Newt wins South Carolina! The greatest two myths in the 2012 Election for the President is that Mitt Romney is the front runner for the Republican nomination and that he...

Newt wins South Carolina!

The greatest two myths in the 2012 Election for the President is that Mitt Romney is the front runner for the Republican nomination and that he is competitive against President Barack Obama.  Neither are and never have been true.

Mitt Romney was not electable in 2008 and nothing has changed. This is in part Romney’s fault for doing nothing for the last four years other than run for President. Had he picked up some private job or taken part in philanthropy or had gotten involved politically at some level the results might differ. Or if his last name wasn’t an anagram for “R Money”.

The reality is the Republican Party is going through an identity crisis – a three way identity crisis – tea party, evangelical and traditional old guard Republicans are fighting for the soul of the Republican party. This will be a long Primary for Republicans as they attempt to adapt to a vastly different 21st century political climate and come to terms with how they need to change. Americans understand that Conservative policies have dominated our country for the last 30 years since Ronal Reagan took office and things have not worked out so well under that methodology – people want something different – something more effective and perhaps even fair especially in light of the recent economic struggles. In 2016 look for the Republican party to redefine and reinvent itself with a new set of actually viable candidates. It will only be after this re-alignment and rebranding that the GOP will be competitive in national politics again.

The lack of large influential Republicans in the nomination fight should be a fairly clear indicator that the GOP knows what many of us have been saying for some time – they can not win against Barak Obama. The fact that Newt Gingrich is doing so well given his volatile relationship with his own party should point to how detached traditional Republican leadership is from this race for the White House. Republicans most likely just hope that they can hold on to their majority in the House and not lose too many seats in the Senate – and it will take most of their focus to stop that from happening.

As far as who among the four remaining candidates can beat Obama in the fall – the reality is none of them can, despite their most fervent pleas to the contrary. Romney’s 15% tax rate will alienate any voter, Republican or otherwise, who has been struggling these last several years – sure Republicans all want to pay as little in taxes as possible (an odd position given their country first mantra and love of the military) but even a hard core Republican would be irritated that a man of Romney’s wealth has been paying less for many years – probably one reason he doesn’t want to release those returns. His wealth problem combined with his unease in public and in interviews means voters will have a difficult time trusting him and an even more difficult time voting for him. He is the Republican party’s John Kerry.

Newt Gingrich, though intellectually more competitive, his personality is harsh, caustic, and will turn off voters. That combined with the fact that he is a Washington “insider” with a long history in national politics are actually negatives that will cost him votes against a still relatively new to Washington Barack Obama.

Rich Santorum’s social views are antiquated and out of step even with his own party. Had he realized that many in the gay community are actually fiscally conservative he might have dialed his rhetoric and improved his electability – after all despite his social positions he comes off as genuine and relatively kind – two important factors in picking a national leader. However it is too late for Santorum.

Ron Paul’s America is one that we actively left many years ago. His positions on civil rights era legislation will strike  a stark contrast with President Barack Obama who happens to be the first black President of the United States. This combined with Paul’s isolationist tendencies in a time of globalization virtually garuntees if he was the nominee he would be soundly defeated by President Obama, who’s foreign policy has improved the U.S.’s standing in the world dramatically from ridding the world of Bin Laden and Gadafi to improving relations with our allies in Europe and our former enemies in Asia. The world is shrinking, in part thanks to social media, and Ron Paul represents a time when the world was still a big scary place.

What this means is an amusing Republican primary for those of us who take our Politics as sports and a General Election that will ultimately be quite a bit boring as compared to the landmark 2008 election. When the dust settles, barring some unforeseen crisis or revelation, President Barack Obama will get a second term and everyone in the GOP leadership from Priebus to Christie knows it.