@sum(Conservatives/Moderates) + Republican egos = Obama’s Re-election

Simple equation.  You do the math.

The mission is to defeat Barack Obama; the prize is the White House.  Seems obvious, right?  To all, except to our current cast of characters — the Republican presidential candidates and some of our more vociferous bloggers and pundits.

Consider this.  We have a President, who in three years in office, has been the guiding hand behind a deficit of over $16 trillion dollars; Obamacare; a multi-hundred billion dollar failed stimulus; unemployment statistically at 8.3%, with two million plus workers who’ve stopped looking; out of control Federal regulations, un-elected, non-Senate approved “czars”; not to mention Solyndra, Keystone XL, the Gulf drilling moratorium, missed opportunities in Iran and Egypt, Michelle’s vacations and his 90th golf game.  Need I go on?

Every morning, for the past seven months, when reading/skimming the blogs and websites I follow, I’m struck by this broken record of sound bites from commentators and their readers’ alike when debating the foibles and strengths of the candidates: “he’s a RINO,” “she’s a tea-party candidate,” “he’s not a conservative,” “he’s too conservative,” “he’s a conservative, but not a true conservative,” “she’s a RINO anyway, good riddance,” “he’s not conservative enough,” “it’s us vs. the establishment,” and on, and on.  UNBELIEVABLE.

That this 2012 election is a watershed for American politics and for the country’s future is an understatement.  Voters want to get it right, and in their quest for the candidate who can beat Obama, they’re vociferously, passionately defending their personal choice.  Nothing wrong with that, although I daresay in this political climate, even Ronald Reagan, were he alive, would have trouble passing this vetting gauntlet.

The March 21 lead post in RedState’s “Morning Briefing” section: “The Nominee – He Beat the Base. Now Will the Base Be with Him” and this morning’s “Mitt Romney: The Consummate Etch a Sketch” are examples of when spirited, passionate, public discourse can contribute to undermining the mission and prize mentioned atop this post.

A website/blog, such as RedState, has respected commentators, an engaged readership and is widely read and influential. With that influence comes a responsibility to know when it’s time to admit, albeit grudgingly, that a particular candidate is the probable standard-bearer, and to tone down the rhetoric.  Mitt Romney, himself, and his staff have much to do with his present predicament, but why give Axelrod additional ammo.  Keep your firepower aimed at the main target.

The polemic division within the Republican ranks is further illustrated by an opinion piece from the Chicago Sun-Times that I noted in my March 21 Morning Musings, Illinois Moderates Remain GOP Firewall.  Some pundits argue that people are not yet paying attention to primary race.  I beg to differ.  Talk to some of my neighbors and the people at Tuesday’s polling place.  And, oh ­yes! They’re paying attention.

Mitt Romney winning in Michigan (Gerald Herbert-AP)

We’re entering the primary campaign stretch, where we now have four remaining candidates, winnowed from a field of nine, either by self-destruction, media cross-hairs, or glib missteps.  Of these four, only one has the ongoing delegate count and the financial backing to carry him through to the convention.  For the other three candidates, face it, it’s mathematically over.  You knew when you entered the 2012 war, that there might come a time when you’d given it your all, but the gods were against you.

In my view, Speaker Gingrich, you can depart the race as a respected statesman, who has yet a major role to play in defeating the President, or you can depart embittered, intent on what might have been.  Sen. Santorum, your heart’s in the right place, but your voting record does not support your decried credentials, your rhetoric can, at times, can be described as shrill, and while appealing to some, cannot win over a general populace in these times.

Governor Romney, make no mistake, you barely squeaked by.  Sharpen your message, clean house (as in staff), stop trying to be the common man when you’re not (and we know you’re not), and give more speeches like the one you gave Tuesday night in Schaumburg.  When Rush Limbaugh takes notice, when moderates like me take notice, you just might be on the road to redemption.

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