Only 37 days left until Super Duper Stupor Tuesday (March 6), when 10 states go to the polls to select the man who is the best and brightest to represent the Republican Party in November.
I still havenít recovered from Florida. Listening and reading about all those attack ads tearing the two leading candidates apart for 10 days like mad dogs, I needed a distemper shot. If dueling hadn't been outlawed, by now weíd have one less man in the race.
What I gathered from the commercials and the stump speech bites is that Romney is a leftist, either a liberal or, what is worse, ďa Massachusetts moderate.Ē Apparently, he is not conservative enough to appeal to the base.
Gingrich is certifiably insane. His ideas like moon colonization -- which may or may not mandate sending illegal aliens there -- appeal to the grandiosity base. Ralph Kramden would vote for the lunar candidate. (ďOne of these days... right in the kisser. POW! To the moon, Alice!Ē)
I donít know about you other Republicans, but I canít take it any more. I long for the days when ideological arguments between such charismatic figures as Robert Taft and the neo-Bolshevik-Trotskyite Nelson Rockefeller took place behind closed doors. Thatís why they invented smoked-filled rooms.
As exciting as it may have been seeing which of the candidates could put on the most mostly negative ads (Mitt won, 12,207 to 210) and spend more money (the awesome Mitt won again, $15.5 million to $3.9 million), it ainít been pretty seeing the distinguished gentlemen acting like 11-year-olds.
Watching the latest episode of the freak show that has been the 2012 primary has been like seeing a party self-immolate on national TV.
Southpaw Romney and loony Gingrich beat up on each other with stinging barbs, poisoned epithets, and nasty looks in the name of appealing to what they think of as the base of the party -- the presumed populist-conservative-evangelical-tea-party-everyday-red-white-'n'-blue Americans.
Nominating one or the other, protagonists argue, will make the Republican Party lose its base. Or ďthe base of the base,Ē as John King of CNN curiously put it the morning after the Florida votes were counted.
Now this is what I first donít understand. One wonders where a base will go. Isn't a base, by definition, something that canít be moved?
If it is so easily moved by something a candidate says or does, can it really be considered a base? Or is it a halfway house? A fork in the road?
Is there such a thing as an unbase, a floating base? Or do Republican strategists suggest there are as many as three bases -- before you reach home plate (the nomination)?
The way the campaign is heading, the candidates will be appealing to the sub-basement by the Super Tuesday carnage.
The reason elections are won is that whoever gets the most votes wins. The reason conservatives lose elections is there are not enough of them.
Now you donít have to be a rocket scientist to know that appealing to this Republican base is not a winning strategy. Do the math: When the base is at most 30% of the party, a candidate has to appeal to Reagan Democrats, Independents, and the Undecideds. Appealing to the base in 19 debates and thousands of commercials that turn people off is not going to cut the mustard in 2012.
Something is happening to my Grand Old Party. It must be the fluorides in the water. When I was growing up, Republicans warned us the leftist Democrats were putting them secretly in the water supply to weaken our resolve in the fight against socialism.
Or maybe Gingrich is really a mole planted in the Republican Party by the dirty tricks division of the Democratic National Committee, assigned to make sure Obama wins a second term. Or maybe itís the closet lefty, Romney.
Whatever, the Massachusetts moderate will reach the finish line with more arrows in him than Saint Sebastian. And we may be in for an election not equaled since the campaign of 1936, in which, you may remember, ideologically pure conservative Republican Gov. Alf Landon managed to win two states, not including his own state of Kansas.