I'm not looking forward to hearing the results of the Florida primary. Having outspent Gingrich 4 to 1, Romney is at enormous advantage in today's race. It's not that I have anything particularly against Romney; a week ago I would have said that he'd be alright.
What bothers me is that his campaign reminds me so much of Obama in '08: He is The Annointed One. He is outspending everyone in sight. And (3) the media obfuscates his record, while viciously attacking his opponent. In other words, he is being shoved down my throat and I resent it.
What the Republican establishment says about Obama - that he is forced to attack since he can't run on his record - seems equally true of Romney. For instance, while the press and punditry is parsing every nuance of Newt's relationship to Ronald Reagan, no one so much as mentions that at the time of the so-called Reagan Revolution, Romney was distancing himself as an "independent."
The other thing that bothers me (increasingly) is the establishment protesting the very existence of an establishment! Jonathan Tobin uses the word, "alleged," while most others simply put the word establishment in quote marks. Peter Wehner pens a perfect example:
.... The reality is that conservative/”establishment” opposition to Gingrich generally falls into three categories... [ blah blah blah ] ....
.... Some of these criticisms may be appropriate and some of them may be overstated or miss the mark. But to pretend the criticisms of Gingrich — expressed in varying degrees by commentators like George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Charles Murray, Michael Gerson, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Bob Tyrrell, Pat Buchanan, Mona Charen, Mark Steyn, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, Bill Bennett, Karl Rove, Ramesh Ponnuru, Rich Lowry, Elliott Abrams, John Podhoretz, John Hinderaker, Jennifer Rubin, Ross Douthat, David Brooks, Yuval Levin, and the editorial writers at the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Examiner, to say nothing of a slew of conservative members/former members of Congress who worked with Gingrich in the 1990s –are rooted in their fear of “genuine change” is simply not credible.
Even as he scorns the very notion of an establishment, he defers to and defines it! Waaahh.
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Now then, let's go back to what Angelo Codevilla so brilliantly wrote of the establishment -- or as he called it,
Today's ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits. These amount to a social canon of judgments about good and evil, complete with secular sacred history, sins (against minorities and the environment), and saints. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones when referring to such matters -- speaking the "in" language -- serves as a badge of identity. Regardless of what business or profession they are in, their road up included government channels and government money because, as government has grown, its boundary with the rest of American life has become indistinct. Many began their careers in government and leveraged their way into the private sector. Some, e.g., Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, never held a non-government job. Hence whether formally in government, out of it, or halfway, America's ruling class speaks the language and has the tastes, habits, and tools of bureaucrats. It rules uneasily over the majority of Americans not oriented to government.
The two classes have less in common culturally, dislike each other more, and embody ways of life more different from one another than did the 19th century's Northerners and Southerners -- nearly all of whom, as Lincoln reminded them, "prayed to the same God." By contrast, while most Americans pray to the God "who created and doth sustain us," our ruling class prays to itself as "saviors of the planet" and improvers of humanity. Our classes' clash is over "whose country" America is, over what way of life will prevail, over who is to defer to whom about what.
The gravity of such divisions points us, as it did Lincoln, to Mark's Gospel:
Howard Finster, If A House Be Divided against Itself That House Cannot Stand, c. 1978. Enamel on Masonite. Photo © 2011 President and Fellows of Harvard College.
And that, my friends, brings us to The Republican Establishment's Strategic Blunder:
The Republican Party has a tenuous hold on the conservative movement in America. At present the only home for the 40 per cent of the electorate that identify themselves as conservative is the Republican Party, but it appears that those who are nominally identified as the "Republican Establishment" are doing all they can to alienate the vast majority of the current base of the Party.
There is no office on Connecticut Avenue in Washington with a sign reading "The Republican Establishment" or the "The Democratic Establishment"; rather it is an amalgam of like-minded groups with one common interest: control of the government purse-strings....
.... This insider apparatus has been the primary determining factor in whom among those choosing to run for office will receive the financial, media and logistical support so vital for any political campaign, but particularly for national office be it the Presidency or either house of Congress. It is this cabal that has given the nation Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush and John McCain in the presidential sweepstakes and innumerable go-along to get-along members of Congress.
This scenario was tolerated and generally ignored as long as the nation was experiencing overwhelming and seemingly endless prosperity. The one major accomplishment of Barack Obama has been to bring a sudden and abrupt end the people's ability to tolerate this tacitly understood game between the two major Parties.
The majority of the American people, but in particular those who identify themselves as conservative, are overwhelmingly aware of the true nature of the nation's problems and the crossroad the country is facing in 2012. The grassroots rebellion that is the Tea Party movement was the first manifestation of this awareness. Despite the success of the Tea Party working within the Republican Party in the 2010 mid-term elections, most of the Republican elites downplayed their success and fell-in with the mainstream media and the Democrats in their well-worn and gratuitous aspersions against those in fly-over country.
The rank and file members of the Party and conservatives throughout the country are now keenly aware of the opinion the Establishment has of them, as well as what has been going on behind the curtains in Washington. The current Republican nominating process has further exposed the true nature of the Establishment and their self-centered concerns.
It has been apparent for over a year that Mitt Romney has been chosen to be the next Republican nominee for president. He is next in line and has the track record and inclination to slow down but not reverse the downward spiral in which the nation finds itself; but above all to fall in line with what is expected of a Republican insider. Perhaps coincidentally, he has spent many millions of dollars hiring consultants and beltway pros, and has the fundraising capacity and personal wealth to keep on employing them. Thus he is the ideal candidate of the Establishment.
However a major problem has arisen. The machinations utilized in the past (with the exception of Ronald Reagan who was not the Establishment's choice) to maneuver the primary voters into choosing the previously anointed Mitt Romney has now come out in the open as the awakened silent majority is no longer willing to be fooled or taken for granted....
.... the collective and coordinated vitriol and false or misleading accusations against Newt Gingrich by virtually all in the Establishment, led by the so-called conservative media, is unprecedented. Twice he has arisen, after being vilified and shunted aside, to challenge Mitt Romney and perhaps win the nomination; but the fact that he has been successful in fighting for conservative ideals but in an unorthodox and often contentious, and at times unreliable, fashion has the Establishment in near hysterics.... Never has the Republican Establishment trained its guns on any one candidate in such an unbridled and unrestrained way.
Perhaps Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or Ron Paul are not the right candidates to face Barack Obama, but that decision should be up to the voters. While it maybe the role of the conservative pundit class to proffer their opinions of the various candidates, it is not the role of the overall Establishment to so marginalize candidates that there appears to be only one viable alternative.
The Establishment could not have made a more strategic blunder. They will, in all likelihood, succeed in securing the nomination for Mitt Romney, but the damage they have inflicted upon themselves is approaching irreversible. The public now sees the length to which the Establishment will go to make certain their hand-picked candidate is chosen regardless of the dire circumstances facing the nation....
I recommend that you read it all.