Willard Romney, Zombie Warrior or Warrior Zombie?

The Great GOP Primary Slog continues. From Eliza Shapiro at NYMag‘s Daily Intel:

Republicans in Chicago were not quite fired up and ready to go today. Election officials in the Windy City predicted that today will be the lowest turnout in the city’s presidential primary history. Langdon Neal, chairman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners said he was crossing his fingers for a 20 percent turnout. On the POLITICO livestream, Maggie Haberman relayed a quote from a reluctant Romney supporter in Illinois, who likened Mitt to medicine: “We know he’s good for us, but we don’t really want to take it.”

The unwillingness of the GOP voter-peons to accept the reasoned judgement of their betters has been a continuing joy to Democratic voters and the Media Villagers. John Dickinson at Slate:

The Mitt Romney campaign would like Republican voters to stop and think like Mitt Romney for a moment: rationally and without getting overly emotional about things. Have voters seriously contemplated the chaos that Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are promising at the Republican convention in Tampa? These two upstarts are planning a messy delegate fight, full of anger and recriminations, under the bright lights of the Tampa Bay Times Forum and in primetime. The GOP convention is supposed to be four days of purposeful choreography highlighting the array of Republican wonders and Barack Obama’s many shortcomings. What people will see instead is a food fight. Stop it now, before it’s too late!…
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Modern-day conventions are centerpiece moments for parties to communicate with Americans. To present a diverse looking crowd to the television cameras, delegates are selected from as broad a palette as possible. Prime-time speakers are picked to send a unified and appealing message to swing voters. If there is a brawl, all of this is threatened. “If the Republican convention is a mish mash of conspiracy theories and backroom dealings and competition back and forth, and we wake up the morning after we’ve nominated a candidate and then have to start the campaign against Obama, we’re going to start out in a deep, deep hole,” said Romney backer and former Congressman Vin Weber in an interview I did with him for CBS’s Face to Face.
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Romney’s campaign is trying to scare Republicans straight. Think about 1976, they say, the last time Republicans had a contested convention. It was dramatic when Ford muscled out Ronald Reagan, but in the end, the Republicans lost to Jimmy Carter. This time, a Republican Thunderdome convention will leave the party smoldering and with only eight weeks to repair the damage and present a unified argument for replacing Barack Obama…

And yet, while the potential damage to The Party might be terrible, there is still much profit to be made by the lesser candidate willing to keep harrying the flanks of the Romney army. And while Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul are all members of the economic One Percent, compared to quarter-billionaire Romney, they are but elevated paupers. Thus, David Corn at Mother Jones on “Romney’s Zombie Problem”:

Mitt Romney faces the fundamental problem confronted by all zombie hunters: How do you kill that which is dead already?…
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The fundamental reality of the Republican GOP 2012 death march is that none of the candidates ought to win. Romney is a robot reprogrammed to appeal to a base that isn’t keen on a former Massachusetts governor who once proudly proclaimed his fealty to moderation and progressivism. It’s taken millions of dollars (much of that spent on mud-encrusted negative ads) and a Titanic boatload of cajoling from the GOP establishment to raise Romney to the mid-30s in Republican polls and election results…
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Yet Romney is heads, hair, and broad shoulders above what remains in the Republican field. After Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman, and Herman Cain self-deported from the circus, GOP voters were left with—besides Romney—a maniacally self-aggrandizing former House speaker with more baggage than a 747 who is better suited for a reality TV show than residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a little-known senator who lost his last election (in his home state) by a historic margin and who seems to believe Cotton Mather was a wimp, and a conspiracy theorist who supports drug legalization and decries American empire (positions not usually embraced by garden-variety Republicans).
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They are each damaged goods. (Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich were, in earlier times, even pronounced politically dead.) In a perfect—or less imperfect world—none of the Republican Final Four should win the crown. But absent some made-for-HBO-movie surprise development, one of these fundamentally flawed candidates will win.
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Romney doesn’t have much leverage over them. Zombies are hard to reason with. They’re already dead. They’re tough to bribe. They want to kill you. Santorum need only look at Mike Huckabee to see that there’s life (and great profit) as a social conservative leader following a presidential race. Gingrich has, undoubtedly, already calculated how much his lecture fees will rise with each week he stays in the race. With his alternative-reality crusade, Ron Paul can continue to bolster and build a fiefdom he can hand over to son Rand (and perhaps avoid the estate tax). Pressure from Romney’s pals in the Republican establishment (Vin Weber, this means you!) may not be sufficient to trump these other possible benefits…

And then there’s the unspoken element of tragic farce behind Romney’s Illinois win: Barring a great disaster over the next eight months, President Obama is going to capture the state’s electoral votes, as he did in 2008. Romney continues to “triumph” in states that won’t vote for a Republican in November. Once again, this is good news for us Democrats!






27 replies
  1. 1
    Jebediah says:

    I don’t know anything about this Vin Weber fellow, but I like his barbecue grills.

  2. 2
    phil says:

    Is there actually a possibility of a brokered convention? Could the FSM be so good to us?

  3. 3
    David Koch says:

    BWHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAAH

    Newt came in last place with a whopping 8 percent of the vote.

  4. 4
    David Koch says:

    Mitten is headed towards a 20 pt loss in his native state and a 30 pt loss in his home state.

    It’s bad enough to lose your home state, but by 30 pts is astounding. Yet, the corporate media never mentions this. Can you image how they would be raking a Democrat over the coals for trailing his or her home state by 30 pts?

