George Will, On The Coming Defeat In November

He calls it Plan B

I’m so glad that we’re talking about this. The beginning has to do with the ground work that W. F. Buckley laid when he told conservatives that Goldwater would lose in a landslide, but that they were working to build a coalition that would bear fruit down the road. He then suggests that neither Romney or Santorum is electable, but that the important mission is to control the House and work to regain the Senate. He has apparently given up on the Presidency.

If nominated, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum might not cause such subtraction. Both are conservatives, although of strikingly different stripes. Neither, however, seems likely to be elected. Neither has demonstrated, or seems likely to develop, an aptitude for energizing a national coalition that translates into 270 electoral votes.

If either is nominated, conservatives should vote for him. But suppose the accumulation of evidence eventually suggests that the nomination of either would subtract from the long-term project of making conservatism intellectually coherent and politically palatable. If so, there would come a point when, taking stock of reality, conservatives turn their energies to a goal much more attainable than, and not much less important than, electing Romney or Santorum president. It is the goal of retaining control of the House and winning control of the Senate.

Several possible Supreme Court nominations and the staffing of the regulatory state are among the important reasons conservatives should try to elect whomever the GOP nominates. But conservatives this year should have as their primary goal making sure Republicans wield all the gavels in Congress in 2013.

If Republicans do, their committee majorities will serve as fine-mesh filters, removing President Obama’s initiatives from the stream of legislation. Then Republicans can concentrate on what should be the essential conservative project of restoring something like constitutional equipoise between the legislative and executive branches.

Given what a terrible President Obama has been, this is depressing. But it speaks to the weakness and I would argue the lack of coming to terms with reality, in the Republican field. Obama should have been beatable, just on the question: Are you better off today than you were four years ago? They should have focused on health care and on the economy. On the debt. On the astonishing waste of money and what that meant to individuals and to the country as a whole. Instead, we got sidetracked into silly conversations about contraception, which simply turns most women and most men off. Completely. What were they thinking?

PS: Krauthammer agrees with me on Santorum

- Aggie

3 Comments »

  1. Buck O'Fama said,

    March 3, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    I wouldn’t go off the deep end just yet. After all, this is only March – go back and Google or Bing stories on how far ahead Jimmy Carter was in the polls at this point in 1980, not to mention Presidents Dukakis and Kerry.

    Whatever else George Will is, he is a pundit and lives in the DC media bubble. The MSM’s “mission” this year is to produce the illusion that Obama is inevitable. I guess they like living in a rapidly declining country. But the truth is that it is nothing but an illusion – the truth is the economy sucks, his foreign policy sucks and he and his administration are idiots. Don’t fall for it.

  2. Bloodthirsty Liberal said,

    March 3, 2012 @ 10:31 am

    I so hope you’re right, Buck. My biggest concern – and this sounds awful – is that every single middle-aged person I know that was unemployed has finally found a job. Now, some of them waited three years. Some will vote for Obama, some won’t, but I think it speaks to the recovery.

    - Aggie

  3. Judi said,

    March 3, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

    Not to worry Aggie, there is no recovery.

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