The argument for nominating Newt Romney as the Republican candidate for president is pretty straightforward. Newt Romney is not Barack Obama. Newt Romney is believed capable of defeating Barack Obama due to its generally moderate position approximately half way between Barack Obama and Republican Party conservatives and a strong Republican electoral tailwind. Since Newt Romney is believed to be less unattractive than Barack Obama and capable of winning the general election, Republicans should, therefore, look past its flaws and nominate it as the Republican presidential candidate in 2012.
There are three significant problems with this argument. The first relates to whether being Not-Obama is enough to make a candidate a successful president. While Ronald Reagan and George Washington were Not-Obama and were successful presidents, it is important to recall that George Bush and Jimmy Carter were also Not-Obama. And given that there is not a sliver of difference between Obama and Newt Romney on the four major issues facing America today – the global economy, immigration, the foreign wars and the Federal Reserve – there is absolutely no reason to believe being Not-Obama will cause Newt Romney to preside in a substantially different manner than Obama has.
Both Newt Romney and Barack Obama supported the banking bailouts and will not hesitate to bail out any financial institutions that fail in the future. Both Newt Romney and Barack Obama believe government is the solution to the global economic crisis and support intervention in the global economy through the International Monetary Fund and the various European organizations. Both Newt Romney and Barack Obama favor permitting more foreigners to enter and remain in the United States. Both Newt Romney and Barack Obama favor continuing the various military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Uganda and now Iran. And neither Newt Romney nor Barack Obama has any intention in taking control of the rogue Federal Reserve, which is funneling billions of dollars to European banks without any oversight from anyone.
The second concerns whether Newt Romney can, in fact, win the general election. Ron Paul is not only the only Republican candidate in consideration who has a serious plan for addressing the four primary problems facing the nation. But as George Will points out, he holds what is an effective veto over the Republican campaign in the general election.
“Based on states’ results in 2000, 2004 and 2008, and on states’ previous votes for third-party candidates, and on current polling about the strength of potential Republican nominees in particular states, it is plausible to conclude that a Paul candidacy would have these consequences:
- It would enable Obama to carry two states he lost in 2008: Missouri (11 electoral votes), which he lost by 0.13 points, and Arizona (11), which he lost by 8.52 points to native son John McCain.
- It would enable Obama to again win four states he captured in 2008 and that the Republican nominee probably must win in 2012: Florida (29), Indiana (11), North Carolina (15) and Virginia (13).
- It would secure Obama’s hold on the following states he won in 2008 but that Republicans hope to take back next year: New Mexico (5), Colorado (9), Nevada (6), Michigan (16), Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20) and New Hampshire (4).
In other words, Republicans can only expect to win in November if Ron Paul is willing to sit out and permit the Republican Party to destroy the nation he loves. Given that Rep. Paul is a man who places principle well ahead of party, this is not a safe assumption, especially in the likely event that the next stage in the economic crisis of which Paul has been warning Americans for decades begins to unfold in the first part of the year.
And the third problem is that a second Obama term might well be preferable to a Newt Romney administration, especially from the conservative perspective. Mr. Hope and Change has turned out to be the most lazy, supine and disengaged president since Calvin Coolidge, which is an excellent quality, indeed. If we must have an activist committed to an insane ideology as president, by all means, let him be a lazy one. Newt Romney, on the other hand, will be either excessively enthusiastic or excessively efficient in driving the nation into the economic abyss. As more than one Republican has commented, about the only thing worse than Obama’s election would have been President John McCain. As bad as Obama has been, it is readily apparent that McCain would have bombed Pakistan, invaded Iran and bailed out Greece had he won in 2008.
Whether it is as the Republican candidate or as a third-party spoiler, Ron Paul has a responsibility to stop the madness of Newt Romney. In a long career of political integrity, 2012 marks his last great chance to serve the nation. But it would be far better for both the Republican Party and the United States of America if Republicans would remove their blinders and embrace the only man with a coherent and potential effective solution for the challenges facing the nation as their candidate.