Ed Kilgore over at Political Animal writes, Can the Right Unite in ’16? Basically, it is just an ad for TPMCafe article that looks more deeply at the hopes of the Republican Party establishment to unite behind a single candidate and not repeat their 2012 experience of everyone rushing to the bottom of conservatism. Remember how none of them would accept a deal with $10 of spending cuts for $1 of tax increases? Kilgore thinks they will have a hard time not repeating that experience.
I’m not really interested in that question. I really don’t think that Romney lost the 2012 election because he was so conservative. Again, we come back to the political science basics. The economy wasn’t good, but it was getting better. The couple of jobs reports before the election were good. There was a feeling that the economy was on the mend. And it was true. If it weren’t for the Sequester, the economy would probably be doing pretty darned well by now.
I will grant one political aspect of the election. Mitt Romney had one claim to fame: his healthcare law in Massachusetts. Long before the formal campaign started, he had repudiated it—at least on the national level. (Funny thing: conservatives always say the states are the “incubators of democracy”; but it’s really just a cover for doing nothing.) So the one thing that Romney could claim to have accomplished, he wouldn’t admit to; and even if he had, Obama had already done it.
This is all very bad news. It means that if the economy tanks in mid-2016, the Republicans will probably win the White House. They could nominate Louie Gohmert. It wouldn’t matter. Well, maybe a little. But let’s remember that most liberals were happy when the Republicans nominated Reagan. Now sure, there was the hostage crisis and Reagan’s “charm,” but mostly it was the bad economy that got Reagan elected president.
So I don’t particularly care how the Republicans go about getting their nominee. And really, what are the choices? Chris Christie is a supposed moderate in the party, and his policy positions are as extreme as any other conservative. The issue is the economy and it always will be.
There is a bit of good news though. The demographics are changing in this country and fewer and fewer people would want their neighbors to know that they vote Republican. So as long as we all get out there and vote, we win. Or at least we win as far as we are allowed to by the moderate to conservative Democrats we elect. I’ll have more to say about that soon.