What Can We Hope (or Pray) For?

I would like to be better informed about the realistic possibilities for this election.

Let me start off by making some assumptions. First, I assume that Dennis Prager, George Will, Bill Kristol, and Paul Rahe among other luminaries are correct and that a Romney candidacy or presidency would be a disaster. Then I assume that the other candidates in the race are also deeply flawed, and that most of us have picked the candidates we are backing with little enthusiasm, thinking that each is the le…

  1. raycon and lindacon

    Almost all of your alternatives are such long shots that prayer will be your only effective means of seeing them happen.

    We seem to forget that the nature of politics is to defeat your opponent by articulating a vague alternative to his plan and attacking every adverb and adjective of his statements.  In reality we can only really judge a candidate by his past actions.

    Romney, Rick Perry and Ron Paul have the clearest track record among the political pro’s currently in the running. 

    Herman Cain has the clearest track record of, and in fact is, the only non-professional in the race. 

    Each of the above men have a philosophy of leadership that can be discerned from their actions.  In the end, that philosophy of governing, coupled with the effectiveness of past accomplishments is what we are voting for.

    Or you can let the MSM select your candidate on a quiz show.

    I’ll take Herman Cain, with enthusiasm.

  2. Lucy Pevensie

    Well, I’ll take Herman Cain if I have to.  But I am unenthusiastic.  I am less unenthusiastic about Gingrich, but that isn’t saying a whole lot.  I can’t remember an election when as many people as this were as unhappy as this about the slate of primary candidates.

  3. katievs

    I’m hoping that the assumption that Romney would be a disaster is false. 

    I’m hoping that with great conservative leadership in the House and Senate, a Romney Presidency will prove better than our fears and good enough for the immediate need.    

    I was encouraged by Jay Nordlinger’s comments to that effect the other day.

  4. Lucy Pevensie
    katievs: I’m hoping that the assumption that Romney would be a disaster is false. 

    I’m hoping that with great conservative leadership in the House and Senate, a Romney Presidency will prove better than our fears and good enough for the immediate need.    

    I was encouraged by Jay Nordlinger’s comments to that effect the other day.

    That’s two votes for rejecting my assumptions. But I’m still looking for the answer to my question contingent on my assumptions. Are there any alternatives still possible?

  5. Lucy Pevensie

    PS: In googling for the link to the George Will piece, I came across an article by one (known to us) Conor Friedersdorf, in which he suggested that we vote for Huntsman or Gary Johnson. Somehow, that’s not the solution I was looking for.

  6. katievs
    Lucy Pevensie

    katievs: I’m hoping that the assumption that Romney would be a disaster is false. 

    I’m hoping that with great conservative leadership in the House and Senate, a Romney Presidency will prove better than our fears and good enough for the immediate need.    

    I was encouraged by Jay Nordlinger’s comments to that effect the other day.

    That’s two votes for rejecting my assumptions. But I’m still looking for the answer to my question contingent on my assumptions. Are there any alternatives still possible? · Nov 2 at 8:01am

    I don’t think so, barring a miracle.

  7. The King Prawn

    The hope is that one of the current candidates gets his act together and generates the enthusiasm that is currently lacking. Gingrich, warts and all, is a fantastically intelligent man and a great communicator of the conservative position. Cain is a very motivational leader and might learn to avoid the kind of mistakes he’s been making lately. Perry is showing life of late and may turn out to be some of what we hoped for. Yes, this is arguing against one of your assumptions, but I see that as the only real hope. The other options are we unenthusiastically support whatever schlub we nominate and have a repeat performance of ’08. If Romney is the nominee then we need enthusiasm to turn out the vote for a legislature that will force him to do the right thing. Romney is never going to generate that enthusiasm. If it’s one of the others then there is still hope of an enthusiastic turnout of our base.

  8. Lucy Pevensie

    So, specifically, are brokered conventions truly a thing of the past? If so, why?

    And, if not, are brokered conventions bound to nominate someone who has actually been running?

  9. Fredösphere

    I keep saying, draft Jindal. By any means necessary.

    But really, add me to the list with katievs and Lucy Pevensie. I don’t want us to elect the “right person” in 2012, then walk away because we think the job is done. That’s what the left did, in a presidential election that happened not too long ago (my memory is hazy; somebody remind me exactly when & who).

    If Romney gets in, the right will be breathing down his neck. A coreless guy like that is susceptible to pressure. If we have a conservative Congress working with us, we might just be able to dismantle the regulatory state. Maybe.

  10. Charlotte
    Lucy Pevensie: Well, I’ll take Herman Cain if I have to.  But I am unenthusiastic.  I am less unenthusiastic about Gingrich, but that isn’t saying a whole lot.  I can’t remember an election when as many people as this were as unhappy as this about the slate of primary candidates. · Nov 2 at 7:44am

    Lucy, I don’t want to belittle or detract from your overall (very serious) point, but I just love the thought of a “Gingrich 2012: The Candidate We Are Less Unenthusiastic About!” bumper sticker.

