I finished The Wall Street Journal’s Op-Ed on the Republican debates and realized it was by Karl Rove. I shuddered. Why? For the obvious reason — it being written by Karl Rove — but also because I agreed with it.
I might as well have been reading a ghost story before falling asleep.
I’ve never shared anything in common with Karl Rove, but frightfully I nodded thoroughly in concordance with his statement, “the economy will remain the election’s No. 1 issue. The strength and fluency of candidates in offering a compelling agenda for growth, jobs, fiscal discipline and reform will eventually play the biggest role in settling the contest.”
However, any former adviser, pundit or anyone moderately living above bedrock could make that blanket conclusion about the incumbent election. The absorbent nature of the economy has been America’s greatest concern.
But GOP candidates have been pinning their fellow Republican opponents to different controversial issues. The candidates are not primarily focused on the economy probably because the most divisive issue on any candidate’s platform.
In recent debates, Rick Perry discussed states usurping Social Security, stating Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, but then later discussed federal reform. Mitt Romney hasn’t clarified the reasoning for his health care plan in Massachusetts beyond explaning the Tenth Amendment.
The Republican party is dancing around the major discussion on the economy and avoid a clear objective with how they want to tackle it as an organization.
The GOP polls are volatile changing daily with additional candidates joining the bandwagon. Just a week ago RealClearPolitics stated former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney lead the race at 23.3 percent with Texas Governor Rick Perry legging it behind at 23 percent. Now Herman Cain came out like a bat from Godfather’s Pizza and currently stands at 18.3 percent with Romney at 21.7 and Perry down to 14.
No other candidates, like Ron Paul or Michelle Bachmann, have substantial numbers — they are both in the single digits despite their continued presence on the media landscape.
Bachmann spouts, “If there was any election where we conservatives don’t settle, it’s this election.”
When you never settle, or compromise it is difficult to garner the independents and Republicans who don’t necessarily fall into the pot of the Tea Party.
Former Republican Governor of Utah, Jon Huntsman, Jr. was quoted in The New York Times saying, “To win in 2012 and beyond we must appeal to the Tea Party and conservative Republicans.” The Grand Old Party must also win the “moderates, independents, and yes, conservative Democrats.”
This wasn’t a plea to abandon “the core principles” as he mentioned, but 2012 isn’t the election to avoid non-divisive issues considering the threat of a double-dip depression and faltering social programs.
Eventually one party will concede and the new or continued policy will be on track.
A broad election appeal is a myth, the unicorn of 2012 election, with the country’s economy always knocking for attention. We are beyond sidestepping the big elephants in the room; Obama clearly drew the line in the sand with the tax code and the current judicial scuffle over Health Care’s constitutionality poses another issue that will divide the American public, no matter the decision.
Republican objectives hope to win as many middle voters as possible, but there isn’t any blanket bill, platform or agreement where both Democrats and Republicans will link arms across the Senate floor without some form of concessions.
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