Are we witnessing the disintegration of the GOP or just a healthy primary process that is preparing the GOP nominee-to-be for the real firestorm they will have to endure from the left?
Punditry is all over the place on this one. Majority seem to believe that this is a healthy process for the GOP candidates to be going through. Me, not so much as I indicated before.
In observing and sometimes volunteering in 32 years of local, state, and national political races, I must say that I have never witnessed as corrosive a primary season among GOP candidates as this one. The attacks have been not only sharper and nastier this time around, but they have been on sacred cows of the party ideology - namely private enterprise and the free markets.
Our leading candidates have launched vile attacks on each other that makes it hard to separate theirs from the class warfare rhetoric of Democrats. Consequently, I cannot help but wonder if either of the two have the character and the judgement to be a worthy commander-in-chief, or are we about to have a mediocre candidate who will be trying to unseat a downright destructive President? Some choice!
Messrs. Gingrich and Romney must stop this madness. The circular firing squad analogy aside, their words will come back to bite our chances of capturing the White House come November. Do not, for a second, think that their attacks - in their own words - will not be used in a campaign ad blitz by the Democrats. Attacking legitimate business activities or perceived ethical lapses that have never been proven are net losers as far as campaign strategy goes. But, therein lies the problem.
The Republican establishment wants to nominate a candidate that they feel can defeat Obama. That candidate is Mitt Romney. He, along with Newt Gingrich, happen to be big government supporting, crony capitalist establishmentarians. Can the GOP survive this bloodbath, or will all the Republican back stabbing and name calling hand the election over to a media protected Obama as unthinkable as that may be?
Perhaps more importantly, can the GOP survive with a substantial portion of conservatives having had enough with the establishment types who gave us likes of Nixon, both Bushes, and several failures in Dole and McCain just to cite a few? As unthinkable as a third party was until recently, is it getting to be time to think about a truly conservative party? Last time a similar thing happened, the Whigs simply disappeared and it was not a bad thing for the political landscape. Maybe it is time that the GOP went the way of the Whig Party as what is in the balance is no less than the survival of our constitutional republic.