March 11, 2012
IT'S THE GROWN-UP PARTY:
Not-So-Crazy Republicans (ROSS DOUTHAT, 3/10/12, NY Times)
Let's stipulate that this has not been the most edifying of primary seasons. The policy debates have often been vacuous, the rhetoric shrill, the attack ads pervasive and wearying. Almost four years after the Bush presidency, the Republican Party is obviously still rife with dysfunction, and struggling to define itself for a new era and a changing country.But against this backdrop, the party's voters have behaved remarkably responsibly. Confronted with a flip-flopping, gaffe-prone front-runner whom almost nobody -- conservative or liberal -- finds very appealing, they have methodically sifted through the alternatives, considering and then discarding each in turn.From early 2011 onward, the media have overinterpreted this sifting process, treating every polling surge for a not-Romney candidate almost as seriously as an actual primary result. They might nominate Herman Cain! They might nominate Michele Bachmann! Why -- they might nominate Donald Trump!Not so much. Instead, despite an understandable desire to vote for a candidate other than Mitt Romney, Republicans have been slowly but surely delivering him the nomination -- consistently, if reluctantly, choosing the safe option over the bomb-throwers and ideologues.
The Republican nomination is decided by Republicans, not by the Right, so it's based on thought, not emotion.Posted by Orrin Judd at March 11, 2012 9:11 AM