. “Some people have said well, I don’t trust or believe candidates who can’t evolve and develop their opinions as they go, which is a very reasonable position to say. Except when you’re talking about a political candidate on certain core issues, and there are certain core issues where you’re either on board with this or not on board with this… And I think what drives his change of position is not a moral epiphany of some sort, it is in fact, ‘this is what will get me elected.’ So I don’t consider him a very strong, good backboned candidate for anybody.”
Democrats are not the only ones who distrust Mitt Romney, who was for universal healthcare and women’s reproductive freedom before he was against it. The social conservative wing of the Republican party has been resisting his candidacy all along, which is why the past year’s build-up to the actual primary season has felt like Survivor, with each candidate enjoying the spotlight before getting voted out of the Clown Car. Can Romney be stopped?
Our panel of MOMocrats enjoyed a little laughter at the expense of the GOP candidates who are trying. All of us had viewed the trailer for “King of Bain,” an anti-Romney documentary from “Winning Our Future,” a super-PAC supporting Newt Gingrich, which focuses on Romney’s years as a “vulture capitalist” (as Rick Perry puts it). I shared my theory of how this kind of attack from his own party may come back to haunt Romney in the general election.
(Note: The New York Times reported today that Newt Gingrich has asked the PAC to edit or withdraw the King of Bain video. As of this writing, it is still available for viewing.)
Cyn noted, “I think that’s really funny, that so many of them have gone so far right, that there’s no room to critique unless you come at it slightly from the left. And it’s just really, really funny that they all hammer on their front runners in that way.”
The Republicans are not so amused by this. On Friday, more than 100 hundred prominent conservatives (including James Dobson, Donald Wildmon, Gary Bauer and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins) gathered in Texas to see if they could all agree on one candidate to support over Mitt Romney, and this morning, they came back with their answer: Their candidate is Rick Santorum (the man whose name is a dirty joke on Google, is against gay marriage, thinks African Americans are “blah,” and not only wants to make abortion illegal, but would outlaw all contraception, even for married couples.)
Will this affect the results in South Carolina? And if it does, will the other candidates drop out of the race? Maybe not:
“All of these candidates are hanging in there for their own reason,” observed Karoli, who went on to highlight one of the reasons this 2012 race has been historic.
Ron Paul’s Motivation
“What should be apparent is how deep the divide is inside the Republican party. Just seeing Ron Paul getting the traction that he got in New Hampshire and in Iowa, I mean he’s going to be a player, on some level. They’ve got a 50 state strategy, they don’t expect to win. I don’t think they want to win. But if you listen to his speeches, he talks about changing the focus, changing the dialogue, forcing them to put a “true conservative” principle. His purpose is to force them right, force the entire Republican party right. Well, what’s going to happen if he gets — Romney will get the nomination, but Ron Paul will still get a bunch of delegates. He’s going to be a player on some level, with those delegates,” she said.
Julie reported that many of her political contacts are asking why Ron Paul running is even running as a Republican, and not promoting a third-party? The common answer is because of his Senator son, Rand Paul. Karoli thinks there is some merit to that. But Cyn thinks it’s part of a long-term plan to re-invigorate the Republican party by appealing to the youth vote:
“I think it’s strategic too, because there’s been surprising support… among young people who are kind of excited by the Ron Paul anti-war message, and ignoring everything else he has done and or stands for,” Cyn said. “I think that there is probably some strategic value on the Republican side to feel as if they have someone who can peel away some of that youth vote. Under the guise of libertarianism, and sort of, ‘oh, the Republican umbrella is big enough so that we can contain libertarians too'”.
More Than Just Electoral Politics
Thankfully, we did not spend the entire hour just ragging on the Republicans (although we probably could). Other topics discussed on last week’s podcast included staff changes at the White House, Citizens United, the war in Afghanistan, reproductive rights in Texas, and Haley Barbour’s inexplicable last act as Governor of Mississippi. Download the entire program here … and listen live on here Wednesday, [12:00] noon Eastern/[11:00] Central/[9:00] Pacific.