    IOKIYAR

  5. 5
    Warren Terra says:

    @David Koch:
    That’s OK, he’s got other home states. Heck, even as Governor of Massachusetts it was clear he’d rather be living in New Hampshire (it’s where his summer home is, it’s more useful for becoming President, and it’s got a lot more Republicans per capita). He’s currently building his dream home in California (admittedly, a state where he would save time and money simply by not getting on the ballot). He’s the True Son of Utah, plus other similarly inclined parts of the Mountain West. And at least those he’ll win, Nevada hopefully excepted.

  6. 6
    Calouste says:

    After his Puerto Rico win, Mr Romney described the result as an “extraordinary victory”.

    “Those people who don’t think Latinos will vote for a Republican need to take a look at Puerto Rico,” he said.

    Yep, 132,000 Puerto Ricans voted in the GOP primary. Out of 3.7 million. If about half of them are registered voters, that’s still well over 90% over the voters that did not vote for Republican.

  7. 7

    Also, Puerto Rico’s primary is particularly meaningless because Puerto Rico can’t vote in an actual federal election.

    Plus, Puerto Ricans are an *entirely* different group from the amorphous “Latino vote” Willard’s chasing. Cubans in the US vote differently from Puerto Ricans from Mexicans from Guatemalans from, need I go on?

  8. 8
    maya says:

    This time, a Republican Thunderdome convention will leave the party smoldering….

    Oh goodie! Tina Turner will be singing there then.

  9. 9
    Narcissus says:

    I’m afraid that if I look Romney in the eye he’ll steal my soul.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @Narcissus

    I’m afraid that if I look Romney in the eye he’ll steal my soul.

    He won’t steal it so much as buy it out and lay it off.

  11. 11
    balconesfault says:

    Per CNN:

    In order to vote in the GOP presidential primary in Puerto Rico, voters must sign a “Republican Party of Puerto Rico Affiliation Form” pledging commitment to the ideological principles of the Party.

    I’m surprised they found 132,000.

  12. 12
    Warren Terra says:

    @balconesfault:
    It’s adorable that in order to vote for Mitt Romney you must pledge to hold firmly to your principles.

  13. 13
    WereBear says:

    @balconesfault:

    Per CNN:

    In order to vote in the GOP presidential primary in Puerto Rico, voters must sign a “Republican Party of Puerto Rico Affiliation Form” pledging commitment to the ideological principles of the Party.

    I’m surprised they found 132,000.

    Thinking back on the GOP’s various stances, did they agree to never leave Puerto Rico?

  14. 14
    Schlemizel says:

    @Jebediah:
    Vinny held MN-6 just prior to Batshit Bachmann taking over. He left his seat voluntarily to make a boat load of cash as a lobbyist and plays the role of reasonable moderate in Minnesota when it suits the GOPs needs.

    We are subjected to his bilge around every election season by the Minneapolis paper. He would be well loved by the 1%ers

  15. 15
    Schlemizel says:

    @WereBear:
    Maybe not but they for sure had to agree to learn figgin English 8-{D

  16. 16
    ant says:

    im votin fer frothy on my wi ballot

  17. 17
    amk says:

    @Schlemizel: Prolly the figgin thingy was in figgin english and the figgin 132 K just put in their figgin thumb impressions.

    Figgin idjits.

  18. 18
    danielx says:

    @Warren Terra:

    Yes, it is. Which principle is it that Marquis du Mittens holds firmly to, again?

  19. 19
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ant: I can’t do it. I just can’t bring myself to ask for that ballot and mark any of those names. Not even for a higher purpose. Nope.

  20. 20
    Sly says:

    @David Koch:

    Can you image how they would be raking a Democrat over the coals for trailing his or her home state by 30 pts?

    If the reaction to Gore losing Tennessee by a mere 3 points in 2000 is any indicator, I can imagine quite a bit.

  21. 21

    Will the GOP rubes ever catch on that most of their primary votes are in “beauty contests” that count for NOTHING, while GOP insiders pick the actual delegates?

    If the GOP voters were aware, they’d be outraged. Then again, if they were aware, they wouldn’t be GOP voters.

  22. 22
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Calouste: I’m sure Romney does pretty well among black Republicans, too. That’s because THEY’RE REPUBLICANS. I can’t believe he’s been trying to pull this off, acting like winning the already-Republican portion of a demographic is a sign of strength among that demographic generally. Not when the Republican segment is tiny, it isn’t, you doofus.

  23. 23
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Modern-day conventions are centerpiece moments for parties to communicate with Americans. To present a diverse looking crowd to the television cameras, delegates are selected from as broad a palette as possible. Prime-time speakers are picked to send a unified and appealing message to swing voters.

    Has John Dickinson seen a Republican convention in the last 20 years?

  24. 24
    gbear says:

    All I’ve got to add is that I am SO glad to see Vin Weber floundering.

  25. 25
    Origuy says:

    The networks will decide that the conventions are not worth covering any longer, Fox will devote its time to the outrage du jour, and CNN will freak out about a blond woman missing in the jungles of Brazil.

  26. 26
    David Koch says:

    @Origuy: A blond is a terrible thing to waste.

  27. 27
    brettvk says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist: I’ve been listening to Dickerson on Slate’s weekly political podcast, and his presentation there is perfectly centrist dickisness. What’s fun is listening to him scrabble for leftist/Dem misdeeds to match up with the GOP’s latest shenanigans to preserve the both-sides-do-it narrative. His article here has a pleading subtext to the Party o’ Personal Responsibility: “Please don’t go crazy when the rubes are paying attention, making me and the rest of the Village look bad for covering up for you for the last three decades.”

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