What do Republicans think in 2012?
Where is Ronald Reagan when you really need him?
For that matter, where is John Kennedy when you need him?
John Kennedy may have been the last great Republican president.
I know. I know. Just listen.
Kennedy wanted a balanced budget, deep tax cuts, a strong national defense and a global war on terrorism, which, at that time, was Communist. Communists. Remember them?
Balanced budget, tax cuts, strong defense, war on terrorism. You cannot judge him on the compelling social issues of our day because Roe V. Wade happened on Nixon's watch, not Kennedy's. Gay marriaage? Nope, not for JFK.
Pro-business, pro-life, pro-defense. His Attorneys General wire-tapped everybody. His CIA cooked up a scheme to kill a foreign leader with a bomb in a shell set to explode while he was scuba diving. If that failed, they would get him with a poison cigar.
JFK. What a Republican.
He is gone, though, along with Reagan. Reagan hated the death penalty, was pro-choice, cut actual military spending, increased taxes every year in office and tripled the national debt. Along the way he weaponized space, toppled the Berlin Wall, brought an end to the international Communist threat and armed the Afghani Freedom Fighters, called the mujahaddeen. One of them was a tall, Saudi kidney patient named Osama Bin-Laden.
I miss them both. Kennedy and Reagan, not Bin-Lden.
The current crop does not seem likely to topple anything but America.
Mr. Gingrich won the South Carolina primary Saturday. It is the last one for awhile where cross-overs can skew the results. To vote in Florida's GOP primary you have to be a Republican. In Florida you must be able to hang Chads, or you will not be counted, unlike Iowa, where you can vote and still not be counted in eight counties. This is odd, to me, because there are only about twelve counties in Iowa.
But I digress. In Florida we will get a better look at what Republicans are buying this year. It is a huge, diverse state. Politics go from retail to wholesale. The evangelical vote is not as large, proportionately, so the Republican candidates will have to run away from their base to other issues people actually care about. Mr. Paul should finally falter out of the race. Mr. Santorum will probably finish third.
The Romney-Gingrich contest will be center stage. I compare Mr. Romney to Wile E. Coyote, who spends enormous amounts of money with Acme, trying to catch the Road Runner, only to have his own weapons attack him though clumsiness of use. (Question-Why doesn't he just use that money to buy a Whataburger? Answer-It is personal now. I think it is personal between Mitt and Newt now, too). If Mr. Romney spends another eleventy million PAC dollars (he had spent $2,000,000 through the campaign or the Super PAC as of the weekend), only to lose or even finish within one or two percentage points of Newt, he completely loses his already sagging air of inevitability.
I have a hard time figuring this one out. Mr. Romney is once married, very religious, free of the taint of any personal or professional scandal. When he releases his IRS data we will see he gives an enormous amount of money to his church and family. No one can say anything bad about him personally. Newt is thrice married, talks constantly and often has to apologize in the next breath, is a big baby (he once threw a tantrum over his seating and exit on Air Force One) and has never met a doughnut he didn't like.
And people flock to him, while they compare Mitt to a vulture and a cigar star Indian figurine. People just hate Mitt. I personally do not know where he stands on much of anything other than he wants to be president. This bothered me about both Bushes, George I and George II. Each of them knew he wanted to be president, had a strategy to win the election and no clue about how to govern.
Mitt looks the same way to me.
Mr. Reagan, tear down this wall! Where is JFK, a real Repubican, when you need him?
Or, for that matter, give us a Harry Truman, and let the buck stop here.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.