The GOP knows what it doesn’t like, but…

I’m hoping Ruarai will be able to give us more of a US perspective on the GOP’s Iowa Caucus, but before he does, this from Dana Milbank struck me as going to the heart of the matter for US Republicans:

The Iowa Republicans’ indecision captures perfectly the existential struggle within the GOP nationally and within conservatism. They don’t know what they want — or even who they are. Are they Tea Partyers? Isolationists? Pro-business? Populists? Moralists? Worried workers? Do they want the corporate caretaker (Romney), the oddball isolationist (Paul) or the cultural warrior (Santorum)?

All, and none of the above… It’s noticeable that the Teapartyer Michelle Bachman has suspended her campaign. It seems that when it comes to electing folk, either the Tea Party doesn’t have the numbers, or they don’t quite trust their own supporters when it comes to government.

It strikes me that the US Republican party face the same problem as the post Thatcher Conservative Party, having told us what government is useless for, they struggle to make a coherent pitch for what they would do with it, if they took back control.

, , , ,

  • pauluk

    This is only the first step in a long primary process. It’s the way politics works in the US. Any talk at this stage of ‘Iowa Republicans’ indecision’ is ludicrous. In fact, this first indication of how Republicans are thinking (although, weirdly, some Democrats changed party allegiance and were allowed to have a vote) has already helped to whittle down the field.

    Have people forgotten the long, bitter Democratic primary campaign between Obama and Hilary Clinton in 2008? Their hatred and angry towards each other was far stronger than anything we have seen from the Republicans (well, maybe apart from Gingrich)

    I still think Romney will be the candidate despite Santorum’s surge. Any of them, apart from Paul, would undoubtedly be better than Obama.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Yesterday I saw a BBC interview with the veteran arch-conservative Pat Robertson, discussing the various candidates, he seemed to back Santorum and said conservatives should unite behind him, but more importantly he stated his 100% support for Mitt Romney should he become the candidate and said almost all Republicans felt the same. There is an overwhelming desire to topple Obama and even if it means a Mormon President the Republicans will back him in the end.

  • Mick Fealty

    Paul, Milbank lodges that very caveat. I understand that this is a long race. And I don’t suggest that this is indicative of where the GOP will be at the end of the race.

    But this is where it is just now.

  • New Yorker

    I largely agree with Dana Milbank. The US Republican party is a mess. They got 60 or so Tea Party Republicans elected to the House and they have been nothing but trouble-makers throwing Congress into gridlock when the country needs action from Washington. They have no good ideas and are generally a surly lot.

    The Republicans may well end up with Romney, but the majority of Republicans don’t trust him and see him as weak.

    Meanwhile the Obama campaign and Democratic party organization will be in good fighting form ready to rumble a Republican party in disarray and without any real leadership.

  • Greenflag

    Romney IF he makes it through the primaries will be cast as the Wall St President -GOP opposition to healthcare reforms -to banking reforms and even to the appointment of a Consumer Protection Agency will all add up to the GOP being seen as they should be as the party of reckless , blind ,right wing ideology . Santorum if he manages to get through as the candidate will be unable to pull more than 35% of the national vote .Bachman is gone -Perry is going and Ron Paul is too radical -Even those who may agree with some of his ‘values’ also know that he’s too radical for most Americans .

    Santorum is the darling of the conservative religious right although a sizeable number of them about 20% of the vote will abstain rather than vote Romney . Romney is after all a Mormon still a cult religion for many bible thumpers in the South . Even a lab technician working with some DNA samples can prove within a few minutes that the Mormon ‘credo’ that Jesus came to the USA to preach to the lost tribe of Israel ( Native Americans ) is a load of rubbish .

    More important is the fact that Romney will be pitched by the Democrats as the Wall St candidate and the corporate America candidate i.e those who are seen as the main culprits in bringing the biggest recession since the 1930’s to the USA .

    Rumours that the new North Korean President will offer himself as a candidate at the North Carolina Republican Primary are believed to be false .Someone suggested that Kim the Younger who believes that life begins at conception and ends in starvation (as it did for some 3 million North Koreans )could share similar values to many GOP supporters especially the Tea Partiers 🙁 Kim the Younger rebuffed claims that being under 35 years of age would be a difficult step to overcome rejoindered that surely the ‘freemen ‘and free thinkers ‘ of New Hampshire would opt for somebody under the age of 35 rather than select from a bunch of candidates whose average IQ was 35 ?

    Barring Obama being found in bed with half the White House Staff and being outed as a supporter of Al Quaeda and the world coming to a MAyan end in Oct 2012 -this Presidential election is over ALREADY . Like Marie Antoinette and the Russian Tsars the GOP party leadership have been losing touch with the ‘real ‘ America .And while the Democrats have nothing to crow about right now the Democrats can at least point to the Republicans and say ‘What a shower of eejits ‘

  • Greenflag


    ‘Any of them, apart from Paul, would undoubtedly be better than Obama.’

    Maybe better than the dead Osama .

    Just a short recap

    Romney : Believer and practitioner of a ‘fraudster ‘ cult into polygamy and known in the Federal Reserve System (Utah ) as being one of the most corrupt in the FR system .

    Bachman : Even her own state would’nt trust her with more than 5% of the primary vote

    Gingrich : Now on his third religion (Catholic ) and his fourth wife or the other way around .Believes that the ‘work ethic ‘ can be instilled inot tthe poorest American children by getting them to work as janitors while in school thus saving the school system millions of dollars by not having to employ adult janitors . Disraeli must have been an ancestral cousin if not Trevelyan .

    Perry ,


    Ron Paul ,

    At least his isolationism strikes a chord with young americans -after all they are the ones (the young poor of Appalachia and immigrants )who will die in future wars and not the children of Bush ,Cheney , Gingrich or Santorum or Romney .

    Cain .

    The African American All Pizza philanderer who can solve Americas’s problems with a new pizza topping ?

    Huntsman ?

    Probably the one candidate who keeps the average IQ of the other candidates up to 35 instead of 17 as it would be without him . Only two chances for Huntsman to make it through the primaries -slim and fat .

  • Greenflag

    As for Santorum the sanctimonius ? Even if he makes it through the primaries -unlikely 70 % of Americans will either vote against or abstain if he’s the candidate . Romney has a slightly better chance but he won’t bring out the vote .

    The other factor this time is will the Democratic vote come out as it didn’t in the November 2010 mid terms when some 10 million Obama voters did’nt bother to cast a vote ?

    Even if only half that number come out in November 2012 Obama will be re-elected not because he deserves to be but because those opposing him have NOTHING to offer except what Wall St and previous US Administrations offered 1994 through 2010 and Americans simply will not buyinto the neo con lie .