Like the poor junkie I am, I have been following the race for Iowa’s Heart (the caucus, people) far too closely. Ron Paul will make a strong showing, Mitt Romney is expecting to win and Rick Santorum, oddly enough, is surging like crazy. What bothers me, though, is what will happen when it’s over. Of those three, who will mean the most disaster for the Republican party?
Sure, the Massachusetts Moderate, Romney, is the most liberal of the group and expected to appeal to moderates, but he, ultimately, is too weak to secure a base. He won’t try to nab those social conservatives without alienating the moderates, but the moderates want someone who stands for something in the end. Without a set of standards, and with more flip-flopping than a walk along the beach, Romney will undoubtedly lose to Barack Obama.
Then there’s Paul. In what, to me, seems the exact opposite case of Romney, this gentleman can easily round up the moderate base, but his positions on several issues cause him to be shunned by the social conservative elite. In my opinion, he is a very, very strong candidate, and it could be his time, but the Republicans have to get over this notion that it’s all or nothing when it comes to being a conservative. You can’t get the perfect social AND fiscal conservative, waltz into the White House, and cure America. It takes time (several administrations worth of time, I might add), but we are a culture that beg for the instantaneous. Paul, if the conservatives want to maintain power in America, is a fantastic start.
And finally, we have Santorum, which seems to be the missing piece of the Triforce here, if you will. Where Romney appears to be liberal and Paul appears to be moderate, Santorum is THE conservative’s conservative. A strong, moral compass, an unshakable faith in God, and ideas for the economy that Republicans call for make this man the one the rightest of the right would want… which is exactly why he would not stand a snowball’s chance in Hell if he were to get the nomination (not that I think he’ll even make it that far). Santorum is too right. I’m not saying that is a bad thing (though I disagree with him on a lot of issues), but he will scare away all moderates. A win in Iowa will be great for him, but bad for Republicans overall.
I think it’s sad the Republicans can’t get it together and put forth a decent candidate we can all agree on, but of the three leaders (I am not counting Gingrich in this because he has been dropping and I don’t think Iowa is in the cards for him), could any of them defeat Obama in November?
I worry they won’t.