  11. Lucy Pevensie

    Oh, I’ve got lots of great slogans for this election. How about, “Vote for Candidate X. All the others were even worse.”? Or “Vote Romney. Don’t worry if you don’t like his positions. He’s probably lying.”?

  12. Roberto
    Lucy Pevensie: Oh, I’ve got lots of great slogans four this election…

    “Vote Romney. Don’t worry if you don’t like his positions. He’s probably lying.”? · Nov 2 at 10:39am

    If you accomplish nothing else today you can at least say you got a bemused chuckle from one member of Ricochet.

  13. Western Chauvinist

    I’d love to hear someone answer Lucy’s question about a brokered convention.  Anyone?

  14. Louie Mungaray (Squishy Blue RINO)
    Western Chauvinist: I’d love to hear someone answer Lucy’s question about a brokered convention.  Anyone? · Nov 2 at 1:14pm

    me too

  15. Lucy Pevensie
    Squishy Blue RINO

    Western Chauvinist: I’d love to hear someone answer Lucy’s question about a brokered convention.  Anyone? · Nov 2 at 1:14pm

    me too · Nov 2 at 1:34pm

    Thanks. Maybe I made the original post too long and too pious to get moved over to the Main Feed, where an insider might weigh in on that question.  Anyone else want to try?

  16. Al Kennedy

    Lucy, I am not an expert on the primary process, but I believe that nominations for the Florida primary have closed, and South Carolina closes this week.  Elected delegates must vote for their designated candidate on the first ballot at the convention.  So, I think the answer to your question is that any option other than someone from the current field is highly unlikely.

    Jay Cost, who writes for The Weekly Standard, had a post recently “This is no way to pick a president” that you may find interesting.  The current primary process was initiated by the left wing of the Democrat Party after their 1968 convention in Chicago.  The Republican Party subsequently adopted a similar process.

    I will probably not vote for Mitt Romney in my state’s primary, but I will enthusiastically support him if he is nominated.  The thought of President Obama winning a second term is too depressing to contemplate.

  17. Fredösphere
    Lucy Pevensie

    Squishy Blue RINO

    Western Chauvinist: I’d love to hear someone answer Lucy’s question about a brokered convention.  Anyone? · Nov 2 at 1:14pm

    me too · Nov 2 at 1:34pm
    Thanks. Maybe I made the original post too long and too pious to get moved over to the Main Feed, where an insider might weigh in on that question.  Anyone else want to try? · Nov 2 at 2:10pm

    Not sure about how the rules are structured, but I’ll bet delegates are selected, when possible, based on their mindless loyalty. Plus, many are committed to their candidate on the first ballot. In the modern era, with excellent information flows, a candidate probably exercises lots of control over what kinds of people go to the convention on his or her behalf. Conventions would be populated exclusively by cocaine self-injection experiment monkeys exclusively, if the candidates could get away with it.

    A convention floor dominated by undecided delegates open to argument and ready to negotiate is any candidate’s nightmare.

  18. Lucy Pevensie
    Al Kennedy: . . .

    Jay Cost, who writes for The Weekly Standard, had a post recently “This is no way to pick a president” that you may find interesting.  The current primary process was initiated by the left wing of the Democrat Party after their 1968 convention in Chicago.  The Republican Party subsequently adopted a similar process.

    I like this article a lot. It would be great to move the Republican party back toward a more republican as opposed to democratic style.  Maybe doing this would also have the advantage of protecting our candidates from the “borking” that George Savage referred to in yesterday’s post.  But somehow I fear that this kind of reform is no longer possible.

  19. Glenn the Iconoclast
    Lucy Pevensie:  I’ve been told that the rules have now been set up in such a way that a brokered convention is no longer possible. Is that really true? If so, why? And, if not, can someone tell me how such a thing would work? It hasn’t happened in my lifetime, and so I really can’t imagine it, but at this point I wonder if it’s our best hope. Most importantly, in a brokered convention, can we get a candidate who hasn’t actually run in the primaries? Is there still room in modern politics for the party to get together and call in someone because the party and the country needs him, even if he does not see it? ·

    Technically it is possible, but practically it is difficult to see it happening.  The leading candidate would have to be hard-stuck below the 50% + 1 threshold, unable to trade enough favors to push over the top.  Earlier I couldn’t see Romney (or anyone else) with a clear majority going into the convention, but it seems much more likely now.

    Only if Romney and Cain (example) are stuck fast at 40% is a draft possible.

  20. The King Prawn

     The RNC had a rule change that makes the states voting after February but before April (i.e. all the Super Tuesday states) proportionally allocate their delegates. This could prevent someone like Romney from winning in the early states and wrapping up the nomination in March. If the delegates break too evenly in March it could prevent anyone from hitting 50%. At the very least, with the way polling is going right now, it looks like the primaries for states not on Super Tuesday will finally matter.

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