Glad to see I’m not the only one who gets the ‘Usual Suspects’ - from this article in the WSJ:
“On that question, [Healthcare] Mr. Romney is compromised and not credible. If he does not change his message, he might as well try to knock off Joe Biden and get on the Obama ticket.”
Newt helpfully outs himself as a non-starter - though the Dems may want to take a look at him as a more-electable alternative to The Won - ‘Newt Tacks Left - Slams Ryan’s Attempt at Salvaging Economy as *Right Wing Radicalism*’
Glad we’ve got THAT out of the way…
I found something in one of my Great Repositories of Ideas and Quotes, and it seems particularly apt as we stumble our way into yet another (’another’? - do they ever actually end anymore?) election cycle.
At the moment, it looks like we’re in for another round of ‘Who’s Next Number Is Up Next To Be The Presidential Candidate’ from what has thus far proven (once again) to be the Party of Stupid - so unless Santorum gains some serious ground, it looks like the only “contenders that will be allowed to be taken seriously will be Romney & Huckabee.
Why? Because they ‘Play well to The Center’.
I don’t know where this interest in The Center came from, exactly - or why anyone believes that there is such a thing in the first place, since the last election showed definitively that there is no-such-thing as The Center - there is only:
1) Those who believe strongly in what they believe.
2) Droves of Clueless Consumers of Empty Soundbites, who can alternately be bought by promises-and-shiny-baubles OR otherwise swayed - on election night - by manufactured star power and ‘hipness’.
This notion of The Center seems to have its origins in the (fairly recent) Republican Party notion of the ‘Big Tent’ theory, which I find I’m perfectly comfortable laying at the feet of Newt Gingrich.
I can remember liking Newt, being impressed with Newt, wishing on some level that Newt would run for President… this was, of course, before Newt started ‘Playing to the Center’.
Barack Obama didn’t win by playing to the Center - he told us all what he was going in - he played to his Base and otherwise let star-power and ‘Not Being George Bush’ carry him through against a McCain bid that was (be honest, now) DOA until being resurrected at the eleventh-hour by the inclusion of Sarah Palin to the ticket (though even then, McCain’s handlers were able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory) - and that last minute resurrection didn’t happen because of Palin’s ability to ‘Appeal to the Center’, by the way.
It was because Conservatives suddenly realized there was someone to vote FOR, instead of looking askance at the prospect of holding their collective nose and pulling-the-lever for the guy who was ever-so **marginally** LESS in favor of open-border amnesty and socialized medicine.
Maybe something to take-away from that?
Anyway - back to that thing that I found…
While I’ve really come to loathe RINOs invoking ‘The Reagan’ for their own purposes, I notice that when they do - they do so without ever actually quoting the man’s own words.
“Let our banner proclaim our belief in a free market as the greatest provider for the people.
Let us also call for an end to the nit-picking, the harassment and over-regulation of business and industry which restricts expansion and our ability to compete in world markets.
Let us explore ways to ward off socialism, not by increasing government’s coercive power, but by increasing participation by the people in the ownership of our industrial machine.
Our banner must recognize the responsibility of government to protect the law-abiding, holding those who commit misdeeds personally accountable.
And we must make it plain to international adventurers that our love of peace stops short of “peace at any price.”
We will maintain whatever level of strength is necessary to preserve our free way of life.
A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.
I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way.”
- Ronald Reagan
There it is - doesn’t sound much like Playing to the Center, does it?