I'm not sure what part of the Establishment supports Romney. Is it Romney supporter Christine O'Donnell, erstwhile tea party candidate for the U.S. Senate from Delaware? Am I the face of the Establishment? (If so, the country is going to be just fine.)
I would think that the pristine example of the Republican Establishment is Weekly Standard editor and Fox News contributor Bill Kristol. But he wants anybody but Romney, even proposing that we choose someone not running by means of a contested convention.
Who are we trying to get nominated in a contested convention, anyway?
Without having seen this mystery candidate in action, how do we know he won't be another Rick Perry? You'll recall that Perry was the dream candidate until we saw him talk.
In 2008, Romney was enthusiastically supported not only by Limbaugh and Levin, but also by Sean Hannity, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage and many others who now seem to view Romney as a closet liberal. This is especially baffling because there is no liberal candidate in the Republican primary this year.
Just four years ago, one Republican candidate for president was avowedly pro-abortion (Rudy Giuliani). One had opposed Clinton's impeachment and tort reform (Fred Thompson). One supported amnesty for illegals, restrictions on core First Amendment speech, federal laws to combat nonexistent global warming, and opposed Guantanamo and the Bush tax cuts ("tax cuts for the rich!") and called waterboarding "torture."
That last one was our nominee: John McCain.
This year, every Republican candidate for president opposes abortion, promises to repeal Obamacare, opposes raising taxes, and on and on. Only one candidate is strong on illegal immigration, which is second only to repealing Obamacare as the most important issue facing the nation.
That's the alleged liberal, Mitt Romney.
Conservatives scratch their heads wondering how the NFM can convince millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans paying $3.57 for a gallon of gas that the economy is improving simply by repeatedly saying so.
But then a large minority of those same conservatives are completely convinced that Romney is an Establishment candidate simply because they have heard that repeated so often.
As we say to dunderhead liberals: What we're looking for here is facts, not chants or epithets.
But instead of popping Champagne corks over our final triumph over Rockefeller Republicanism, some conservatives are still fighting old wars, rather like an old cold warrior prattling about the Soviet Union after the rest of us have moved onto the war on terrorism.
This strange new version of right-wing populism comes down to reveling in the feeling that you are being dissed, hoodwinked or manipulated by the Establishment (most of which happens to oppose Romney) the same way liberals want to believe that "the rich," the "right-wing media" and Wall Street Republicans (there are three) are victimizing them.
It's as if scoring points in intra-Republican squabbles is more important than beating Obama. Instead of talking about the candidates' positions -- which would be confusing inasmuch as Romney is the most conservative of the four remaining candidates -- the only issue seems to be whether "They" are showing respect for "Us."
Striking a pose as the only true fighter for real Americans may be fun, but this is no way to win elections. This is Sharron Angle on a national level.
The obsession with sticking it to the Establishment (which includes Christine O'Donnell, but excludes Bill Kristol) by voting for a loose cannon demagogue or a crusading Catholic who can't seem to move the conversation past contraception is as pie-in-the-sky delusional as anything dished by Democrats carrying on about "green jobs."
If saving the environment is the best way to create new jobs, then it could be true that being a hard-core environmentalist nutcase is the best way to appeal to the mass of independent voters.
Similarly, if reducing contraception use, lobbying for Freddie Mac and promoting huge government programs such as moon colonies and No Child Left Behind are the best ways to create jobs, then it could be true that Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are our strongest candidates in a general election.
Of course, it might also be true that dousing yourself in fairy dust does not guarantee that you will find the perfect mate and get the perfect job.
We're being asked to hand Obama another four years in the White House in order to "send a message." To whom? And what message? That we're morons? Message received!
Meanwhile, Romney cheerfully campaigns on, the biggest outsider and most conservative candidate we've run for president since Reagan, while being denounced by the Establishment as "too Establishment."
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