US Republican party forsaking the Republic for an aging Culture War?

The US Primaries are almost upon us, and the great dizzying (for us foreigners at least) race for the Republican party nomination gets started in earnest. Last time out, Iowa was where the soon to be President Obama first appeared to walk on water (to his followers at least), now the bettings on an outsider, the semi detachted Ron Paul.

Watching some of the debate the major problem for the Republican party seems to be discerning which of their candidates actually give a damn about the fate of the Republic they propose to run. As well as the renowned culture war schtick, literally pumped by an exasperated roots movement of the Tea Party, the whole focus in the states appears be about the least worst choice to set before the wider citizenry.

David Frum makes the point better than I can…

The thing most wrong with present-day Republicanism is its passivity in the face of the economic crisis, its indifference to the economic troubles of the huge majority of the American population, and its blithe insistence that everything was fine for the typical American worker up until Inauguration Day 2009 or (at the outer bound of the thinkable) the financial crisis of the fall 2008. It is the lack of concern to the travails of middle-class America that “reform Republicans” should most centrally be concerned with.

Mitt Romney’s not popular, he trails the wildly unpredictable Newt Gingrich by some considerable length… But he is a lot of people’s second and third choices… And he’s not gaged and bound by the extreme fringes of the party… The trouble is to win a US Presidential election you need to spring the base and make a wider appeal.. It didn’t work with McCain (even with Palin riding shot gun)… and it’s notable that Frum does not offer an alternative to not voting the doctrinaire libertarian Ron Paul…

Which may be telling… (not least that I’ve hedged against the wrong team…)

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty