Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Settling In

Seeing how it’s already January 3rd, I’m a little late to the game, but seeing as how I’m fanatically dedicated to self-improvement I figure it’s never too late to make with the resolutions for a brand new year. And since studies have shown that people tend to be more resolute about following their resolutions when others are involved, it seems like there’s no better forum that this humble site to share them.

So here goes.

Resolution Number One: Come to accept and embrace the reality that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee for president in the 2012 and become an enthusiastic supporter of Romney as a principled proponent of the conservative cause...

Sorry, but I just can’t quite bring myself to that. Yet.

Let’s start over with something more realistic and practical.

Resolution Number One: Achieve perfect inner peace and realize harmony with all of mankind...

One thing that I’ve noticed among recent conservative converts to the Romney campaign is their utter lack of genuine enthusiasm for the candidate or even belief in his ability to defeat President Obama in November. Our own Nihilist in Golf pants closed his recent post endorsing Romney with this:

Romney might even beat Barack Obama.

MIGHT? When it comes to selling your soul or even settling, it seems like part of the bargain should be a certain level of certainty about what you’re going to get in return.

In today’s WSJ, Kimberly Strassel had a piece which labeled Romney as Mr. Good Enough:

So while Mr. Romney may not excite them, while he may not be ideal, in light of the other candidate's problems, and given the election stakes, voters are buying his argument that he is, well . . . good enough. Which is why, barring a surprise, or a late entrant, Mr. Good Enough—through good fortune, dogged determination, and the skillful elimination of his rivals—may end up grabbing the conservative ring in this all-important election year.

Then the harder job starts. Mr. Obama may be hobbled by a poor economy and unpopular policies, but he is a first-order campaigner. He will energize his base, and his Republican opponent will have to do the same. It will not be enough for Mr. Romney to argue against Mr. Obama; he will have to inspire Republicans and independents to vote for his own vision.

Mr. Romney offers decent policies, and he's proven himself a hard worker, with growing campaign skills. The question is whether a victory in the primary will give him the confidence to break out, to take some risks, and to excite a nation that wants real change. In a presidential election, good enough might not be enough to win.

He’s got “decent policies” and is a “hard worker”? I’m surprised that she didn’t add that he has a nice personality too. There’s no denying the fact that all the candidates in the GOP field have their flaws and their baggage. If there was a candidate who didn’t they would have already risen to the top of the pack by now. But I’m still surprised to see how many are willing to settle for the inevitability of Romney while acknowledging how frankly uninspiring he is as a candidate or likely would be as a president.

Conservatives keep saying that the country is in crisis and that the choices we make now may well determine the future fate of the American project. They say that the 2012 presidential election is one of the most consequential ever and will have long-lasting, perhaps irreversible impacts on the course that the country takes further into the century ahead. And yet all too many conservatives seem all too willing to settle for a candidate who “might” win and might be “good enough.”

I may have to make such an accommodation myself at some point in the coming months. But I’m definitely not there yet.