So here we are on the Ides of March and the GOP Primary race is raging on with little prospect of a nominee before August 27th in Tampa, Florida. The four remaining candidates; Romney, Santorum, Gingrich and Paul continue this carnivorous rampage that leaves President Obama unscathed and each candidate appears to be suffering from the death of a thousand cuts. Neither candidate seems capable of delivering a fatal blow, ensuring that this conservative bloodletting will continue. Conservatives will say that this is democracy in action, allowing each candidate to be vetted by the electorate. However after 20 debates and 30 primaries and caucuses, it seems that the American public have a pretty solid idea of who these four men are. This protracted fight has now turned to a point where the fight has become internal.
The party is split along three lines; social conservatives, libertarians and moderate conservatives. Romney thought he’d have it all wrapped up by now (so did most of the media) he is now forced to take his attention off the general election, look in the rear view mirror, turn and head back to the conservative base. To put it simply, he is going to move to the right. He shouldn’t, because he will outflanked by Santorum and Gingrich each time and every flip flop from now will just be seen as pandering. But that won’t stop him because he wants to win. Doing this is going to hurt him come general election time, the independents are soft at the moment but policies such as his stance on immigration could turn them away.
Any talk of a Santorum/Gingrich ticket is just that – talk. Gingrich will never play second fiddle to any one. He loves taking things to the brink, just like his days as Speaker. Gingrich is going to the convention, nothing could stop him bare a major scandal, but even that may not deter him. Santorum will remain the conservatives choice, social conservatives will continue to rally around him. He will continue to be the culture warrior, the family man, fighting for family, faith and country. Santorum will make Romney sweat from now until the convention, with sleepless nights before every primary. Paul the only nominee who actually believes what he says and has believed it for a long time. Undoubtedly kooky and unconventional in his views, this standard bearer of libertarians has struck a cord with the youth of the nation. Paul is hanging in there for a speaking role at the convention, which he undoubtedly deserves.
Republicans deride President Obama for his stimulus package, foreign policy, health care, the debt, class warfare and his so called war on religion. Yet for what they view as the failings of a weak President, they have so far been unable to provide a resounding response in the personification of one person. The GOP are still dealing with their failures of the past and are currently failing to determine the direction of their future. They are so far “a house divided”.